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Friday, October 11, 2013

The Story of Miss S.: How She Lost Everything on SL and Won it Back – Stareyes Galaxy Reporting ....


One hears horror stories of people getting the short end of the deal on Second Life™ (SL) many times. You wouldn't think it happens to seasoned SL veterans until you hear of one, especially someone who’s closer to you than just a casual acquaintance. This is the story of “Miss S.” who lost her life savings as well as her firstborn. By prudent record-keeping, she was able to win her assets back, and is now happily reunited with “J,” her baby boy. Here’s how it all happened.

Miss S. says she was looking for a family, a long-time aspiration of hers on SL. She met a gentleman who subsequently changed partners, and became friends with her new “mom”. She in turn had a son whom she introduced to Miss S. They hit off so well that Miss S. and the “son” partnered in August.  Miss S. tells: “We clicked together and he was so sweet person. I heard his voice once or twice, but never heard the mom and the son talking on same moment. We talked on Skype.”

Miss S. and her new partner decided to have a baby and went through the required procedure. She delivered a baby boy, “J.” in late September. By this time, they, like any wife and husband, had set up a joint account (an alt) using Miss. S’s email account. The business they had was a small mall which turned out not to be profitable.

Three days after the baby was born, Miss S. and her husband had an argument. “I was so angry that I sent all my lindens (62 000) to the shared account, said I gone quit SL. The next day, I got a mail from linden lab that the account password is changed, so I retrieved it. Luckily he didn’t change the details in the account, and after I got back the account I found out all the lindens were gone.” Miss S. has been working at clubs in various positions and the Lindens she lost were her life savings. And the baby was gone as well. Technically, the baby is a transferable item in the inventory, and because the husband had it when the argument happened, it stayed with him. What raised the alarm up was that the Lindens were transferred to the original “mom” account, the “mother” of her now divorced husband. “It was a surprise that I lost everything, and they would be the ones to do that.”

Miss S. didn’t wallow in her frustration and grief but took prompt action to retrieve her baby and the Lindens she lost. She had the transaction records and she sent these to Linden Lab filing a ticket on stolen items. (This is different from reporting an avatar.) She got her money and the baby back, in less than 48 hours.

Discussing the case with Miss S, we came to the conclusion that the “Mom’s” account and that of her husband were one and the same person, and that the hijack was planned all along. This is alarming, as it could indicate a player with several alts is conducting this fraudulent scheme as a continuing practice. Miss S. was fortunate in that she controlled the joint account and that she had the records to show LL who was in the right. As to the consequences to the hijackers, Miss S. explains: “The mom account is banned, and she got a phone call from Linden Lab that she is accused of theft, and the investigation is on.”

It is a common misconception that only premium accounts get any service from Linden Lab. Miss S. is not a premium member however, and despite this she did get timely and accurate service from LL. Miss S: “I never lost my faith in LL, ‘cause  I had the strong position. ” What she learned from the experience and what she wants to give as advice to the readers is: “I learnt: never ever do a shared account, no matter what. Don’t trust anyone even if you have an RL address, phone number, etc.” I think we can share her earnestness in this sound advice, as well as my regret that she had to learn this the hard way
Reactions:

4 comments:

  1. Holy crap, you guys take this way too seriously. Her life savings and her baby? No, it was her avatars earnings and a non alive object. Holy crap.

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  2. Hi Anonymous, I think you are missing the point of the story. While the situation was a loss of her linden saving and baby in a nasty relationship dispute, it all comes down to retrieving what was rightfully hers. To some Second Life residents it is a leisure activity and for other it is an extension of their real life with emotions and monetary investments involved. Don't be so quick to judge other's and their reasons for being involved in Second Life. We can only make decisions for ourselves what we feel is the best reason for being part of this community and getting involved in relationships and or business ventures. I am glad Miss S stood her ground and did not allow this to ruin her Second Life experience. It gives us all good insight about standing up against those that trespass against us and shows us that Linden Labs can and will help those that seek it.

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  3. I always write with the SL frame of reference an avatar point of view, unless explicitly stated otherwise. -Stareyes

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  4. In order to provide a news source that caters to the Second Life community and the activities within this virtual world, I think that is the best way to go about writing for SLE. Thank you Stareyes

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