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Monday, August 12, 2013

DEXLER CLUB CLOSES ON SECOND LIFE Nomads Aries Reporting…




July 25th, 2013 was a very sad day for some Second Life residents. It was the day the Dexler Club closed its doors. In SL, clubs come and go frequently and many venues fall by the wayside. A club's closing is not uncommon.

 Dexler was a well established and long running club. If you have been in SL for some time, no doubt you have heard of the Dexler Club.

The Dexler club was owned by Karina Dexler and began in 2009. It wasn't long after that, Dexler took its place as one of the strongest, most professional clubs in the virtual world of SL. The club had a regular spot in the Destinations Guide; their traffic was “real traffic”, never padded by bots. Their music was varied; their djs and hosts were international and always professional. The staff treated everyone and each other with respect, politeness and kindness. Dexler ran like a well oiled machine 24 hours a day, 7 days a week until July 25th 2013.


Why then did a club with so much going for it close its doors? 
It wasn't the usual pitfalls that brought down Dexler. It was crime that closed Dexler's doors. The Dexler club was a victim of internet fraud. The fraud was not generated at the club but on the Dexler estates that supported the club. 

I was in Second Life the day Dexler fell and had no idea what was happening.  My SL husband, Greggor Zane was a dj at Dexler and he was entertaining at the time the club closed, although he too was unaware of what had just happened. I logged on to catch his set, Gregg tried teleporting me into Dexler and for some reason it didn't work. I then tried my LM for Dexler and that wasn't working either. There were people in the club listening to Gregg play and all of sudden they were gone.

At first, Gregg thought it was a SIM crash except Gregg and his host Bebe was still in the club. Bebe was furiously trying to teleport people into the club and they were Iming her, telling her they couldn't get in. Puzzling. Everyone assumed it was a problem with the SIM. 

A little while later, Rakix, one of the upper level managers of Dexler, came on and told Gregg to stop playing. Gregg stopped and came home. Everyone thought it was just a problem with the SIM and it will be fixed and then it would be back to business as usual for Dexler. All that day Dexler was down.

Then came the statement from Karina Dexler on the club's web page. Karina wrote the following;

Dexler is no longer operational on Second Life since July 25th, 2013. Fraudulent transactions from residents is the main reason why I have stopped all activities. There is no protection for us against fraudulent people on Second Life, therefore we end up absorbing too much for nothing. When people pay their SIM with fraudulent money, we only know about it sometimes 1 month later when Linden Lab takes the money from our account. There is no way for us to know if residents use legal or fraudulent L$ to pay rents and we keep losing money again and again".

This news was stunningly shocking to everyone who knew of Dexler. Dexler was one class act from the time it began to the time it closed its doors. When the news spread from club to club, it was met by stunned silence. People were asking why? Why did this happen? Everyone was saddened and shocked. It did not matter what club you worked at, everyone felt it. It was devastating that such a long standing, well run and truly established club could meet such an end. It was horrific that such good, hard working, caring people could have this happen to them. Unthinkable. 

On July 27th, 2013 Rakix sent out notices to the members of the Dexler staff and group. Many did not understand why they couldn't get into the club to dj or host or listen. This is the notice Rakix sent out;


Dear Dexler members and friends
Unfortunately due to unexpected circumstances the time has come to inform you that DEXLER CLUB will finally close its doors
We are sorry for the inconvenience caused to all the upcoming djing sets
We want to thank each and every one of you new and old members -some of you were still in our team since 2009 - for all the support and understanding! We have shared some really nice and fun moments with awesome dj's and mixes in Dexler Club.
We do hope you ll keep them as Dexler memories:
I'm not going to refer individually to our staff/family members but only I want to say a Big Thank U family for all the effort and hard work
Closing I would like to finish with the favorite motto of one of our family's Dj without mentioning his name : we are all brothers and sisters, we are all here together for the good times and bad times but most of all we are here for music and fun !
""An Australian deejay"
On behalf of Dexler Team n Management >> Rakix <<
P. S. For further information please visit Dexler's official page: http://www.dexlerestate.com/#!/page_ABOUT US

Is Karina Dexler correct in saying that there is nothing one can do to protect one's business from Internet Fraud? Is there no protection for SIM owners and businesses on SL?
Unfortunately, the answer is yes. There is very little protection for businesses on Second Life although there are some things you can do to minimize risk. I searched for information in the Terms of Service, I found blogs written by business people on SL and I spoke to business owners and builders in world.

