How can I prove this website is a scam?

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How can I prove this website is a scam?

Postby jacques01 » Sun Jul 17, 2016 2:12 pm UTC

There's a website that claims to offer users in-game currency for a popular game. The amount would normally cost a user $100.00 real dollars to purchase that in game currency (it's a valid micro transaction).

The site asks users to invite five people. Then they will give the user the in-game currency for their help.

Unfortunately, it's clearly a scam.

The site features a counter that starts at a hardcoded value (=number of coupons left, since it's a limited time offer). The counter decrements every so often, in order to get users to rush to finish the invites.

However, if I keep changing the user-agent of my browser, the counter just starts at the hardcoded default value and decrements in the exact same fashion. Clearly they are lying about it being a limited offer. But it's not even an offer at all, just a scam.

I wanted to see how the counter got decremented. It has an id called "count" (as a DOM element). I searched over all the Javascript and HTML, but I could not find any instance where a value was decremented and then that DOM element updated. So I couldn't exactly prove it 100%.

How can I prove that the element's value is being decremented is just due to obsfucated code, and not actual users?

Posts: 472
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2011 3:13 pm UTC

Re: How can I prove this website is a scam?

Postby Tub » Sun Jul 17, 2016 9:29 pm UTC

If you can reliable cause the counter to go up, isn't that enough proof? And isn't the usual (and easier to prove) sign of a scam that they ask for your game account's password?

Not sure who you want to prove it to, either. Just avoid the page and go on with your life.

But anyway.. have you downloaded all the javascript and searched for "count", and found nothing? Have you activated your browser's network logging (usually somewhere in the developer console activated with F12) and checked if you really got all the downloaded javascript, and if you didn't miss any ajax request?

If you really do have all the javascript, maybe it's obfuscated. Does it contain text that looks like this
Or does it contain long chains of special characters like [[]+[][[]+[]]] or something?
Does it contain calls to the 'eval' function?

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