Fraudulent ESO Keys Banned

A post on the Elder Scrolls Online website from last week explains that they've seen a spike in the use of "fraudulently obtained" digital game keys for The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited, and are deactivating all game accounts created with "such stolen keys" beginning today (thanks HARDOCP). They have a very lengthy list of places to obtain legitimate keys, and say that they are contacting those whose accounts are being closed with instructions on how to go straight, albeit with an additional purchase. They also explain the issue with the keys being revoked:
The companies selling stolen keys make a practice of using stolen credit cards, or misappropriating credit card information from their own customers to buy codes from legitimate retailers. Often these companies have the lowest price available anywhere for the digital item they are selling. Customers who purchase from these vendors are at increased risk for identity theft.

Extreme discounting below the published prices on our website may be a clue that the digital key purchased for the game may have been fraudulently obtained.
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29 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
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29.
 
Re: Fraudulent ESO Keys Banned
May 28, 2015, 02:30
29.
Re: Fraudulent ESO Keys Banned May 28, 2015, 02:30
May 28, 2015, 02:30
 
Beamer wrote on May 27, 2015, 18:56:

These aren't purchased in bulk then resold, they're ones coming from other countries.

They're sold for significantly under market price. The people buying them know something is up. They know it's a risk. If they did not lose the product, what would prevent them from continuing to buy grey market? Nothing, because they know they will always get the same product for 10%-30% the price.

And then, if the demand remains, what prevents other grey market sellers from popping up? They're usually based overseas and nearly impossible to pursue any civil or criminal charges against.

I'm not sure why people keep confusing 'grey' market keys with STOLEN OUTRIGHT THEFT BLACK MARKET keys.

We aer NOT talking about grey market keys

We are talking about keys that were STOLEN. Then resold.
28.
 
Re: Fraudulent ESO Keys Banned
May 28, 2015, 02:23
28.
Re: Fraudulent ESO Keys Banned May 28, 2015, 02:23
May 28, 2015, 02:23
 
InBlack wrote on May 27, 2015, 03:15:
Stolen keys. Got it. Stolen from where?

Bullshit.

Im really supposed to believe that credit card fraud criminals are buying keys from ESO (with stolen credit card info) and reselling them to pimply faced nerds?

Im sure there are millions to be made in that racket...


Sniper Elite 3 keys stolen

FC4 keys revoked

https://twitter.com/devolverdigital/status/466577590606520320

This happens on Steam ALL THE TIME

People come and complain CONSTANTLY about a 'gift' they bought on G2A or other such sites that magically after a week gets revoked. Why do you think G2A sells rediculous 'insurance' for the games they sell? Would you buy a tv from bestbuy if you had to buy 'insurance' in case the box contained rocks instead of a tv?


People trade games bought with stolen credit cards outside the Steam trading sysetm for TF2 CSGO keys or whatever happens to be 'hot'.

GOG had to DISABLE GIFTING of Witcher 3 expresslly because of fraudulent purchases being gifted for other valuable items.

GOG disables gifting of Witcher 3

So yes this is very much a real problem.

This comment was edited on May 28, 2015, 02:34.
27.
 
Re: Fraudulent ESO Keys Banned
May 27, 2015, 18:56
Beamer
 
27.
Re: Fraudulent ESO Keys Banned May 27, 2015, 18:56
May 27, 2015, 18:56
 Beamer
 
Xero wrote on May 27, 2015, 08:40:
Look, I understand the wrong doing as far as THE SELLERS go, but you can't blame the buyers, and worse, you can't take back the product.

I understand your theories of the police would take back a stolen tv that you bought off a van, but this is different.

These keys couldn't have been hacked off the network to be used because that would take the chance of a duplicate being sold if the original was sold legit by the company.

These keys are "purchased" already by the seller in bulk, bundles, whatever it may be and then being resold. The problem is the publisher doesn't like the "resold" part because that is where they take a hit as obviously the consumer will go for the cheapest option.

Now because they aren't happy, they want to remove those licenses or in other words, turn off your game you were happily playing that you did put out money for, just not directly to the company. This can have huge backfire on the company because the customer will have ill feelings generally towards the closest interaction that is causing the issue and that would be the company and not the seller. You think that customer will ever want to buy direct from the company again? Probably he/she thinks hard before next purchase.

The company has to go after the sellers and beef up their resell policies instead if they want to crack down on this issue. Not go after the buyers.

These aren't purchased in bulk then resold, they're ones coming from other countries.

They're sold for significantly under market price. The people buying them know something is up. They know it's a risk. If they did not lose the product, what would prevent them from continuing to buy grey market? Nothing, because they know they will always get the same product for 10%-30% the price.

