As I flew through Rens yesterday on one of my all-too-frequent (lately, at least) high-security space trips, I took a few minutes to check out what the locals were hawking. I opened a fairly innocuous contract titled [Multiple Items] and saw a price tag far exceeding the worth of the few items I recognized.

Then I noticed the item I assumed must justify the exorbitant price tag: 7 Capital Electrolytic Capacitor Units. I hadn’t heard of these, but judging by the price they had to be important. My curiosity demanded I dig a little deeper; I wanted to know what these were and why they cost so much. As luck would have it, there was one buy order and one sell order so I could gauge the normal price of these items.

As I started doing the math in my head, my common sense kicked in. Both orders were placed within the last day — so was the contract. The seven units on contract plus the one unit for sale added up to a perfect 8 which was the required number of units for the purchase order. This was so convenient it had to be legitimate. Wait, I said my common sense kicked in; this was so convenient it had to be a scam.

So let’s do the math: 7 Capital Electrolytic Capacitor Units at 925,000,000.00 (925 million) + 1 Capital Electrolytic Capacitor Unit at 220,000,000.00 (220 million) for a total of 1,145,000,000 (1.145 billion) isk. Then we could turn these around immediately to the buyer for 1,440,000,000 (1.44 billion) netting a profit of 295,000,000 (295 million) isk.

At first glance, that’s a decent profit for no work which only requires a little over a billion in liquid isk. What this boils down to, though, is that the scam artist probably has a fair number of skill points in Margin Trading, allowing him to make a buy order without the full amount of isk in his wallet. This means that any attempt fill the buy order would fail due to lack of funds.

I still don’t know exactly what a Capital Electrolytic Capacitor Unit is, but a cursory inspection of the prices at shows that they are worth at least 10 times less than the sale price of the single unit in Rens (between 6.7 and 26 million at the time of this writing).

Take this as a public service announcement: greed is not good.


~ by paritybit on 2011/06/27.

2 Responses to “Curiosity”

  1. What’s nice about those types of scams is that they sometimes *work* – The other ones I try are usually around contracts with “extra” zeros. Those work much less of the time, but it’s a numbers game.

  2. I believe they are used for t2 capitals… in this case, Jump Freighters, as those are the only t2 “capital” ships.

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