The Age of the Courier Scam

Courier contract scamming is nothing new in New Eden.  For years pilots have been using courier missions to undockable (unless you have standings) stations.  Some make the destination a lowsec system and others (who are smarter, I believe) make the destination a highsec system surrounded by lowsec.  There is also the always popular suicide gank of a smaller ship in hopes of collecting collateral.  As generally happens in New Eden, however, the smart scammers are evolving.

Ever since news broke of Hax Zoidberg’s amazing windfall of 60 billion in minerals from 4 contracts asking 1 billion collateral each it would seem that everyone, including myself, is paying more attention to courier contracts.  Many are jumping on the bandwagon in hopes of striking it rich, and there are those conspiring against us!  Such is Eve.

So I thought I would share with you the new (at least to me) ways that some intrepid pilots are trying to take advantage of those trying to profit from the mistakes of others.  (I, of course, think that all these mind games are wonderful!)

First, are those who are creating very high volume (960,000m3) contracts for relitively low collateral (50 to a couple hundred mil) and a lowish payout (a couple mil).  Often times they say things in the description like “minerals to the corp hanger and CNRs to director hanger” or “Nightmare and Tengu.”  I have not accepted and of these contracts but I am sure they appeal to those who are looking to break the contract.  If the contents match the description failing the contract is made of win.  However, I’m sure that they are worthless and the 960,000m3 volume means that you need a level V Charon pilot to be able to move the cargo anyway.  Examination of the contract history of these pilots shows that many of them are failed..  I’m sure that it is a combination of not wanting to move empty freight containers and cap booster 800s 30 jumps for 2mil 50mil collateral.  There are also those, I’m sure that bought it and can’t actually move it.  Well done Mr. Contract man!

Another new one I’m seeing is similar the the previous, but done in a smaller size, but with an added trick.  I have actually bitten at this one.   This is an unpackaged battleship sized contract for 300 mil collateral and a 4 mil or so reward.  The contract says it is a fleet issue ship and you bite.  After all, you can complete it if it is just cap boosters.  You peek inside and see a Tempest named Tempest Fleet Issue a la trade window scam.  Clever if you ask me.  Of course, all you have to do is show info to see what it really is but those with isk floating in their eyes might miss it.  Tricky.

I love seeing new (to me at least) and creative plays on relieving isk from others too busy or greedy to pay attention.  It warms my heart to see how quickly others react to newsworthy items.

Have you seen others trying to capitalize on courier contracts in new and interesting ways?  Feel free to comment!  Also, I think I will be waiting for things to settle down a bit before I start collateral shopping again.

o/ Gigis

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