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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.

Victims of scamming will under no circumstances have their items returned to them, even if Jagex punishes the scammer.

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.

  1. If a deal seems too good to be true, it is probably a scam.
  2. Always check the trade window to verify which items are being traded.
  3. 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.
  4. If a person requires you to trade them 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.
  5. Never drop items you are not willing to lose.
  6. Do not gamble, player-run games of chance are also prohibited by rule 13 of the Code of Conduct.
  7. 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.
  8. Do not bring items you are not willing to lose into the Wilderness or PvP worlds. Avoid trading in these areas.
  9. 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.
  10. Always check the trade window to verify which items are being traded.

Scams related to trading[edit | edit source]

An example of a scam.

Many scams are performed using the trade system. Players should always be aware of point 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 a victim's 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.[1]

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 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]

Occasionally, there are discrepancies between an item's guide price and street price. This commonly occurs with new items, infrequently traded items, or items that rapidly lose value (crashing). 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.

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. Often scammers will cancel the trade with some form of excuse and will then re-trade the victim this time offering 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
Prayer potion.png
Attack potion.png
Prayer potion
Attack potion
9,989 Dragon bones.png
Big bones.png
Dragon bones
Big bones
Yew logs.png
Yew logs
182 Armadyl crossbow.png
Hunters' crossbow.png
Armadyl crossbow
Hunters' crossbow
Verac's plateskirt.png
Black plateskirt.png
Verac's plateskirt
Black plateskirt
644,703 Granite maul.png
Rock hammer.png
Granite maul
Rock hammer
Trident of the seas.png
Trident of the seas.png
Trident of the seas (charged)
Trident of the seas (uncharged)
869,222 Saradomin sword.png
White 2h sword.png
Saradomin sword
White 2h sword
Elysian spirit shield.png
Spectral spirit shield.png
Elysian spirit shield
Spectral spirit shield
659,188,974 Obsidian cape.png
Black cape.png
Obsidian cape
Black cape

Scams related to luring[edit | edit source]

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, and involves scammers getting the victim to first drop their item, and secondly to remove said victim from their item. Methods of doing so vary by scammer. A common method involves an attempt to get the victim to teleport using teleother and tabs or if in a dangerous area, getting the victim killed. 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 drop lures involve instances. The scammer will have a victim join their Clan Chat and then take them to an instance to drop their items. After the victim has dropped their items, the scammer will get them to leave the instance either through a teleport, the exit, or using an unfamiliar teleport item such as a grand seed pod, the scammer will then kick them from the clan so 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—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. 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; 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. This is accomplished is by either using a freeze spell or the Zamorak godsword special attack. After a successful hit, the skulled player will run in the victim's spot, forming a death dot, and pop back out with their alternate account or friend. In order for this work, however, the two accounts must possess similar names and be within proximity of Combat level.

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.

To avoid this it is highly suggested to set player options to Hidden, and disable Auto Retaliate when in the Wilderness.

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 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 4th 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 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.

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.

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.

Scams related to phishing[edit | edit source]

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.[2]

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 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 look-up certain phrases.

Miscellanious scams[edit | edit source]

Duel Arena options scam[edit | edit source]

The duel interface.

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]

  1. Jagex. Mod Ash's Twitter account. 3 December 2015. Mod Ash: "We haven't set rules against it, but you do it entirely at your own risk of being scammed."
  2. 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.”*