Scamming is the act of stealing money, items or accounts from another player through deception or trickery. Rule 2 of the Old School RuneScape Code of Conduct prohibits the act of scamming which is punishable by a mute or ban if reported.
This page is not a comprehensive list of every scam or lure to ever exist; instead, it acts as a general overview of what to look out for.
Scamming is as old as RuneScape itself, and the complexity of scams varies greatly. Scams generally involve one or more of the following:
- Deceiving an unsuspecting victim.
- Exploiting flaws in the trade system or other interface.
- Luring victims to dangerous locations, or into unsafe situations.
- Exploiting in-game glitches.
Avoiding scams[edit | edit source]
Players that adhere to the following advice and use common sense may find it easier to spot and avoid scams.
- If a deal seems too good to be true, it is probably a scam.
- Always check the trade window to verify which items are being traded.
- Make sure you know the price of the items you trade; people can overprice items. Some uncommonly traded items may also be listed at a higher value than they are worth.
- If a person requires you to trade them the items first, before trading items back in a second separate trade, it is probably a scam: if a trade can be made in a single trade, there is no reason for the trade to be made in two. This includes trust trading.
- Never drop items you are not willing to lose.
- Do not gamble; player-run games of chance are also prohibited by Rule 13 of the Code of Conduct.
- If a person is using a bot to advertise, not only is it most likely a scam, the use of a bot can be reported per Rule 7 of the Code of Conduct.
- Do not bring items you are not willing to lose into the Wilderness or PvP worlds. Avoid trading in these areas.
- Keep account information secure. Only enter your account information into the official RuneScape website and never share your password, recovery questions, or email address. Always be aware of potential phishing sites that fake the official site.
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Many scams are performed using the trade system. Players should always be aware of points 2 and 3 when trading, being sure to always carefully check the trade confirmation screens.
Trust trades[edit | edit source]
Trust trading is when a player entrusts items to another player, with the expectation that they will return the items (or additional items) at a later point in time. This could also refer to trading money in return for a service. Scammers can use trust trades to take victims' items then simply leave the area, keeping the items for themselves.
Any players considering engaging in a trust trade should factor in the risk that the recipient will steal their items. Even a friend or clan member could decide to abuse a player's trust and scam them.
RS3/OSRS gold swapping[edit | edit source]
Since the release of Old School RuneScape, a market emerged for trading coins between Old School and RuneScape 3. While Jagex has not implemented any system for transferring items between the two, players have trust traded between the two games, usually through gold swapping clans. These transactions work exclusively through trust trading and as such are a target of scammers. Jagex does not facilitate gold swapping, and states all gold swapping is done at user risk.
Doubling and trimming[edit | edit source]
Money doubling, and the armour-trimming variant, are two of the most infamous and prolific scams in RuneScape history. Usually performed in crowded locations, such as the Grand Exchange, the scammer will offer the victim a deal — in exchange with trusting them with their items, they will trade them back double the amount, or in the case of armour, trade them back trimmed armour.
A common variant involves the scammer doubling the first trade, as to appear legitimate and trustworthy: this trade is usually a small amount such as 20,000-50,000 coins; they then attempt to scam the victim out of a significantly larger amount. Scammers may also employ a second player (usually a friend or secondary account) to act as if their money was doubled to further fool unsuspecting victims into believing the ruse.
Similar scams involved trading materials to a scammer in hopes of receiving craft goods back, with the same outcomes.
Deceptive trades[edit | edit source]
Deceptive trades are scams that target a victims lack of knowledge (such as market changes and item differences) or awareness (such as item-swapping).
Street vs exchange price[edit | edit source]
Several items have very large discrepancies between their Grand Exchange guide price and their "street price", or the price that players would be willing to purchase the item for. This commonly occurs with new items that have been assigned inaccurate initial guide prices, infrequently traded items, intermediate items that are easily combined to create more useful items, or items that are rapidly losing value (crashing). These price discrepancies are usually the result of the cap set on daily Grand Exchange price movements to prevent intentional market manipulation. Thus, Scammers may use a discrepancy to their advantage on victims who are unaware of the real market value, either in straight-forward trade or as part of a more elaborate scam.
The following is an incomplete list of items which have very high guide prices but with significantly lower street prices. They should never be traded in large amounts with people who you do not trust.
|Item||Guide Price||Street Price||Note|
|Divine super attack potion||979||800—1,000||Divine potions were given a high initial price upon release and are rarely created, used, or trade. Very common scam item.|
|Divine super defence potion||1,406||800—1,000||Divine potions were given a high initial price upon release and are rarely created, used, or traded. Very common scam item.|
|Raw garden pie||908||194||Pies are rarely sold on the Grand Exchange before they are cooked|
|Iron dagger(p+)||1,903||20||Poisoned items, especially tier-1 (p) and tier-2 (p+), are rarely created, used, or traded. Knives and arrows are also used for this scam.|
Item-swapping scams[edit | edit source]
Item-swapping scams are a form of scamming where the scammer will replace the requested item in a trade, then cancel the trade with some form of excuse, and they will attempt to re-trade the victim and place a different item that resembles the original item. Alternatively, they may quickly swap an item with a similar item in the same trade. Below are some items to be aware of, it is not an all-inclusive list of possibilities.
