Monday, August 27, 2012
How to Launder Real-Money Transactions
How can one sell massive amounts of ISK for real-money [RMT], while staying off the radar of the CCP security sleuths?
The question wasn't asked because any of us want to sell ISK (hell, I only make enough ISK to keep me in ships and PLEX), but because Pinky already had an answer.
The idea is that Somer could sell their Blink profits for real money, if they wanted. And it would be easy enough to get the purchasers the ISK they buy without anyone raising an eyebrow. Buy some ISK, tell the seller the character name you want it transferred too. You are then directed to sign up for Blink with that character. That character then receives some large amount of Blink credits into their account. Start playing Blinks. Whenever that character plays a Blink, the system sets that character as the winner. (Not every Blink, but at an interval that won't raise suspicions.) Winnings are subtracted from what is owed to that character. When the balance owing reaches zero, the available blink credits are also removed.
Voila! An RMT transfer that goes unnoticed. By CCP. By the players.
Of course, there are a few holes in this bit of tinfoil-hatting. This would not remain a secret for long. Word would eventually spread that if you wanted to buy ISK for real-money, you're paid out via Somer Blink. The secrecy of this operation also assumes that CCP doesn't actually buy RMT themselves from sellers, that they don't investigate the different ways that sellers try to mask their operations. That's a ludicrous assumption, of course. CCP would eventually come across Somer as a laundering front in their ongoing RMT investigations.
There are ways around having Somer Blink as a focal point of the ISK transfers. The use of mule characters to do the winning, and then having those mules transfer directly to the purchasers. Though this keeps Somer Blink a secret from the purchasers, the ISK trail does lead directly back to Somer. CCP investigations would eventually notice Somer Blink as a common source for ISK among the mules.
A intriguing idea, certainly. And one that would work well, in theory. Unfortunately, in such a small and closed community, it would be hard to keep word from spreading, and even harder to keep the paper trail from leading back to the source.
If Somer were doing this, his site would have been shuttered, and the owning characters banned, a long time ago.