Scams are criminal activities in which Habbos try to deceive and trick others into giving their furni, coins, password, or other account details. Scams are the leading cause of account losses. A person who engages in these activities is called a scammer. According to the Habbo Way, scamming other players is not allowed and is punishable with a ban lasting at least 30 days if caught.
The main objective of scams is to simply get their victim's furni/coins or password by any means, paying little attention to the consequences. These methods are often psychological, using deception, trust and betrayal, telling stories to win their victim's sympathy and persuasion. The motive for scamming players can range from not being able to afford to buy furni or coins or simply not wanting to pay for them altogether to an act of revenge against the victim.
Types of scams
Password scams are scams in which the person attempts to steal the victim's password. This is one of the more common scams since it is easy to perform but is one of the most serious since victims are at risk of losing their account to scammers.
Furni scams are when a Habbo tries to steal another Habbo's furni. Furni scams are a very broad category and there are many scams that fall under Furni scams.
Game scams are one of the main scams under the category. The player hosts a game, most commonly Falling Furni. When a player wins the game, the host will most likely leave or kick the winner instead of giving the prize.
Giveaway scams are when the Habbo is about to receive free furniture from the Habbo who is giving away their furni and is then kicked out. People don't regard this as 'scam', due to the fact that no furniture is given to the owner. The only way a giveaway is a scam is if it's a lucky game giveaway.
Scamming vs. hacking
Scams are often confused with hacks; although they do share similar characteristics. The main difference between the two is that scams are attempts to get another player's furni/coins or account details using verbal and psychological methods and trickery. Hacks are acts to gain unauthorized access to another player's account. These are more serious because they can involve illegal methods such as the use of malicious software and manipulating Habbo's internal codes.
Despite their differences, scams and hacks are largely connected; a scammer can convince a player to give them their password using verbal techniques, and once the scammer has the password, they can further hack the victim by accessing their account and change the account details. It should be noted that with password scams, this can escalate to a hacking, resulting in a total compromise of account security.
For the scammer
Players who scam other players immediately risk getting banned for at least 30 days or more under the Scamming category. If they continue scamming after their ban has expired, they could face a second, much longer ban, even to the point of permanent and/or IP bans.
Since furni and coins are bought with real life money, scammers could also face legal trouble with law enforcement because their actions are technically counted as theft. Their accounts may get banned under the Fraud category if they decide to sell or trade the scammed furni/coins. Throughout Habbo's history, there have been many examples of scammers being caught and arrested by police; one case with stolen furni worth thousands of euros.
During the times when Hobbas and eXperts were still being used, those who had previously scammed would've had their chances of being accepted into either program reduced. Scammers also face criticism and lack of trust among their friends and the rest of the community.
For the victim
Victims of scams not only deal with the emotional toll of having their possessions taken, but also deal with the impact of their account's economical concerns. As mentioned above, furni and coins can be bought with real life money, so being scammed can mean losing large amounts of money.
In an effort to raise awareness of scams and help combat the effects of it, Habbo often tries to educate users through competitions and news articles. There are also many user-made groups designed to list potential scammers to warn other players.
Both Habbo and Habbo Wiki suggests all players to use these tips to prevent being scammed:
- Create a secure password by using numbers, upper and lowercase letters, and puncuation and other symbols. It shouldn't be a common word (e.g. habbo) as many programs exist that use brute-force to guess a person's password.
- Change your password regularly.
- Avoid using the same password for other online accounts.
- Use the Call For Help to report any suspicious activity to moderators.
- Avoid visiting links to websites that offer free coins, furni, or moderator status in exchange for account details.
- Remember this rule when trading furni: If it's too good to be true, it probably is.
- Act right away if you think your account has been taken over.
- Keep your antivirus software updated and regularly run virus scans across your entire computer.
- Habbo Staff do not send emails to players under Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo!, or AOL.