And then, if the demand remains, what prevents other grey market sellers from popping up? They're usually based overseas and nearly impossible to pursue any civil or criminal charges against.
26.
 
Re: Fraudulent ESO Keys Banned
May 27, 2015, 18:23
26.
Re: Fraudulent ESO Keys Banned May 27, 2015, 18:23
May 27, 2015, 18:23
 
Verno wrote on May 27, 2015, 08:52:
Why is it wrong that the buyers share some blame? Shouldn't the consumer have some responsibility to what they're buying and where they're obtaining it from? I regularly avoid doing business with shady establishments for that reason.

+1 and extra-huge LULZ @ all the stupid cheapskates who got their accounts closed. Well deserved.
Next time buy the game for a reasonable price and support your hobby and the people making these shinies for you. Cheapskate assclowns.
25.
 
Re: Fraudulent ESO Keys Banned
May 27, 2015, 09:45
Quboid
 
25.
Re: Fraudulent ESO Keys Banned May 27, 2015, 09:45
May 27, 2015, 09:45
 Quboid
 
These weren't simply purchased in bulk somewhere cheap and then resold, these were purchased using stolen credit card info. That's completely illegal and nobody should expect to keep such goods.

Also these players are not Bethesda's customers. Bethesda would be screwing their actual customers if they let someone else's customers (a CC thief and some resellers) pay half as much. Many would hold ill-will towards Bethesda and me thinking that that is stupid doesn't change anything but it's worth remembering that Bethesda aren't doing anything to their customers.
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24.
 
Re: Fraudulent ESO Keys Banned
May 27, 2015, 08:52
Verno
 
24.
Re: Fraudulent ESO Keys Banned May 27, 2015, 08:52
May 27, 2015, 08:52
 Verno
 
Why is it wrong that the buyers share some blame? Shouldn't the consumer have some responsibility to what they're buying and where they're obtaining it from? I regularly avoid doing business with shady establishments for that reason.
Playing: Risk of Rain 2, Jedi Fallen Order, Last of Us II
Watching: Tenet, Peninsula, The Pale Door
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23.
 
Re: Fraudulent ESO Keys Banned
May 27, 2015, 08:46
23.
Re: Fraudulent ESO Keys Banned May 27, 2015, 08:46
May 27, 2015, 08:46
 
If it's too good to be true...

Yours truly,

Axis
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22.
 
Re: Fraudulent ESO Keys Banned
May 27, 2015, 08:40
22.
Re: Fraudulent ESO Keys Banned May 27, 2015, 08:40
May 27, 2015, 08:40
 
Look, I understand the wrong doing as far as THE SELLERS go, but you can't blame the buyers, and worse, you can't take back the product.

I understand your theories of the police would take back a stolen tv that you bought off a van, but this is different.

These keys couldn't have been hacked off the network to be used because that would take the chance of a duplicate being sold if the original was sold legit by the company.

These keys are "purchased" already by the seller in bulk, bundles, whatever it may be and then being resold. The problem is the publisher doesn't like the "resold" part because that is where they take a hit as obviously the consumer will go for the cheapest option.

Now because they aren't happy, they want to remove those licenses or in other words, turn off your game you were happily playing that you did put out money for, just not directly to the company. This can have huge backfire on the company because the customer will have ill feelings generally towards the closest interaction that is causing the issue and that would be the company and not the seller. You think that customer will ever want to buy direct from the company again? Probably he/she thinks hard before next purchase.

The company has to go after the sellers and beef up their resell policies instead if they want to crack down on this issue. Not go after the buyers.

This comment was edited on May 27, 2015, 09:20.
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21.
 
Re: Fraudulent ESO Keys Banned
May 27, 2015, 07:20
21.
Re: Fraudulent ESO Keys Banned May 27, 2015, 07:20
May 27, 2015, 07:20
 
They're not stolen CODES, they're simply purchased with stolen cards. And if you think it's not a big business, you're a fool. It's far easier to obtain and sell a digital product before the card owner realizes it than a physical product. They may purchase the keys from a lower-price territory, but that's not necessary since the original purchase price doesn't matter to the buyer, they're making 100% profit no matter what.

The "working man trying to catch a break" line is a terrible excuse. Altho, unlike people selling tvs from the back of a van, you're purchasing from an e-tailer who can make heir site look as pretty as any legit key seller. The site may normally BE a legit key seller, but they bought up a bunch of cheap keys and didn't ask where they came from. And with Steam offering crazy deals on games (altho usually not brand new ones), it could be difficult to tell if the site is legit.

I'm not sure revoking the keys is a good idea, but it DOES lower the chance that you'll buy from that vendor again, which is their end goal. With a game packed with micro transactions, I'm not sure how the dev loses on this one. When the new Mortal Kombat had keys available for $15 the week it came out, THAT should have raised some red flags. Oddly, didn't hear anything about bans for that one.
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20.
 
