We are aware L$ are traded on a number of third party sites. While some of these sites may be reliable, others deal in fraudulent L$ — L$ that were created not with any resources, value, or labor, but rather bought with a phished account, stolen credit card or PayPal account. You therefore purchase these third party L$ at your own risk: if they are discovered to be fraudulent — in effect phony — we will recoup them from your account. We must do so, in order to avoid tacitly (and financially) encouraging a practice that harms Second Life sellers, phishing victims, and Linden Lab itself.
Should you decide to purchase L$ from one of these sites, please consider the below list of tips:
-Sites without an established record are more likely to be fraudulent than established sites. A common technique of fraudulent L$ operators is to quickly open and close down their operations, and move web site locations frequently.
-If you are dealing with a legitimate L$ seller, delivery of the L$ will usually be instantaneous – Under normal circumstances, you will not be asked to wait.
-Delivery of the L$ will never come in small increments, or from multiple accounts.
-If you are being spammed in-world or anywhere else regarding the purchase of L$, you’re probably being spammed by a fraud seller.
-If the L$ for sale is priced lower than the LindeX is buying (https://secondlife.com/currency/sell.php), you are almost certainly dealing with a fraud seller, as any legitimate seller would likely sell on the LindeX for more. Don’t buy their excuses for their sale of bargain basement L$. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
-Residents who have dealt with fraud L$ and cheat sites have been asked to provide their SL login and password, which has resulted in the theft of their account.
-Residents who have given these criminals their card or PayPal information have had it used by the fraudsters to fund L$ purchases that were then sent to other L$ buyers.
-We’re working closely with our payment processors, auction sites and international law enforcement to bring these criminals to justice.
In the meantime, you can protect yourself with the following precautions:
-Deal only with trusted sites. Fraudulent operations come and go quickly. It’s how they stay ahead of the people whose job it is to take them down. Established exchanges have solid reputations built in part on their in-world longevity and contributions in other areas of Second Life.
-Get advice about where to buy from someone you have known and trusted for a long time. If you’re new and don’t know where to start, you’re strongly encouraged to do as much diligence as possible, or if that’s not an option, just use the LindeX, which is only accessible from the menu bar of the SL viewer or here: https://secondlife.com/currency/buy.php. This is Linden Lab’s only exchange site.
-Never use your SL login or password outside of the SL viewer or secondlife.com – Use of Hacked or ‘cheat’ viewers can easily pass your login credentials to a fraudster. As with 3rd party L$ sites, only deal with known and trusted developers if you choose to use a non-SL viewer.
-Never provide your password or security answer via chat or IM to anyone inworld.
-Never buy L$ for someone claiming to be unable to.
-Never sell L$ on behalf of someone claiming to be unable to.
-If you’ve been the victim of fraud, contact our fraud hotline at 800 860 6990. Then, talk about it. Post your experience to forums, blogs and chat. Tell others about who it was and how it happened.
It is unfortunately impossible to list, in real-time, every website operating a phishing operation or stealing card numbers — many are gone before they are discovered. Basic web and search engine optimization skills are all that are needed to create a site that appears legitimate. We therefore urge you to make every effort to know your seller, and if in doubt, resist doing business with any seller you do not feel comfortable with.