|Similar items||Price difference||Similar items||Price difference|
|Trident of the seas (charged)
Trident of the seas (uncharged)
White 2h sword
|Elysian spirit shield
Spectral spirit shield
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Luring is a term used to describe a scam where the scammer will trick and deceive another player by leading them in to a dangerous or one-way area in order to steal their items. There are several types of lures, the main three being traditional, Wilderness and drop lures.
Drop lures[edit | edit source]
Drop lures are a common type of lure, which involves scammers getting the victim to first drop their items, and secondly to remove said victim from their items. Methods of doing so vary by scammer where some will either attempt to get the victim to teleport using Teleother and tabs, exploit a spot glitch that departs the victim from their items, or simply kill the victim if in a dangerous area. Never drop valuable items you are not willing to lose on the ground. Methods of drop luring are constantly changing. Always follow Point 5 of avoiding scams, and you can avoid falling victim to these lures.
Instanced lures[edit | edit source]
Some lures involve instances. The scammer has a victim join their Clan Chat and then take the victim to an instanced area where they can drop items, such as the Chambers of Xeric or Corporeal Beast. After the victim has dropped their items, the scammer will get the victim to leave the instance either through teleportation, the exit or using an unfamiliar teleport item, such as a grand seed pod. The scammer will then kick the victim from the clan so that they cannot rejoin the instance.
In the case of the Chambers of Xeric, the scammer can simply kick the user from the party, forcing them out of the instance.
Traditional lures[edit | edit source]
Traditional luring, or monster luring, were types of lures in which a scammer would either lead the victim into a dangerous situation, or lead a dangerous monster towards the victim. These methods are no longer popular beyond killing bots due to changes to the death mechanics, allowing players up to 60 minutes to retrieve any lost items and rendering these methods ineffective on real players.
Wilderness lures[edit | edit source]
Wilderness lures refer to any lure where a scammer leads a victim into the Wilderness, regardless of how far into the Wilderness they are taken. Some of these lures are performed on PVP worlds. Never enter the Wilderness with items you are not willing to lose.
Scammers may attempt to get the victim to use teleports that take victims into the Wilderness, such as Ancient Magicks spells, burning amulet teleports, Wilderness crabs teleport tablets, or use of the Edgeville lever. Others will try to bait victims using dropped items or deception.
Skull tricking[edit | edit source]
Skull tricking is commonly paired with Wilderness lures as to secure all the victims belongings. The principle involves tricking a target into attacking a player who they believe that they have already been in combat with so that the player becomes skulled. This is often done using two accounts with similar names, combat levels and gear. One account will attack the player (often casting a Tele Block), and then attempt to exchange places with the second account (which is often equipped with Barrage spells and high-DPS weapons). This can be accomplished by freezing the player with a freeze spell or the Zamorak godsword special attack. After a successful hit, the skulled player will either move onto the same spot as the player or run far enough away to leave the victim's view. The second account will then either log or run in to make it seem as if it was the same person, but if the target attacks them, they themselves will become skulled.
Another common Skull trick is in pvp worlds in high risk fights, a player will fight you then gradually lure you further away from a safe zone then allow themselves to be killed. While you're looting, another player (usually in maxed gear) will log in under you causing you to click on them and skull. This can be avoided by selecting player options to right-click or hidden while looting and turning off auto retaliate.
Chinchompas are another method of getting the victim to skull; the scammer will give the victim chinchompas and get them to equip them before leading them into a multicombat area and will then attack the player whilst a second account logs in under them. The victim will start auto-retaliating causing splash damage on the unskulled second account, giving them a skull.
4 noted items[edit | edit source]
This hybrid scam/lure takes advantage of guide prices that are not up to date, using the price discrepancy between Grand Exchange and street value and is usually done by groups. This scam is done by taking four (4) of the same noted item, and getting them into the hands of the victim. If the victim dies, they will be protected over other items due to their guide price; a fourth item is used to prevent Protect Item from saving another valuable item. Primarily used in the Revenant Caves or Wilderness God Wars Dungeon, the scammer(s) will give the victim four (4) noted items, either by trading them to the victim, dropping them by the victim, or by dying to the victim intentionally. Once the victim has collected the items, they are then killed by the scammer(s) who will then collect the items that have a lower guide price but higher street value than the noted items. Always be wary of using new items in the Wilderness as the guide price has not settled to reflect the real market value.
