There is a 99.99% chance that you have absolutely NO IDEA who I am, and I don’t blame you, really. My username is fiddelysquat, and I’m setting about the task of making Neopia a better place. I plan to do this not by reporting every scammer and freezing every hacker, I plan to educate Neopets players. Please, don’t hit the back button just yet: I plant to teach you some lessons not only valuable on Neopets, but valuable in life outside of Neopia.
People are always writing articles that simply list the ways of being scammed, and telling you not to fall for them. I have yet to see an article that answers the single most important question a human being can ask. Why? Why is it impossible to generate neopoints? Why cant there be a program out there that multiplies items and such? Being the inquisitive young girl I am, I set about to find out for all of you.
Before I lay the smack down on scammers and riffraff like that, there are a few things you need to know about computers in general to understand all of it. The topmost term you will hear a scammer use is program. They tell you that they have a computer program that can generate Neopets currency if they type your username and password into it. Well to start this section off, were going to need to know what a program is, so that you can see why this scam is so unbelievably dumb. (To us computer nerds, that is!)
Being the helpless geek that I am, I immediately consulted my bible on the matter (a.k.a. the Encyclopedia), and this is what I was able to come up with:
Computer program, a series of instructions that a computer can interpret and execute; programs are also called software to distinguish them from hardware, the physical equipment used in data processing. These programming instructions cause the computer to perform arithmetic and logical operations or comparisons (and then take some additional action based on the comparison) or to input or output data in a desired sequence. In conventional computing the operations are executed sequentially; in parallel processing the operations are allocated among multiple processors, which execute them concurrently and share the results. Programs are often written as a series of subroutines, which can be used in more than one program or at more than one point in the same program.
Huh? I dont know about you, but the person who wrote this might as well have been speaking Swahili for all I understood! But, with the help of my buddy the Dictionary, I was able to put this into English for all the non-child prodigies out there:
A computer program is a series of instructions that your computer can understand and follow. Programs are also known as software, to separate them from hardware.
is the term used to refer to the things that you can touch and see, such as your computer screen. Software is the stuff that makes the hardware do something. For example: think of your CD player. The player itself is the hardware, and the CD is the software. Without the CD, all your CD player does is sit there and hum for a bit, before you turn it off.
The instructions that are given to your computer cause the computer to analyze or figure out the information you gave it, and when it is done analyzing, it will make a conclusion and do what you asked it to. Programs are usually written so that you can use them in other programs. For example, you can draw a pretty picture in your computers paint program, and then put it into your word program to make a birthday card for your Grandma.
Now that Ive broken it down for you, its pretty simple, isnt it? One of a scammers tactics is to confuse you by using all these fancy-shmancy computer terms to confuse you and to make you think that theyre really smart. In 9/10 cases, though, the scammer cant spell for beans, and they use these terms incorrectly. Dont you feel smart, and youve only read the first few paragraphs of this article! Keep reading, though. It only gets better
For an example, I will use a very common scam: You receive a neomail, IM, or e-mail from a neopets player. They tell you that they have a program that can make you tons of neopoints, generate/multiply items, etc., etc. They say in order to operate the program, they will need your password. You are wary of this person, so you ask them why they cant just send you the program. They tell you that their friend made it so that the program is unsendable.
Just one cotton-picking minute! There is no such thing as an unsendable program! Want to know how I know this? The answer is right inside your e-mail inbox, and all over the news. How do you think a virus gets onto your computer? A virus is a program! It is a very destructive one, but a program nonetheless! A mean person sends you the virus in an e-mail as an attachment. When you open the e-mail, the program is downloaded onto your computer, and then youre in deeeep doo-doo with your parents for ruining the computer.
A virus is not the only program that you can send through an e-mail! I happen to have two e-mail addresses, and I used them to conduct an experiment. I went on my first address, and prepared to send a mail to my second. I went into the attachments, and attempted to add Jasc Paint Shop Pro 7 as an attachment. It worked. I did the same with every single program on my computer. It all worked. If there had been just ONE unsendable program on my computer, I would have gotten an error signal when I tried to attach it. The reason you can send a program is because it is categorized as a file by your computer, and files are NEVER EVER EVER unsendable.
