Blizzard Entertainment has published an article addressing players of its MMO, World of Warcraft, explaining the pitfalls of buying in-game currency from third-party sites and companies, and of using power-levelling services.The article informs players that the vast majority of gold that is up for sale comes from compromised accounts, and that by purchasing it, players support the companies who set out to fraudulently obtain account details. WoW accounts are constantly under threat from keyloggers and trojan viruses, designed specifically to gather account information.But some players just hand over their account details without thinking of the repercussions later on. Power-levelling is when a player hands over their account to a company that will level a character on their behalf, for a fee. However, some time later, that company may choose to log back on to your character and clean it out of all its possessions to sell on, or maybe they’ll use your personal details for identity or credit card theft.Every WoW player probably knows of at least one person who has had their account ‘hacked’ at some point, and knows the hassle it creates. Just last weekend, this happened to a good friend of mine. He’s very computer savvy, has never bought gold or used power-levelling, and has a top-notch anti-virus program installed, but he was stunned to open his email on Saturday morning to discover that, in the space of 30 minutes, his password had been reset, changed, and his account banned for 24 hours for suspicious behaviour. When he got to log on, his account was totally stripped, even his bags had been sold. Not only that, but he had access to a couple of guild banks. Only two items had been taken from his main character’s GB, but the other one, an alt guild he was in, MY alt guild, had lost the contents of all four tabs. We’re talking thousands of gold worth of gear here. This had all taken place in 30 minutes, which is incredible, and just goes to show that the people who carry out account theft are well-versed in the process of clearing accounts of anything with a value.Thankfully, we both got every single item back within 24 hours. It seems Blizzard is also well-versed in the process. They have to be, with the rate at which this goes on, because the fact remains that, despite Blizzard’s best efforts, WoW still suffers from a constant barrage of advertisements by gold selling and power-levelling companies, and clearly players are taking notice of them.Hopefully, Blizzard’s article will help to change the minds of anyone thinking of buying gold or paying for someone else to power-level their characters.

Paul Younger
Founder and Editor of PC Invasion. Founder of the world's first gaming cafe and Veteran PC gamer of over 22 years.

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