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DISCLAIMER: The information in this article is based on experimental research conducted by the community, and may contain inaccuracies and speculation. While we strive for accuracy in these articles, we make no claims of experimental rigor or unbiased conclusions. Caveat lector.
This article is part of GuildWiki's Common scams information.
Detailed item scam listing
Bait and Switch
Scammers offer a valued item in chat, while substituting a less-valued item in the trade window:
| Offered Item |
| False Substitute |
|Glob of Ectoplasm||Frozen Glob of Ectoplasm||Ecto trades for well above 5 ; the frozen variety is marginally valuable during Wintersday.|
|Bleached Shell||Bleached Carapace|
|Urn of Althea's Ashes|| Barradin Family Urn |
Pile of Glittering Dust
|There are two issues here: (1) You must have completed The Duke's Daughter before you use the ashes; (2) there are two substitutes (the similarly named family urn and the similarly skinned Dust).|
|Celestial Sigil||Family Sigil||Family Sigils are easily obtained quest items.|
|Amulet of the Mists||Shimmering Scale Necklace||The necklace is an easily obtained quest item for If It Weren't for Bad Luck|
|Enslavement Stone||This stone is not necessary to obtain Chains of Enslavement, as claimed by scammers.|
| Wintersday Gift |
Gift of the Traveler
| Special Present |
Gift of the Huntsman
|Similarly named or looking wrapped gifts get substituted for higher value ones.|
|Icy Dragon Sword||Fiery Dragon Sword||The items can be dyed to look identical. The FDS is considered less valuable and both have been superseded by items available from the Gift of the Traveler|
Scammers offer a common item in place of a rarer item with an identical name. Here are some examples of this variety of scam:
|Valuable offer||Cheap imitation||Comments/examples|
|Valued weapon skin||Low-demand weapon skin with same name||The ubiquitous Flame Artifact can be substituted for the Fissure of Woe's rare version with the same name|
|Max perfect item||Quest reward item||Perfect items can be fully modified with prefix/suffix and inscription while many quest rewards cannot. Blue items with perfect mods are typically quest rewards; they are less valuable and usually cannot be salvaged (there are a few exceptions).|
|Crystalline Sword||Long Sword||The crystalline skin is very popular. The Prize Moa Bird offers a sword with the same skin and poor stats.|
Scammers offer items for horribly low or ridiculously high prices. The only true way of avoiding this type of scam is by checking out prices on auction sites, with players in your guild, or by asking for a Price Check in the trade window.
|Grim Cesta with -50 health||Well over 20||Certainly, if you want this item for your 55 build, you might wish to pay a high price to avoid spending time waiting for a trade. However, these items are usually available for 25–50% of this price, as they are fairly easily obtained by running a prophecies character through Cities of Ascalon|
| Monastery Credit |
|50||3 of these quest reward items can be exchanged for Expert Salvage Kits, making them worth 70 if you sell the kit and 140 if you use it.|
| Battle Commendation|
|100||5 of these quest reward items can be exchanged for Superior Salvage Kits, making them worth 200 if you sell the kit and more than 320 if you use it.|
|Trade Contract||200||7 contracts can be exchanged for valuable gems. Many veterans argue that these quest rewards are worth 500 or more.|
Customized items can never be equipped by another player. There are no exceptions or reversals.
|Armor||Armor is always customized. Although it can be salvaged, you are better off buying materials directly.|
|Weapons||You will receive a warning if someone attempts to sell you a customized weapon. Although it can be salvaged, you are better off buying materials directly.|
|Decustomization||There is no such thing in Guild Wars. Avoid trading with people suggesting this is possible.|
|Dedicated minipet||These can be displayed. However, since you cannot dedicate them at your own Hall of Monuments, they are considerably less valuable.|
|Festival Mask||Masks are customized to each account; the Festival hat maker cannot make a copy for another account. If someone tries to trade the item, you will be warned that you cannot use it.|
It's not a scam to sell unidentified items, but there are several things worth knowing before you agree to spend your hard-earned cash:
- The most important reason to buy unidentified items is to pursue the Wisdom title.
- Purchasing an identified does not unlock weapon upgrades.
- Sellers can determine mods on weapons before they sell to you (they will equip the items and look for special effects); you are unlikely to get valuable mods through Un-ID trades.
- The rarity of the item does not correspond to its power: purples aren't always stronger than blue nor always weaker than golds. (Rarer items simply have much better odds of also being desirable.)
- If you are looking for valued runes or insignias, it is almost always cheaper, faster, and more effective to trade for identified items rather than gamble on buying unidentified salvage armor.
Help transfer loot scam
Players sometimes say that they are selling their old account and trying to transfer items and cash to a new one. They offer to sell you the old account, but typically insist on cash transactions. Often, they also give a variety of plausible reasons that they need your account credentials (email, password, etc.)
- If caught participating, you will get banned from the game; account selling is against ArenaNet's EULA.
- All such deals are almost certainly attempting to scam you into giving away the keys to your account so it can be looted at some point.
- Deals that look too-good-to-be-true usually are.
- Never give out your password or email to anyone (in-game or otherwise); ArenaNet staff will never ask and anyone else has no legitimate reason for requesting it.
The "I don't want to be scammed" scam (fear of duplicate items)
In this scam, the con-artist implies that you might be in possession of a so-called duplicate item. They suggest moving to an explorable area where you would drop the item from a great distance so the scammer can see if it glows (as, they suggest, all illegal items will do). Naturally, they have a skill that allows them to Shadow Step to you and grab the item before you can pick it back up.
- Always use the trade window; it offers a number of protections against potential scams.
- There is never any reason to visit an explorable area in order to make a trade.
- It is nearly impossible for anyone to still be in possession of a duplicated item, so the entire premise of the scam is false.
Historical note: As of an update on the 9th of October 2007, minipets are no longer customized. Instead they are dedicated in the Hall of Monuments. An easy way to identify this is that the miniature pet will be marked with "Dedicated at Hall of Monuments;" you may still use it as normal, but cannot dedicate it in another character's HoM. Historical note: Prior to the June 1, 2006 Update, "gold" dropped armors did not indicate the magnitude of the rune (Superior/Major/Minor) they contained. At present, it is nearly 100% likely that unidentified gold salvage armor contains a superior rune.