Many thanks. ♥
~Ardra and Brayca
Found an offer that's way too good to be true? It probably is! Scams are everywhere around Neopets, and this page is here to help you spot them before your account is in ruins.
Brayca's Guide to Scams will show you the ins and outs of avoiding common scams like the ones found in Neomails, E-Mails, on the Neoboards, and through Trades.
This will also show you what to do if you did fall into a scam.
Many scams are done in the simplest ways. While some are easy to sniff out, others would take an expert to know. And hopefully, I will teach you to avoid every scam in the book.
To view all images/screenies, click and drag to address bar.
Neomail Scam 1: One day you may receive a Neomail saying to go to an off site page, type in your account name and log-in word and then you will receive Neopoints, items, and other wonderful things. But don't go!
Any page that does not have www.neopets.com in the URL and asks you for your log-in word is a scamming page. There isn't any "easy" way to get Neopoints.
Report the Neomail to TNT and let them handle it. There is no need to reply back to it and possibly provoke an argument.
Neomail Scam 2: Another Neomail scam is when a person will mail you asking you if you want their account because they are quitting. Never take any account. This is against TNT's rules and you will probably end up frozen!
Never risk your account.
Neomail Scam 3: Some people will try to get your account by telling you they will "babysit" your pets while you're away on vacation in real life. All you have to do is give them your username, log-in word, and PIN #. They claim they will care for your pets and basically look after your account. Never fall for this. All they are doing is stealing your account! A much better, and safer, way is to put your pet(s) in the NeoLodge, located in Neopia Central. Your pets will be fed and looked after while you're away.
Neomail Scam 4: Sometimes people may Neomail you saying that they will give you a paint brush, but then say their computer won't let them send it over and they will give you their log-in word so you can go on and get the paint brush. This IS a scam. Be sure to report the user.
Neomail Scam 5: Sometimes you'll receive a message saying they have a fund which people donate to and all the Neopoints go towards buying medicine/food so poorer Neopians can take care of their pets.
They'll probably say if you donate, you'll get an item in return. Don't do this! It's a scam and I highly doubt you'll receive that "item", nor will the NP go to "poor Neopians".
Report it and move on. TNT will take care of it. :)
(Thanks to sora_456654 for bringing this scam to my attention.)
Neoboard Scam 1: Sometimes you'll stumble upon a board advertising a website that will give you Neopoints. But wait! It's not quite that simple. When going to that site you will most likely have to give them your account name and log-in word. This is just like the Neomail you received saying to go to an off site page and give your account and log-in word.
Once again, never go to an off site page that offers you something that sounds too good in exchange for your account name and log-in word.
Neoboard Scam 2: Someday you may see a board that's saying they are leaving Neopets. Well, how could this be a scam? Normally a person will get into another person's account and then use it to make several boards (which would be classified as spamming) saying they are leaving Neopets. But there's more to it. Often a person who sees a board like this will ask for the account. Stop. You must never ask for any one's account because this is against the rules. You will most likely get your account frozen. The one you took, and the one that was yours.
TNT stated that this was a scam and you should report it right away.
Neoboard Scam 3: This scam is rather common, and fairly obvious. Sometimes a user will make a board saying that if you buy something in his or her shop, they'll give you an item or something nice in return. Don't fall for this. The user will take your NP and run.
As usual, report the user. Or, you can post that it is a scam and warn the other users at that board just in case they didn't know.
Neoboard Scam 4: One day while lurking around the boards, you may come across a topic that says if you type your log-in word backwards on the board, it will come out in stars (*). Do not fall for this. Your log-in word will not come out in stars. The best thing to do is post on the board that it is a scam to warn others, then report the user.
Neoboard Scam 5: Another scam is done through both Neomail, and on the Neoboards:
Sometimes a person will make a board asking to lend them a certain amount of Neopoints. It's normally a small amount of about 5-10k. They promise they will pay it back later. Most wouldn't do such a thing. But some people may view it as it's a small amount, who cares if the person doesn't pay it back? Well, my advice to you would be to never lend out any amount of NP. Not only would you most likely lose it, you would basically be encouraging the user to try this stunt again. Common sense comes in handy on the internet!
Email Scam 1: You may receive an email from "The Neopets Team" one day that reads your account will be deleted due to a difficulty unless you reply back with your account name, log-in word, and PIN number.
Whoa! Your first thought is probably to send it to them quickly because you wouldn't want to lose all your hard work on your account.
But wait.. TNT states everywhere around the site that they will never ask for your log-in word.
This is an email from a staff impersonator. These guys act like part of TNT to scam you out of your account! You should never give your account name, PIN number, or log-in word to anybody!