Even if you didnt know all of that, common sense tells you that this is a scam. If their friend made it, then how can they have it? I thought it was unsendable! They usually say that their friend/brother/goldfish made it so that they dont have to answer any technical questions or explain anything. Frankly, it is to avoid revealing the fact that they are a blithering idiot when it comes to computers.
But, not all scams are like that. More often than not, youll see a board in the chat rooms that says, MAKE ONE MILLION NP IN A DAY! NO SCAM! THIS REALLY WORKS!!!! Theyve pretty much given away their true intentions with the whole NO SCAM! bit, but not every body can deduce that by themselves. When you click on this eye-catching post, the contents of the board are basically: go to hhttp://www.whatever.com/freeNp!!!!! it workd for me and now I have a millin np!
Sheesh they always supposedly have millions of np, but what they make up for in np, they lack in spelling and grammar. Anyway, you decide, What the heck? This just might work! Ive had my eye on that Baby Paintbrush., and you proceed to type the address into the address bar, and you come to a website that basically looks something like this:
“THIS IS JUST AN EXAMPLE FORM. DO *NOT* FILL IT OUT!!!”
I HACKED INTO THE NEOPETS PROGRAM AND I CAN MAKE ANYTHING I WANT TO MAKE ALL I NEED IS YOUR PASSWORD AND USERNAME AND THEN I CAN GET YOU THE NP AND ITEMS. JUST E-MAIL ME WITH THE FORM BELOW FILLED OUT AND ILL USE THE PROGRAM AND GET YOU THE NP. YOU WONT REGRIT IT IT WILL WORK AND YOU WILL BE RICH!!!!11
HOW MANY NP YOU WANT: _______________
ANY ITEMS YOU WANT: ____________
It pains me to see such horrendous spelling *shudder*. But, I am not here to lecture you on spelling skills, I am here to lecture you on scams. First of all, Neopets isnt a program. Did you have to download the site onto your computer to be able to play it? Um, noooo! Neopets is run on a computer language known as PHTML, and that is not a program. Second of all, how did they hack into a program? You cant! Unless this freak has Donna and Adam bound and gagged to a chair and is using Adams computer, they have no access to the part of the site that doles out np in random events and games. As far as I know, the staff is doing just fine in the land of the free and the home of the brave, and they are most certainly not being held hostage by a psychopathic 12-year-old.
The files on your computer are not accessible through the internet unless you put them on a web page or send them in an e-mail. Believe it or not, the Neopets staff uses computers just like we do in this neck of the woods, and the laws of physics and technology apply in their office as they do in our homes. It is impossible to hack into a program!
There are programs out there that give you high-scores in games, automatically buy items from the main shops, and do other things, but the staff can detect the use of these programs and YOU WILL BE FROZEN IN A FEW SECONDS.
If you want the truth without the use of any computer terminology and just plain common sense, somebody that cant chew gum and type at the same time cant go writing an advanced computer program that creates np and neopets related items. That should cover the whole program junk that seems to be popping up everywhere.
The technical stuff is over, now, and the logical solutions lie straight ahead. Though many, if not most, of you have probably read about fifty articles that list the ways of being scammed and tell you not to fall for it, Im still going to do it for those who havent seen an article such as this before. Oh, sure everybody tells you about not giving out your password and not changing your e-mail address, but Ive been in the slums of this town, and Im aware of some scams you may not have even heard of before. Ill categorize them be their rarity, and the intelligence level youre going to be dealing with.
Common Scams- (amateur scammers)
This isnt as common as it once was, thanks to the handy report shop button that is now available should you see something inappropriate in someones shop. The scenario is, you somehow make your way into a shop selling very desired items (such as paint brushes, code stones, or hidden tower items) for very little neopoints! You click on the item to buy it, thinking youve found the deal of the year, when all of a sudden youre at the log in page!
The person who created this scam isnt exactly a mastermind. I mean, to any normal person, this is just a bit too fishy, isnt it? It would be like walking down the street and seeing a hundred dollar bill peeking out of a dark, abandoned alley in a bad section of town. You have a brain for a reason you know, and I should think that it should come home from vacation. Look at the top of the screen inside of the address bar. If the address in the address bar is not exactly http://www.neopets.com/loginpage.phtml, you are being tricked. There is no big mystery, here. That is the one and only neopets login page, and any other page, no matter how much it looks like the real one, is a fake. How should you handle this problem? Simple really. Hit the back button, and then click report shop. Since this feature allows you to remain anonymous, this obsessed creep wont know who you are.