Re: Fraudulent ESO Keys Banned
May 27, 2015, 05:20
20.
Re: Fraudulent ESO Keys Banned May 27, 2015, 05:20
May 27, 2015, 05:20
 
Cases like this make me weary of our digital only future.

In the case of physical goods the burden of proof would be on the company to prove any merchandise was stolen and require the assistance of the authorities to retrieve.

With digital goods companies have all the power to revoke your purchase at anytime for any reason and aren't required to prove anything prior to doing so. My guess is even if they were taken to court they would argue the EULA gives them the right to do anything they want rather than try to prove anything about fraudulent keys.
19.
 
Re: Fraudulent ESO Keys Banned
May 27, 2015, 03:15
19.
Re: Fraudulent ESO Keys Banned May 27, 2015, 03:15
May 27, 2015, 03:15
 
Stolen keys. Got it. Stolen from where?

Bullshit.

Im really supposed to believe that credit card fraud criminals are buying keys from ESO (with stolen credit card info) and reselling them to pimply faced nerds?

Im sure there are millions to be made in that racket...
I have a nifty blue line!
Avatar 46994
18.
 
Re: Fraudulent ESO Keys Banned
May 27, 2015, 03:03
18.
Re: Fraudulent ESO Keys Banned May 27, 2015, 03:03
May 27, 2015, 03:03
 
Deactivating peoples' accounts is the wrong way to go. It doesn't really matter if the keys were legitimate or not. Players will only see this as Bethesda screwing them over and will remember that the next time Bethesda releases a game.

I think Ubisoft faced a similar situation with Far Cry 4. Initially, they started revoking activations but after community outcry, they decided to leave them be.

Also, doesn't the non-subcription version of ESO still have plenty of microtransactions? If that's the case, they could have still monetized players with illegitimate keys.
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17.
 
Re: Fraudulent ESO Keys Banned
May 27, 2015, 02:27
17.
Re: Fraudulent ESO Keys Banned May 27, 2015, 02:27
May 27, 2015, 02:27
 
InBlack wrote on May 27, 2015, 02:14:
Mordecai Walfish wrote on May 26, 2015, 20:39:
I personally dont think theyre going far enough here. I think they should be calling out the online key resellers that these fraudulent keys originated from.

There is a reason for that. The keys are valid, and the resellers are legit. Someone hit the nail on the head, these are NA or EU customers buying valid keys intended for the Asian or African market at a large discount. I don't see how anyone could get a hold of 'stolen' keys without some serious hacking of the ESO publisher, is that something that they are claiming that happened?

Dude, read the story and the thread? As has been pointed out this whole shebang is about FRAUDULENTLY obtained keys that were THEN sold on via key sites. A fraudulently obtained key is by its very definition not a legit key. They even explicitly say "STOLEN" in the official post.

This has absolutely NOTHING to do with your wild imaginations about regional price wars. Maybe at least read the story before tossing around unjust accusations.

Finally, many of those key portals only serve as middlemen so it is very easy for people who steal a credit card and use it to buy copies of the game in bulk to sell keys to unsuspecting (as far as you can call it "unsuspecting" when an offer is looking too good to be true anyway) third parties.

Here. Full quote minus the very long list of officially endorsed retailers. So you don't even have to click the link which apparently seems to be too hard to do...
We’ve recently seen an increase in the sale of fraudulently obtained digital game keys for The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited.

We want to remind gamers to shop wisely and only purchase online keys from a reputable source. Fraudulently obtained keys obtained via Steam and then re-sold via third-party websites is a violation of both our and Steam’s Terms of Service. We will be deactivating all game accounts created with such stolen keys starting on Tuesday, May 26th. Affected users will receive an email with instructions on how to regain access to their game account via a valid game purchase.

The companies selling stolen keys make a practice of using stolen credit cards, or misappropriating credit card information from their own customers to buy codes from legitimate retailers. Often these companies have the lowest price available anywhere for the digital item they are selling. Customers who purchase from these vendors are at increased risk for identity theft.

Extreme discounting below the published prices on our website may be a clue that the digital key purchased for the game may have been fraudulently obtained.

We want to ensure that you have the best game experience possible. To avoid unknowingly purchasing a stolen game key we suggest that you purchase from our site or one of the official retailers listed below.
16.
 
Re: Fraudulent ESO Keys Banned
May 27, 2015, 02:14
16.
Re: Fraudulent ESO Keys Banned May 27, 2015, 02:14
May 27, 2015, 02:14
 
Mordecai Walfish wrote on May 26, 2015, 20:39:
I personally dont think theyre going far enough here. I think they should be calling out the online key resellers that these fraudulent keys originated from.