Email Scam 2: Sometimes somebody will tell you change your email address (to probably the scammer's own address) so they can make you rich. Never do this. You are basically giving your account away. Report the user and delete the email (or Neomail). Never change your address to one somebody else suggests.
Email Scam 3: For those who use Hotmail emails when creating a Neopets account, make sure you stay active on those accounts because if they are inactive for a few months, your email-account might be reset and then somebody could recreate that account and get into your Neopets account.
(Thank you to carmelliana for pointing this out.)
Shop Scam 1: Some people hold a contest in their shops. An example would be whoever buys the most expensive item in their shop, wins a prize. It's just a way to steal your Neopoints from you, and TNT stated in the Terms & Conditions that NO contests anywhere on the site are allowed.
Shop Scam 2: This next scam is actually done in Guilds.
Some Guilds have contests or donation shops in which you buy (sometimes overpriced junk) items from a shop which goes into a "Guild Till". Normally the money would go towards a nice prize that would be rewarded to a user who won a contest or such. But lots of times, the guild leader will take the money and delete the guild.
And sometimes the guild members will get in trouble for participating in something that's against the rules. Make sure you read up and don't join a guild that could put your account at risk.
Shop Scam 3: You may see a post somewhere that the person has an unbuyable (UB) in his/her shop. When you go to the shop, you may find that the background is the same color as the text, therefore you cannot read the names of the items. And you may be buying a cheap item instead of that "unbuyable" the person claimed. Always highlight any unreadable text in a shop to make sure you are really buying the right item.
This is also against the rules, so you may report the shop to TNT.
Shop Scam 4: Yet another scam that is used in shops is when a user tells you that you can earn NP or an expensive item by going to their shop, then pressing the Ctrl button and then the Alt button, then press enter and you will win a prize. But, all you've done bought an overpriced item from their shop! Report the user to TNT.
Trading Post Scams
Trading Scam 1: Some people try to trade with you outside the Trading Post (TP). Never do this. Always exchange a trade via the Trading Post only.
Trading Scam 2: Sometimes people on the Trades say to Neomail your offers. Generally this is safe, but sometimes the person will send you a link to a trade and you have to hurry and offer because they are leaving soon, etc. But what you don't know, is that it could be a fake trading page.
Look for these two things:
1: If the URL is NOT "www.neopets.com", it's a scam
2: The name of the pet; If it is not your pet, it's a scam
If you DO offer on this fake trading page, the NP you offered will be subtracted because the offering link leads to the real Trading Post. And you will receive the worthless item. It's a confusing scam, yes, but always double check.
Trading Post Scam 3: Sometimes a user will try to trick you into thinking that certain items can be opened and you will win/get prizes/items. But really, you cannot open them. The person will ask for a high amount of Neopoints because you "can" win paintbrushes from it or other expensive delights. But you should ALWAYS check the item before buying it from the user. Ask on the Help Boards if you are not sure.
Some items that cannot be opened (or put items into to) are: Gift Boxes, Bumper Prize Stockings, Sparkling Seasonal Stocking, Seasons Greatings in a Bottle, Empty Pillow Case
However, you CAN open up Goodie Bags, like the ones given out on Halloween and Neopets' Birthday, and also the Blue, Green, and Purple Stockings.
Trading Post Scam 4: Sometimes people will try to trick you into buying an item that they say can change your pet's color, or is worth "millions" and they'll sell it to you cheap.
An example item is the Starberry and Rainbow Berry. The user may say that if you feed it to your pet, it will change colors to Starry, or Rainbow. But they don't. So if you end up buying it, you'll be very disappointed when you feed it to your pet!
The items that will change your pet Starry or Rainbow are:
Starry Paint Brush, Rainbow Paint Brush, Rainbow Swirly Potion, Flask of Rainbow Fountain Water
The Flask of Rainbow Fountain Water can turn your pet any color. It's at random. For an amazing guide, go here:
Trading Post Scam 5: Sometimes a user will put in an item that's fairly expensive and you will bid on the trade, then they might Neomail you saying that there are other offers, so they take it out of the trade and put it back up and the faster bidder will get it. However, instead of putting back the expensive item, they'll put up a different item that is cheap. And you are focused on getting the item, so you don't double check. And really there aren't any other bidders/offers on that trade. So you would end up with a cheap, worthless item.
A few items that a person may try to scam you with:
The expensive item: Dual Expert Bow | You get: Expert Bow
The expensive item: Earth Faerie Leaves | You get: Golden Ivy Leaves
The expensive item: Battle Potato | You get: Raw Potato
Always double check what you're bidding on. And if you aren't the "faster bidder", look at the other trades.
Trading Post Scam 6: Sometimes users try to scam you by saying one of their plushies can turn your pet into say a Krawk or Draik. But remember: Only magical plushies can change your pet. So their Krawk Plushie is a fake. Always double check, or ask around just to be certain.
