One of the peacekeepers in another group posted the following notice recently:
If someone offers you a gift card that says the name of the store you’re in and offers 80% off or free items, do not accept it! There is currently a huge scam in which bots are giving out gift cards and when people click to allow to use the gift card, it cleans out their linden balance!
Some of the largest stores in SL have been hit with this and it now seems to be focused on stores with items that are considered high ticket ones.
There are many different schemes that people will use to take your money. It seems like most of them depend on the victim’s greed. Maybe you have an offer to buy the Brooklyn Bridge for a thousand dollars, or a Nigerian prince wants to give you a million dollars but you have to pay him a thousand dollars first. This scheme also depends on your greed to make it work. The griefer will say “Here is a gift card that will allow you to get some very expensive item for free or for very cheap. Just rez the card and do what it says.” And when you rez the gift card, it will show you a dialog box that looks similar to this one:
If you take the time to read the warning, you will realize that you are about to give someone permission to empty your account of all its Linden dollars. If there’s ever a time when “Are you sure you want do to this?” is important, it’s now. But there are some people who don’t take the time to read warnings, so they usually become the victims of various scams.
According to the LSL Portal, Linden Lab takes theft seriously, and those who misuse the payment function can find themselves looking at a permanent ban from Second Life. That may not be of much comfort to you, as you gaze with sadness at your balance of zero L$. Luckily, Linden Lab tracks all money transactions, so they can sometimes recover your stolen funds. Just go to Help > Report Abuse in your viewer, use the category of “Fraud > L $ or USD $,” and fill in the rest of the information as appropriate.
Scammers and griefers will take advantage of you, but only if you allow it. Don’t make it easy for them – just say no!