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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.

In games such as Guild Wars, there are people who try to get ahead by dishonest means, cheating and stealing from other players. This article aims to arm you with enough knowledge to avoid the well known scams. Be aware of them!

The main article contains hard and fast ways you should act and things you should know to avoid being scammed. See the separate sub-articles for in-depth explanations and less common scams.

Item Scams[ | ]

Main Article: Item scams (a more detailed listing of the item scams summarized here)

Many scams involve trading or manipulating items in various ways. Here are some simple guidelines for avoiding them:

Customized items[ | ]
  • Customized items can only be used by the character they are customized to or that character's heroes. Customization is permanent, making customized items mostly useless to anyone else.
  • Armor is always customized.
  • The Igneous Summoning Stone and other /bonus items cannot be used by any other character, but also cannot be traded.
Quest items[ | ]
  • Not all quest items can be immediately used to complete a quest — many quests include an unskippable objective that requires you to go to a specific place or meet a specific NPC where you will obtain the quest item anyway, which makes it mostly pointless to buy the quest item beforehand.
  • Is it available elsewhere for less money? Ask other players you trust or in local chat.
Don't be misled by hype[ | ]
  • Sellers will commonly justify a high price for an item by claiming it rarely drops or according to its text color (see item rarity). A large percentage of "gold" and even some "green" items are actually very common and relatively inexpensive to obtain. Independently verify any claims before paying a premium.
Miniatures[ | ]
  • Miniatures come from a variety of sources, the most common being Birthday Present. The same tips for not being oversold apply here — the color of a miniature's name is in no way a clear indicator of its actual rarity. Do some research on the specific miniature you want to purchase before deciding whether a seller's price is fair.
  • Besides Birthday Presents, only 6 minipets can be obtained from packages: 2 green and 1 gold from Gifts of the Traveler and 3 gold miniatures from Royal Gifts.
  • Dedicated miniatures are those that have been displayed on a character's Monument of Devotion. They can be traded to other players and will still function normally, but they cannot be displayed on any other character's monument.
  • Moa Eggs and Hardened Moa Eggs do not automatically produce a minipet. The Black Moa Chick requires a long cross-campaign quest, of which the Moa Egg is but one part; see the main article for more details.
Dye[ | ]
  • When buying dye from other players, always check against the Dye Trader's current prices; never pay more or sell for less than these NPCs offer.
  • In Pre-Searing Ascalon, trading prices vary little from standard amounts. Check with other players or at the Pre-Searing Community before buying or selling.
  • Gray dye is sold at the merchant for 50Gold, and is not subject to the usual trader supply and demand prices.
Reward trophies[ | ]
Use common sense[ | ]
  • Do not buy unidentified items unless you have read the main item scam article.
  • Always independently verify the value of an item before buying it.
  • Beware of the "man-in-the-middle" scam, where you are asked to trade with a third party.
  • Do not give handouts based on any claim of poverty or inability to farm, as there are plenty of ways of earning money quickly (whether through grinding, farming, or simply playing the game).

Trade Scams[ | ]

Main article: Trade scams (a more detailed listing of the trade scams summarized here)

When trading with other players, it pays to be on your guard. Most players are on the level and will not try to cheat you, but there are bad apples out there, and keeping the following in mind will save you much grief:

  • Always hover your mouse over the items you're receiving in a trade an extra time before hitting accept. Make sure you're getting exactly what you expect. Be especially careful to check if the trade has been modified since it was originally offered.
  • Always make sure the trade window actually reflects the person you want to trade with.
  • Do not trust people who suddenly "get bugged" while trading with you.
  • Never agree to a trade that goes through a third party unless you know and trust that person.
  • Use multiple Ecto, Zaishen Keys or Arm Braces to trade values in excess of 100k. Do not engage in trades that would require more than one trading session otherwise, as the seller may take your money from the first trade and run.
  • Never trust a player who asks you to drop your items on the ground for any reason. Some reasons they may give include being unable to open a trade window (trial accounts cannot trade, but they also cannot pick up items dropped by other players) or wanting to take a screenshot of the item dropping in the chat box. After you drop the item, the player will use a shadow step skill (Ebon Escape allows any profession to do this) to teleport instantly to you and pick up your item.
  • "Item duplication" is always a scam. Many accounts have been permanently banned for even discussing how to duplicate items.
  • If trading for a quest item, make sure you look it up on the wiki first to ascertain the exact name of the item you need.
  • Never accept an item that is supposedly in a "bag". All bags must be empty to be traded.
  • Always remember that you may not wear/wield items that are customized for other players and/or other characters (on your account or otherwise). This includes armor and weapons.
  • Trading, selling, or buying accounts (player-to-player) is always illegal and both parties involved will have their accounts banned permanently without warning if ArenaNet finds evidence of it in the logs.
  • When selling or buying something, find out about the market price from reliable sources, e.g. guild mates or reputable web forums. Your trade partner may lie about the market price, or may have an accomplice give false price information (possibly with WTB or WTS) in the trade chat in an attempt to scam you.

Account Scams[ | ]

  • ArenaNet will never, ever ask you for your username or password. Report anyone who does.
  • Don't use the same email address and password when you sign up for forums or teamspeak servers.
  • Trading or selling account keys violates the User Agreement and will result in a ban for both involved parties.
  • Be sure to keep your Access Keys, and to add them to your PlayNC master account, so that you can change your password if your password gets compromised.

Miscellaneous scams[ | ]

Main article: Miscellaneous scams (a more detailed listing of the miscellaneous scams summarized here)

All the scams that fit none of the other categories. To make your life easier, pay attention:

  • Creating a guild does not require a GM (Game Master, an ArenaNet administrator, also referred to as Global Moderators) to help.
  • Don't fall for the temptation to download "hacks" or other 3rd-party tools such as bots. Using them violates the User Agreement and can get your account banned. They can also be trojan horses that install spyware on your computer, stealing your GW password and more.
  • In general, do not waste time trying to "catch" people who purport to give away free goodies to the first person who can find/touch them. This is not so much a scam as a waste of your time, as there are those that will refuse to give you anything, contrary to their own words. They also may use two accounts and already be in trade mode between them, meaning that even if you do catch them, you will never be able to initiate trade.
  • Do not pay anyone to be taken to a "secret place" or "farming spot". GuildWiki documents all of those better and for free.
  • Do not trade in-game wealth for items that are unable to be physically traded in-game. This includes accounts, guilds, access/promotion keys, etc.
  • Never "buy guild members" as the "seller" may give you names he knows will not join, making you waste gold on inviting them and you will have paid for nothing.
  • Do not buy gold, CD Keys, or items from online stores for real cash. There is no guarantee that you will get your product. It also violates the User Agreement and can get your account banned. (Section 7 of the current EULA)
  • Never promote untrusted members to a Guild Officer, it is a possibility they will kick/demote all your members and then leave the guild, leaving you with no members whatsoever.
  • Careful when helping new guild members, it is a possibility they will claim "Free Guild Member" help and then leave when they've got what they want done, for example crafting new armor.