Also, there are real Paint Brushes, and then there are PLUSHIE Paint Brushes. Plushie PBs CANNOT change your pet's color, and before you bid on a trade, look close to make sure it's a real PB and not a Plushie. And Stone and Glass Paint Brushes can't be used anymore.
Trading Post Scam 7: Yet another scam done via trades is when a person will put If you want to know a secret place in Neopia, bid a million NP on this trade and I'll tell you. They're lying. Report the trade right away. You can't always believe what somebody tells you.
And sometimes they may say Bid one million and you'll get a -fill in the blank-
Trading Post Scam 8: Sometimes items have VERY similar names and are, for the most part, the same thing. (e.g. Sword of Skardsen and Bendy Sword of Skardsen) The Sword of Skardsen is at the Hidden Tower worth 11 million, while the Bendy Sword of Skardsen is buyable in shops. Ask on the Help Boards if you are uncertain about something. You can never be too careful.
Go here to see some more expensive verus cheaper items.
Trading Post Scam 9: Magical Chia Pops change your chia into a fruit or vegetable color, however some people may try to get you to buy a regular Chia Pop for what the Magical pops are worth. Once again, double check.
Trading Post Scam 10: Sometimes users will try and trick you by saying the item Wish Sticks will get you more Random Events on Neopets. This is a lie. Random Events are random.
Pet and Pounding Scams
Pet Scam 1: Congratulations! You just adopted your dream pet from the Pound while you were surfing it. But sometimes you may receive a Neomail from a person saying they forgot to detach the petpet from the pet before pounding and if they could have the petpet back. Don't buy it. This is most likely a scam. Here's a bit from TNT on the Pet Abandoning page:
If you disown your Neopet all petpets will go with it. Once you disown your Neopet absolutely anybody can adopt your Neopet, there is no guarantee you will be able to get your Neopet back again if you change your mind.
It's the old owner's fault for not being more careful, so you don't have to give the petpet back seeing as how you adopted the pet in a fair way.
Sometimes people will try a different way to get one of your pets. For example, you and someone else were trying to adopt the same pet, but he/she was too slow. So they Neomail you acting like the former owner of the pet to try and get it. They say they "accidentally" put the pet in the Pound and to please give it back. Well, there's no way you can accidentally abandon a pet because you have to click the button 5 or 6 times. Once again, you adopted fairly and you do not have to give the pet to the acclaimed former owner. If you do believe the user was the former owner (perhaps he or she had proof), it would be a kind thing to give the pet back. However, if you don't, and the user begins to harass you, report him.
Pet Scam 2: Sometimes a user may Neomail you asking if you want their pet. But there may be a catch. Sometimes people try to sell their Neopet to somebody else. This is against the rules. Report the user as soon as you can.
Pet Scam 3: When you transfer a pet, the petpage is not erased. And sometimes a user will put disallowed images/things on the petpage without your knowing, and then you're frozen without even knowing.
Always check the petpages before trading/transfering a pet.
Pet Scam 4: Now imagine this scenario: User A and User B agree to trade pets. User A pounds her pet for User B to grab, but User B misses. User A will tell User B that he/she is required under Neopets rules to continue trading his pet, and User B will transfer it safely to User A. However, User A actually re-adopted his/her pet on their side, probably through a safe transfer. She now has User B's pet in addition to keeping his/her own.
Trade with those you trust.
Pet Scam 5: Two users will agree to trade pets. It would be a 1:1 trade, of course, but they may say they have already transferred a pet to someone else that month, but they can accept a transfer.
But sometimes a user may not tell the other person they're trading with that when a pet is pounded, the paint brush clothes do not go with the pet. The clothes, however, do go with the pet through transfers. The user will adopt the pet unknowningly. They are undoubtedly upset to find their new pet is bare. But the other user will say that they are obligated to trade the other pet to them through a transfer.
Cookie Grabbing: A very common scam is done by cookie grabbing.
A cookie is a file stored on your computer. Everytime you visit a website, that little file is saved. So, if you have your computer set to save a cookie when you type in your log-in word on Neopets, the next time you visit the log-in page for Neo, you won't have to log-in. And many people will take advantage of this.
Now, say someone Neomails you saying to go to a site and you'll get something, etc. The site steals that bit of information on your computer and automatically logs into your account. They don't get/keep your log-in word when it's changed. So really, clearing your cookies does nothing, all that needs to be done is a p/w change.
If you did visit the site, change your log-in word immediately. Go to My Account → Edit Profile and change your word.
Sharing Accounts: Some people may offer a deal where you both share an account. You would both work for Neopoints, pets, etc. This is against TNT's rules. Sharing accounts is not allowed and never will be. Your account is yours ONLY.
