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 list of miscellaneous scams
Impersonation scams are scams in which the scammers act as ArenaNet staff. NOTE: ArenaNet staff will never ask you for your username/password or demand free items. So if you do get asked for one of these and they claim to be a staff member, just ignore them. You should also report anyone impersonating ArenaNet staff to ArenaNet. Also note that on the rare occasion that ArenaNet staff are in game, their chat text appears in a special color in the conversation window, usually green or purple.
ArenaNet will never ask for your username and password - not through e-mail, not through a whisper, never. Therefore, do not respond to any requests for your password or username and try to report them if possible.
This is targeted at EverQuest players, who needed to have GMs approve their guild creation in a chat room. In this game, all guild management is taken care of in-game, so the scam has no basis in fact. Essentially, a scammer will say that, to get a Celestial Sigil, you must pay a GM gold, and he will transfer the status onto you, allowing you to buy a Guild Hall. This is untrue: Sigils can only be purchased from other players or the Sigil Trader, or earned in the Hall of Heroes.
Duplicate Item Scams
Some people claim to be able to duplicate items. One method is a monk using the Unyielding Aura Elite Skill which resurrects a dead ally as long as they maintain the enchantment. They will ask you to go out side into a combat area with them and get yourself killed. They will then resurrect you with Unyielding Aura and proceed to walk a fair distance away to make you feel that when you drop your item to be duplicated they won't scam you by picking it up and leaving. Once you drop your item, they stop maintaining Unyielding Aura leaving you to watch as they come and take your dropped item. Another VERY obvious way scammers try to trick you out of your items is by asking you to drop the item in an explorable area and then hit alt and f4 which will close guild wars and leave the item for the scammer.
As an alternative, the scammer may ask you to join a mission, just move away from you (possibly after some mumbo-jumbo), and ask that you drop a precious item. It is not safe to do so, as in some missions, like (Elona Reach or Thirsty River), a Ghostly Hero is located near the spawning point; talking to it will initiate a cut-scene, thus teleporting both players to its location. The scammer is then free to race you back to the item.
While it's not really a scam, it is definitely something to watch out for. Lately, some players have been advertising about hacks on a certain site (URL not given here), claiming them to be fully malware-free and 100% working. Using a virus scanner, you find them to contain a trojan, which could allow an outsider to take control over your computer, or log your keypresses to find out your passwords. Not only to Guild Wars, but also to anything else you sign on. If you see someone advertising about hacks, Do not download anything from their specified page, but contact ArenaNet support and report the person in question, stating when it occurred and who it was.
If you find a helpful tool you would like to use, always scan it with a virus scanner or online scanner before executing. If you fail to do this, you jeopardize not only your account, but also your privacy. Even if your virus scanner gives a clean report, you should remain suspicious and try to take steps to mitigate damage, such as running the tool as a different user or on a different computer or operating system, if possible.
Currently, there are many hacks, bots and such available through various channels, NONE of which are known to be "safe", and many are not even detected by updated virus scanners. Further, none of these are permitted in the game (read your user agreements carefully) and you risk your account both by allowing access to your items to the hack/bot designer, and by breaking the rules set forth in the user agreement, possibly getting banned.
While not scams, hoaxes are designed to either make you waste time or make you believe things that aren't true. Examples of several of the most successful hoaxes include The Terror Shield and The Winter Dwarf.
Free Money if you can find me
Some people can be found advertising for free gold and items in various outposts on the condition that you can initiate a trade with them or you whisper them. If you are asked to whisper the person, he might have his status set to offline or do not disturb, or he might just answer you with a "Lol, did you really think you can get free stuff?". If you are asked to find the person and trade with them, there are several possible ways to avoid being found/traded in various outposts in the game. The most popular places are in the large cities; Ascalon City, Lion's Arch and Kaineng Center especially. In each city there is a place which you can only reach by a certain trick or by advancing in the game itself, which makes it highly unlikely that anyone will reach the person. In addition, due to lag, it is sometimes possible to end up being in a town location on the far side of a zone gate without getting zoned; any players who try to reach that person will then zone themselves out. If someone does reach the person, he will quickly change district and claim that he didn't notice that you reached him. Occasionally people will give you something of extremely low value, and rarer still are people who actually give something of moderate value. This is not a true scam, in that you lose no money, but it will rarely be worth the time you waste in getting to the person.