Help! Help! The site is falling down!
You are browsing around neopets, minding your own business, when you get a frantic neomail from somebody you dont know. They say that they are neopets staff. They tell you that the site is crashing, and that all the accounts are going to be lost! They say that they need your password so that they can save your account, and – HOLD ON A MINUTE! Almost every page on the site keeps telling you not to give away your password. All you have to do is go into your inbox, and the message is right there, in big red letter, at the bottom of your screen. It says:
WARNING! DO NOT
give your password to ANYONE. Anyone who asks you for this is trying to steal your account!!! Report hackers to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You cant be more blunt than that. The neopets staff has your password stored somewhere safe, and they will only ever neomail you from theneopetsteam account. If you get a mail like this, DO NOT DELETE IT. E-mail a copy of the message to email@example.com, along with the username, and tell the staff that you have the message saved. Then, just go on playing neopets and let the abuse staff take care of it. ^_^
I think Scream had this copyrighted
Youre going away for some time, and you dont know what to do with your neopets! You see someone on the chat boards offer to neo sit them for you, and they just need your password to get into your account to watch the pets for you. Neo sitting is against the Terms and Conditions. Anyone who offers to neo sit for you is trying to steal your account. Send your neopets to the Neolodge (accessible from the main shops map) . Report the person to firstname.lastname@example.org, and save the message as proof of what they tried to do.
E to the mail, e-mail!
Somebody neomails you, saying that if you change your e-mail, they can deliver items and np to your account. Before you go skipping on over to the User Prefs. to change it, hear me out! You are basically giving them your password by changing your e-mail for them. Why? Next time you log in to neopets scroll down a bit. There is an option that allows you to receive your password if youve forgotten it. You just type your username into the box, send it, and your password is on its way to the hacker. They receive your password, hack into your account, CHANGE the password, and viola! Your account, pets, items, and np are all theirs for the taking. How do you get rid of this deceitful filth? Scroll to the very bottom of the page, and choose Contact Us. From there, you can either use the automatic e-mail form, or just write directly to email@example.com. Remember to SAVE THE MESSAGE AND TELL THEM YOU SAVED IT.
Rare/Tricky Scams- (intelligent/advanced scammers)
Noticeboard? Youve got my attention!
Youre the leader of this really cool guild, and youve just finished advertising in the Guild Chat when you receive a mail. The user tells you that they are saving up for a notice on the notice board. They then explain that they are going around collecting 50,000np + from guild leaders and, when they have enough, they are going to post one big noticeboard advertising all the guilds that helped chip in to save up.
This is a very clever idea, and Ive only come across it twice. If youre willing to hand over 50,000np (or more!) to someone you dont know, then good luck in the real world! You will never see a point of your contribution again, and Ill tell you another thing you wont be seeing: a noticeboard. Besides, nobody checks the noticeboard, anyway! Youre better off advertising in the chat rooms. To handle the situation, scroll to the very bottom of the page, and choose Contact Us. From there, you can either use the automatic e-mail form, or just write directly to firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember to SAVE THE MESSAGE AND TELL THEM YOU SAVED IT.
Programs- you still need to know about this after our talk? GRRR!!!!! >_<
*ahem* I believe we have already discussed this. If you were just being a poor and skimming my lovely article, then shame on you and go read the first half of all my hard work!!!
Well, class, that about covers it. If you really just DID skim this whole thing that I took about 4 hours writing (*sniff*) then at least have the common decency to look at the Key Points and facts:
– Never give your password to anybody. Period. No exceptions.
– Never trust anybody who claims to have a program that gives you np/items. NO EXCEPTIONS ON THIS ONE, EITHER!!!!
– Always trade via the Trading Post. Do not bid on anything that is not worth around the amount of your items, even if they promise a cheat or program as part of the trade.
– Do not buy or sell pets/accounts. You will be frozen for it, no matter what side of the deal youre on.
– Dont advertise when you reach a milestone in np making. Thats like walking into a bears cave with honey all over your shirt.
– Have fun. Neopets is a game, so treat it like one! 🙂 – fiddelysquat