After the NP has built up, the user you're "sharing" with may block you from the account by changing the log-in word. Therefore keeping everything to himself. TNT cannot do anything about this because it was at your own risk.
HTML/CSS Scam: Sometimes somebody will make you a layout/button/etc. and they will ask you for log-in word so they can put it up themselves. This is a scam. To get the coding, they should put it in a textbox on a petpage for you to copy and paste yourself.
Premium Scam (Alias account): Someone may ask you for your email address and/or info so they can give you a free alias account. He can then send your Neo-Info via email and then you've just lost your account. Remember, if you want Premium, you must pay for it yourself.
Fake Log-in Page: Sometimes when you are logging into Neopets, you will be directed to a different site without your knowledge. The page will look like the normal log-in site for Neopets. But, the URL address bar will not be www.neopets.com. The creator of the fake webpage gets your account name and log-in word. Always check the URL when signing in. And if you are presented with a pet that is not yours, do not log in.
Item Codes: When Neopets introduced real life Neopets items like the Rare Item Codes, people began trying to sell them on Neopets for NP or items. But the codes will most likely have already been used and they would give you the worthless code and take your NP and/or items.
People will also try to sell you other codes, cheats, or secrets. Remember that it's easy to lie over the internet. And just because someone says "I HAVE A SECRET!!", it doesn't mean they really do.
Pretending to be Staff: Sometimes a user will try to fool you and make you think they work for Neopets. They may say to give them a certain expensive item or all your Neopoints or else they will freeze your account. This is a scam and if the user truly DOES work for Neopets, they will have this at the bottom of their lookup:
*Username* is a *What they do for the website* - This means that they are entrusted with looking after the site, and given the power to delete messageboards and noticeboards.
Lending Items: Many people lend Avatar Items to others such as a Zafara Double Agent Plushie (ZDAP), Faerie Queen Doll (FQD), Bony Graal Club (BGC). Many Avatar items are very expensive because of their purpose: to get you a rare avatar.
There are many ways that people lend the items. By giving it to them via sending Neofriends items, Auctions, and Trades.
More then likely you'll have to have what is called collat. It's short for collateral. But sometimes generous Neopians will lend for free. But watch out. Because greedy scammers will love to jump on the chance to steal the item and then sell it to make millions.
If you have an avatar item to lend, it's best to lend for full collat (what you paid for the item), just to be safe. If you are scammed out of the item, report the user immediately.
Also, another avatar item are pinatas. But not every pinata will give you the avatar. Double check and make sure you are buying the correct item.
Selling Accounts: People also try to scam you out of Neopoints by trying to sell you their account. More then likely their account is worthless but it may have a good username or a nice pet or two. But once again, selling accounts is against the rules. Be sure to report the user.
If you fall for a scam
Whoops! You accidently fell for a scam and now you have no Neopoints, items, or anything. You're probably foaming at the mouth once you find your account in shambles. Your first thought might be to make a board yelling at everyone. This is probably the last thing you should do. It is not their fault. Neither is it TNT's fault. If the blame is on anyone, it's you. Some have to learn the hard way, if something seems suspicious, don't go along with it. Remember, there is no quick and easy way to get Neopoints, items, pets, or anything else. You have to work for your things and build up your account. No one ever flourished from begging. ;)
The Do's and Don'ts of Scams
Do report the user to TNT.
Do post on the board (if the scam is on one) to warn other users that it is a scam.
Don't make a board yelling at people like it's their fault.
Don't go to any web page (other than Neopets' pages) offering FREE Neopoints or items.
Don't harass the scammer to get revenge. It will only get you in trouble.
Don't beg for Neopoints, items, or pets after you have been scammed. You need to rebuild your account yourself.
Q: Can I Neomail you about this page?
A: Absolutely! I love feedback. If you catch a mistake, have a suggestion or complaint, or just want to give me a rating, please drop me a Neomail and I will reply as soon as I can.
Q: You missed a scam!
A: Ah, it happens. I would love if you would Neomail me the scam I missed so I can put it up. :)
Q: Can I make you a button/award/etc.?
A: Sure! It would be much appreciated.
Q: People on the boards have been saying that posting a scammer's username is harassment. Is this true?
A: No. TNT stated in the Editorial that warning other users against a scammer (and posting his or hers username) was not harassment. In fact, it will help the people you are warning more. If you make a board warning against a scammer, try and include as much information you can. Make it clear what happened and if possible, take a screenie of the Neomail, post, etc. to show.
However, do not make new topics asking others to report the user who scammed you (or tried to). This is harassment and TNT frowns upon it.
A: If they're open, just send me a Neomail. :)
Q: How come you removed screenies of Neomails?
A: Some were broken and it just didn't fit the page much anymore.