 The stories of the losses some of these people have incurred is truly frightening. Some people have lost hundreds of thousands of U.S. Dollars and their assets as well because they have been victims of crime. Karina Dexler has taken a very large monetary loss in real terms.

People are investing in SL, building, designing and creating and there is little protection for them. Crime is here on SL. Internet Fraud has hit SL. Designers and builders do have some protection under the DMCA ( Digital Millennium Copyright Act) but the group left largely unprotected are landlords or SIM owners like Karina Dexler.

What used to be a relatively easy way to make real money on SL has now become a very high risk venture. SIM owners are solely responsible for what happens on a SIM and for what their tenants do on a SIM. Knowing this, there are still some things you can do to protect your business and yourself.

The best protection you can have against any crime is knowledge. If you are thinking of starting a business on Sl, please do any or all of the following;
Read the Terms of Service – It is important to understand your rights and responsibilities.

Take one Saturday, get a cup of coffee, get comfortable and take yourself to the Justitia SIM and sit in on one of the free lectures given by the lawyers. Ask your questions; become informed on what you can do to protect yourself and your business. Learn what steps to take should you become a victim of this type of crime. Think of your business plan. Most people just hope their business is successful but you should also be aware of what you stand to lose should you become a victim of a crime. It may be years before you run into a scam or it may be just months away. You need to be informed about what types of crime are aimed at your particular business because one day you may have to face them.

Other things you can do to minimize risk are;
Do not click on any object that is offered to you from people you don't know. One business owner did, when she rezzed the object and it took 10K from her every 30 seconds.

If you are renting out SIMs or land on SIMS, you may have to resort to the real life approach of being a landlord by ; not renting to a residence who is not age verified, have no payment history or information , are less than 30 days of age or who, do not have references from previous landlords. You may also want to ask for a deposit and then check to see if the payment went through legally and properly. Try to know as much as you can about whom you are renting to.

Before you buy anything, click on the item and edit it. Make sure the money you are about to spend goes to the person you intend it to.
If you are a vendor, it may be the best investment you make to get some sort of anti-copybot device. Thomas Conover is known for making some of the best and most up to date land security gadgets for stores and clubs. You can reach Thomas by IM.

Do not store thousands of lindens on your avi. Limit the amount of lindens your avi will carry for you, put the rest on Alts, and keep them looking as simple and newbie as possible. If your main avatar is downed through crime at least your profits are relatively safe and the loss is contained. Do not tell anyone about your alt avatars.

Know how to deal with griefers. Griefers range in the degree of their offences from mild to extremely dangerous. Some people grief for something to do out of boredom and some people are crooks, who come on SL to down businesses and cause havoc.

Always report incidents of scams and griefer attacks to Linden Labs, every viewer are equipped with a report abuse function. If you run a club, make sure all staff knows how to deal with a griefer. Griefers can meet other griefers on SL or they meet up with people involved in criminal activity.

Since you don't know who you are dealing with, report all griefing. There is one group I know of, called the Happy Hipsters. They have a wealth of information regarding how to deal with all types of griefers and even some criminals. If you have questions ask them in IM in the group chat, they can provide you with sound advice and links for further information.

The residents of Second Life will miss Dexler for a long time to come. I wonder if the people who perpetrated this fraud on Dexler even realize the magnitude of their crime and the effect it has had on so many people. Probably not. They didn't even consider all of the people who lost their homes, their jobs on SL and some of their assets.

 They are probably off somewhere getting ready to defraud another business and make off with the profits. Make sure it isn't your business. Who knows how many businesses have been lost on SL due to crime?

The Dexler Family can be proud of what they accomplished here. Dexler was the model club and it was not their fault they fell victim to crime. The Dexler family is supporting each other through this crisis. The djs and hosts have been quickly snapped up by other clubs. Should you encounter a former Dexler club staff member, please treat them with the respect and kindness they afforded us when we were guests at Dexler. Some are still reeling from the shock of this crime. No one will miss Dexler more than it’s' creator, Karina Dexler. It must have been an agonizing decision to close the club. I do hope Karina can take some solace in the fact that she built and ran one the best clubs ever seen in Second Life.

I hope people will learn to protect what they can for themselves. If you are a business owner on SL, please be aware of what you need to do to protect it. Take the time to find out what your rights are, how to protect your assets and learn about the kinds of scams and crime that is out to get your money and down your business.
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