There is a reason for that. The keys are valid, and the resellers are legit. Someone hit the nail on the head, these are NA or EU customers buying valid keys intended for the Asian or African market at a large discount. I don't see how anyone could get a hold of 'stolen' keys without some serious hacking of the ESO publisher, is that something that they are claiming happened? Noes, its the evil hackers using stolen credit cards to buy and resell ESO keys....Yeah right. Like these guys haven't got better ways to make a buck...
I have a nifty blue line!
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15.
 
Re: Fraudulent ESO Keys Banned
May 27, 2015, 01:43
15.
Re: Fraudulent ESO Keys Banned May 27, 2015, 01:43
May 27, 2015, 01:43
 
Cutter wrote on May 26, 2015, 23:03:
Leave it you people to defend the corps and screw the workin' man trying to catch a break. It's no wonder this is such a shitty world. Perhaps you feel we'd all be better off as slaves instead of the indentured servants we really are.

I know the bigger picture of what your trying to say here but in this context it doesn't work. However yes Bethesda could have a better way to turn these potential customers into real ones. I don't think banning customers' keys outright is always in their best interest either.

Maybe throwing them onto a low performing/cheap/laggy server is better than banning them, or maybe there's another better way to deal with these situations. From a marketing perspective, these users have expressed interest in the product. They are high probability customers.

Perpetual debt is slavery.
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14.
 
Re: Fraudulent ESO Keys Banned
May 27, 2015, 01:12
14.
Re: Fraudulent ESO Keys Banned May 27, 2015, 01:12
May 27, 2015, 01:12
 
Lol, first time I've ever heard of buying a stereo from Cheech's van in an alleyway described as "trying to catch a break." Oh yeah, I am feeling so oppressed by retail prices!
13.
 
Re: Fraudulent ESO Keys Banned
May 27, 2015, 00:56
13.
Re: Fraudulent ESO Keys Banned May 27, 2015, 00:56
May 27, 2015, 00:56
 
Cutter wrote on May 26, 2015, 23:03:
Leave it you people to defend the corps and screw the workin' man trying to catch a break. It's no wonder this is such a shitty world. Perhaps you feel we'd all be better off as slaves instead of the indentured servants we really are.

How is the 'working man' being screwed here? Feel free to explain how being sold stolen goods is in some way in the best interests of the 'working man'.

Remind me to rob you blind, sell all your stuff on Craigslist, then we'll just laugh when you know the 'working man' bough it 'legit' so you won't get anything back. After all the 'working man' on craigslist bought a 'legit' tv and a 'legit' console and a 'legit' car.

Go ahead I'll wait for your rediculous mental gymnatics on how theft is super aweseome.
12.
 
Re: Fraudulent ESO Keys Banned
May 26, 2015, 23:03
Cutter
 
12.
Re: Fraudulent ESO Keys Banned May 26, 2015, 23:03
May 26, 2015, 23:03
 Cutter
 
Leave it you people to defend the corps and screw the workin' man trying to catch a break. It's no wonder this is such a shitty world. Perhaps you feel we'd all be better off as slaves instead of the indentured servants we really are.


"I didn't know you had it in you. Sorry, poor choice of words." - David
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11.
 
Re: Fraudulent ESO Keys Banned
May 26, 2015, 22:01
11.
Re: Fraudulent ESO Keys Banned May 26, 2015, 22:01
May 26, 2015, 22:01
 
kookaveetsa wrote on May 26, 2015, 20:19:
Satoru wrote on May 26, 2015, 20:02:

you don't scream that Sony ripped you off do you?

It's alright, Sony rips off people on a daily basis, that's a no brainer.

but... but... but... MIRKOSOFFT RIBS OF MOOOAAARRR!!!11
10.
 
Re: Fraudulent ESO Keys Banned
May 26, 2015, 20:45
10.
Re: Fraudulent ESO Keys Banned May 26, 2015, 20:45
May 26, 2015, 20:45
 
Cutter wrote on May 26, 2015, 17:52:
If they activated they're legitimate keys, it doesn't matter how they were purchased. That's a problem with the merchant software and for the CC companies. This sounds more like regional pricing protection bullshit than actual stolen keys. Fine, if that's the kind of party they want to have I'm going to stick my dick in the mashed potatoes.


Yeah so? All they are doing is warning the customer of buying stolen keys that put the customer at risk of identity theft. Your saying fuck the customer let their credit card # get stolen and keep this cycle going? Canceling the codes is the right thing to do. Then the customers can get into contact with the fraud department of their credit card, dispute the charge and also have a new card issued since their old one is at risk.
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