The line between reality and the virtual world took another whack in the face today, with news that a player of popular MMO Eve Online has stolen in-game currency equal to $45,000. The scam was pulled off by a user called ‘Bad Bobby’ who defines himself as a pirate in the game, which you’d think would tip people off.
The “in-game” bit in the title is important, because as far as I know there is no way to convert ‘ISK’ – the currency of Eve Online – into actual dollars. However, ISK can be turned into something called ‘PLEX’, an in-game item that can be used to extend an Eve Online subscription. This means that Bad Bobby can now, according to Massively, buy 214 years’ worth of Eve Online subscriptions … yay?
Bad Bobby got away with over 850 billion ISK, and all thanks to an impressively long-term plan. His white collar crime began several years ago, when he set up a huge investment company called Titans4U. For years, fellow Eve Online players invested in his company, and Bobby always returned the profits they were owed, building up his reputation as he went.
To stop him running away with the fake company’s fake assets (still with me?), a board of five trustees were appointed, to ensure Bobby didn’t hold over 50 percent of the fake company’s fake shares. In recent weeks, however, he encouraged the board to give him more shares, then kicked them out and ran with the fake dough.
A smug Bad Bobby then turned up on the Eve Online message board to openly brag about the people he’d robbed. He might be a git, but you have to admire his cajones.