Animation stalling lures[edit | edit source]
A scammer will trade you and show cash in the trade screen claiming you aren't as rich as them and taunting you. They will then open a book, which stalls their animation, making their character appear to be in a safe zone, but actually they're outside of it. You will trade them thinking you're in a safe zone, but your character will be dragged out of the safe zone where the scammer's friends will kill you for the coins you just took out of your bank. The scammer's friends are often disguised using the ring of stone or on a different level waiting for you to be lured out of the safe zone. This is usually done after dying in a PvP world, so you have no armour to protect against their attacks. The best way to prevent this is to not trade players on a PvP world and to ignore players trying to get you to prove your wealth after dying.
Teleother and teleport tabs[edit | edit source]
Teleother, telegroup, and teleport tabs are often used in lures to get a target to a specific destination in order to proceed with the lure. You will be given the option to accept or decline teleother and telegroup spells if you have Accept Aid enabled, otherwise they are automatically denied. If someone gives you a Ancient Magicks tablet, it is most likely an attempted lure as most of the Ancient Magicks teleport destinations are in deep Wilderness.
Sometimes a player will be offering to buy a teleport tab for way above the Grand Exchange guide price on a PVP world claiming to be at the buy limit for that item the Grand Exchange. When you trade them they will quickly decline as you are clicking on the tablets to add them to the trade which then teleports you to the destination where their friend will be waiting to kill you for your items. This can be avoided by banking all your items except for the tablets before trading or right clicking and adding them to the trade window so you don't teleport if they decline the trade.
Teleports are also used in some drop lures to get the victim away from their dropped items. Keeping Accept Aid off is good practice to avoid these lures.
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Phishing is the act of tricking a player into divulging their login details, or other private information (such as recovery information) in an attempt to secure access to said victims account. Once a scammer has access, they almost always steal any wealth and items of value from the account. Some will then sell the account on the black market or proceed to use the account for botting. Anyone who asks for personal information can be reported under Rule 11 of the Code of Conduct.
Phishing sites[edit | edit source]
Players should never enter their login or private details into any website except for the official RuneScape website. Always examine URLs you click and check the address bar at the top of your web browser to confirm the site is official as some sites will attempt to mimic the official site both in appearance and URL. Scammers can send phishing links in several ways: through private messages, social media and email.
Scammers often offer victims incentives to login to the fake website. Other scammers will also pose as Jagex staff and tell their victims that they are being considered for a position as a Player Moderator, which they will receive if they verify their account details on the (fake) website. Jagex will only contact the player via the Message Centre system to inform them that they have been selected to become a Player Moderator. The player is then able to accept or decline the position. Jagex will never private message you in-game and tell you to go to an external website and enter your username and password.
Scammers can also send out fake emails telling players they have been banned and need to log-in to appeal their ban. Once again, Jagex will never contact players in-game or through email about bans and will instead use the Message Centre. Anyone who offers a position as a player moderator in-game can be reported for impersonating Jagex staff under Rule 5 of the Code of Conduct.
YouTube/Twitch phishing[edit | edit source]
Certain YouTube videos and Twitch streams can contain phishing links. Always be wary of any links you visit on external sites. A common Twitch scam involves fake double experience weekend streams that host links to phishing sites. Some scammers may direct victims to such videos and streams in-game telling users to search online for certain phrases.
On Twitch, these streams typically impersonate larger channels, such as the official Old School RuneScape channel. They typically have a high number of viewers, but almost all of these are "viewbots"; fake viewers intended to inflate the viewer count so the stream rises up to the top of the category to appear more legitimate.
Players should always double check the username of the channel they are watching, and be skeptical of any giveaways, double XP weekend announcements, etc. (No legitimate double XP weekend event has ever taken place in Old School RuneScape.) They should also ensure that any links they click are official Jagex websites. These are runescape.com, jagex.com, and any subdomains (e.g. oldschool.runescape.com). If the domain does not end with runescape.com, jagex.com, or any other official Jagex domain, it is almost certainly a scam; watch out for any slight spelling mistakes or strange placement of full stops within these URLs.
Miscellanious scams[edit | edit source]
Duel Arena options scam[edit | edit source]
The Duel Arena options scam involves the scammer changing duel options quickly before engaging in the duel. This scam can be avoided by simply taking time to check the second confirmation screen carefully to see if any rules are out of place. An example of this would be agreeing to a no food fight; the scammer, bringing food, would check the box to allow food and quickly move to the confirmation screen allowing them to eat during the fight. Always pay attention to the items risked and the rules that are set before engaging in a duel.
See also[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Jagex. Mod Ash's Twitter account. 3 December 2015. (Archived from the original on 30 May 2020.) Mod Ash: "We haven't set rules against it, but you do it entirely at your own risk of being scammed."
- Jagex Support. Moderators and Community Helpers. (Archived from the original on 2019-03-13.) “No Mods or Helpers will ever contact you out of the blue via email or other sites to request information from you or make offers (such as PMod status), and you should never give out information such as your password - even to Mods. Jagex will only ever contact you through your In-Game Message Centre, and will never ask for your password.”*