Well, my son got scammed tonight and lost at least 15 items so far as I was able to find out as he cried into the phone to me tonight from his Mom's house.
Watch out for this scam where in private rooms the owner offers rare prizes and my son offered a lot of what was probably just junk in order get the chance to win a rare prize. AlphaElf had to give up all his rares alread just to get Bat Magic the other day, and neither of us had a problem with that. Commerce is what it is, and he needed Bat Magic to get his last car.
But the value of what he offered in order to get Bat Magic or what he risked tonight in order to get a rare isn't the point. What matters is that there really are teams of people out there who will con you.
Few people are stupid enough to do a bad trade. But my son has trusted a number of people in private rooms and he has gotten so burned. Tonight was the worst. It's fine to risk an item to get an item in falling chairs, but have you learned yet that some adults (I'm assuming they are adults) keep pushing young kids to risk more and more for the chance to get a rare in falling chairs?
It's not "stealing" because the child needs to click and click and give it all up, and if your child makes that choice, what can Disney do?
That's why I refer to it as a scam instead of stealing. Disney has set things up so that actutal stealing is impossible. But anyone can be scammed anywhere, any time, any place, and when you least expect it.
It can happen to you, it can happen to me, and tonight it happened to my son and I'm pretty upset about it as much as I LOVE VMK and Disney.
When I questioned my son about his unfortunate experience, in retrospect it was apparent that he was up against a team of adults but unfortunately I wasn't there to watch over him at the time. He was so upset when he phoned me tonight that I was unable to learn from him the information necessary to report the scam. If this happens to you, keep asking questions because my son gave inconsistent reports of which room and which host, but he was too upset to remember. The only thing worse than what happened to my son would be to falsely accuse someone.
I'm not about to accuse anyone based upon the fragments that AlphaElf could recall.
But isn't that what the scammers count on?
They got away with it tonight with my son but I hope they rot in hell for this. They didn't just steal items from my son, they stole his trust but that was going to happen anyway and better that it happen here than in real life do now I'm glad they did this to him even though I would so much like to get my hands around their throats right now.
I'm AlpaElph's 53-year-old dad and in real life I would defend him to the death if someone threatened him. So why am I not all that upset that I had to listen to him tell me on the phone from his mom's place about how he got scammed by a team on VMK?
Well, the fact is that it's better that he learn about how bad some people are through this experience than later in life when he could lose actual assests.
It's sad how bad some people are, but I'm glad that AlphaElf had this painful experience tonight thanks to Disney. I hope the other parents will agree but if you don't appreciate my perspective, I will try to appreciate yours. But you guys are some of the smartest, most aware parents I've ever listened to, so I hope you can understand that what happened to my son tonight was actually a good thing.
I've been on computers and later IRC (Internet Relay Chat) since 1982 back in the days when the internet was just text. I'm sure that som of you remember CompuServe.I hated CompuServe and DOS and IBM, so I went with Macintosh until t's not get into that whole controversy. Once upon a time I mainframed from a university terminal with a line editor and believe me, that wasn't pretty. I just want to let you know that I'm not a newcomer like my son, but I'm still shocked by what some adults do to kids on VMK.
VMK is evolving.
I have evolved and so has the internet and I've learned to take the good with the bad and I can totally understand how addicting these online interactions can be. Well, AlphaElf was mousing before he was talking and that's okay with me. We all need to socialize and VMK has been very good to my son. He's finally learning to keyboard and spell and create games. But think about that... a child who can work a computer before he can talk. Amazing, isn't it?
And it isn't only the story of my son's life, it's probably true of most of the kids on VMK right now. If anyone my age can beat an 11-year-old on Dreamcast or PSI or II or X-box, please let me know how you can do it because I don't stand a chance against him.
I know that there are all kinds of predators out there in every kind of online evironment. It's so very sad that the more safe Disney makes this environment for the best and brightest children in the world, the more attractive it becomes for single scammers or teams of scammers to take advantage of our children no matter how many warnings we give them.
I thought I had thaught my son so well that it would never happen to him on VMK, but it happens anyway because a trusting kid can never compete against a conniving, blood-sucking adult. Yes, Virginia, there are blood-suckers on VMK, but it's good that my son can learn about this evil on VMK instead of in real life.
VMK is one of the best things to ever happen to my son. He is learning to problem-solve and keyboard and chat and interact with "girls"... I love VMK. I want him to continue on VMK. I just hope that the lessons he learns on VMK will also teach him a thing or two he should know about real life, and it certainly has been.
My son is 11 years old and very smart and a great athlete and far better online than I am for his age. He has gotten over 24000 in Fireworks, has all the Mickeys II, the airlock escape led to him wearing a diving suit all the time online lately because so few people have that.
My son is at my ex-wife's house tonight and phoned me to complain about how he lost 15 items in a "falling chairs" private room.I felt terrible a while ago to hear the sad story from a dad whose daughter got scammed on VMK. Well, let's face it, NOBODY of any age ever gets scammed unless they agree to participate in the scam.
That dad was outraged and rightly so because we all want to protect our children. But I was the one who signed my son up on VMK and I look over his shoulder and help him all the time, and other than Little League Baseball and Boy Scouts and school, VMK is one of the best things my son has ever invested his time into.
VMK is good even though sometimes you encounter a bad person.
Well, that's life in the big city, isn't it, and the internet is the big city and you are going to encounter scam artists now and then. The sooner you become aware of the existence of such people, the better in my opinion. VMK is the safest environment I've ever seen for children beginning to explore the internet, but they are probably going to get hurt now and then.
Isn't it better that they learn about losing items on VMK than losing money from their bank accounts later?
Tonight my son phoned me in tears to complain about how he was playing a private falling chairs game and just when he was about to win (only him and a girl competing), he traded 15 significant items to keep playing because he just knew he was going to win.
After he traded and expected to win, he got booted from the room.
This happened at his Mom's house tonight. But it's happened several times at my house and I didn't realize that it is a systematic perversion that some VMK people like to do to kids.
I don't play myself but I know that very few MiceChatters are as young as my son is.
What can we do about something like this?