Gold scams / begging
Many players will post messages such as "Would someone please lend me XXX amount of gold, for my (armor, storage account, new weapon, etc.)?" Sometimes these posters are legitimate people in need of money, but the majority of them are simple scammers looking to get extra money easily. It is difficult to ascertain if someone is really looking for some small change or just plain begging for money. There are quite a few people who would start asking for a small amount of money, such as a 112 gold. These amounts are usually never rounded off, to make it look less suspicious. They may also be standing by a Merchant/Trader to make it seem as if they need the money to buy something. Once someone has donated the gold, they'll keep quiet for a while, perhaps moving on to another district, and then repeat the process of begging for money.
Some players with newer characters on older accounts will ask for 50 gold to gain the new character access to their storage account. While still suspicious, usually being charitible in this case will result in the player paying you back immediately, although there is no way to guarantee this in game.
As a rule of thumb, when it comes to being charitable, only donate what you'd give away unconditionally, without your decision being dependent on the beggar's supposed reason he/she need the money for.
The "I know a secret place" scam
The scammer will announce that he knows an excellent place where there is lots of gold/platinum or where there is excellent loot. Victims who pay him will find out that his secret is for them to do the same to others.
There is a variant of this scam in which the scammer offers to tell the victim of a secret way to make money in a certain amount of time (E.g. "Pay me 500 gold and I'll tell you how to make 50k in an hour"). The secret is, of course, telling other people the secret. This is simply an in-game version of the real-life "pyramid scheme"
Captured Son Quest Item Scam
People may try to sell you the quest item from The Captured Son quest, and it will be the wrong item. People will try to sell you "Letter to Mom" (a tan-colored envelope that is a quest item from the mainland). This is the wrong item, the item that you will need to buy will be "Letter for Jatoro's Mother" (a silver-colored envelope that is a quest item from Shing Jea Island).
Guild / Guild Hall Scams
Some people try to "sell" their Guilds and Guild Halls. They may be legitimate sellers, but if it can't be put in the trade window, there's no guarantee of receiving it. Also, either player here can get scammed. For example, the buyer of the guild can say that they can pay after they have the guild, then the seller invites the buyer to the guild and designates them as the leader then the "buyer" can log off or go away or leave and ignore the seller. Also, the "seller" can ask for the money before the buyer has the guild, get the money, then log off. or once again leave and add the buyer to their ignore list. Do not forget that if it is really a good guild there is most likely no reason for them selling it.
Another popular Guild scam is the joining of a guild. The scammer will travel (usually to Ascalon city after post-searing), and demand 100 gold to join their guild. The victim pays 100 gold, eager to join a guild. Shortly later, the cape appears on their backs. Of course, shortly after, it disappears. What has happened? The guild's leader has kicked you out... A guild that truly wants you, will pay the standard 100 gold fee to invite you. Do you really want to be part of a guild that makes you pay for help? Do you really want to be part of a guild that can't afford 100 gold to invite you?
Guild leaders (sometimes with the contributions of other members) have generally spent upwards of 500 platinum to purchase and equip their hall. Be aware that the guild's leader has the final word on who is in the guild. A hundred coins to invite you is truly not much to someone who's spent such a considerable amount of time and effort. Most importantly, guild activity should determine what guild you join. There are thousands of guilds. Some are very active in player versus player, some battle in hall of heroes, some seek with Luxon/Kurzick, some are content to play through missions, quests or simply farm. Pick a guild that suits your style of play. If you don't do much PvP, you will likely not be welcome in a ranked guild. If you don't like farming, you will not likely be welcome in a guild that strives for faction with Kurzick/Luxon for their alliance. Guilds have a limit of 100 total members, so members who do not contribute to the guild's goals, may get replaced eventually.
Most runners aren't trying to scam you, instead only offering their services for a rate that is considered normal for what they're doing. Something to be aware of, though, is that some runners will request partial or full payment before they'll do anything that they're advertising they will do. Use runners of this type at your own risk, as they can easily map out, log out, ignore list you, sit still and do nothing (perhaps laughing at those whom they've scammed,) or do any combination of these things.