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FBI raids University of Michigan students’ apartment for signs of WoW gold farming

Gold farming may help poorer countries, but in the United States, the FBI looks views the peddling practice as a front for fraud. The agency recently raided the apartment of two University of Michigan undergraduates, seizing laptop computers, hard drives, videogame systems, credit cards, a cell phone, paperwork and other computer equipment, according to government documents.

The two unnamed students were not arrested, and claim to be innocent and to not even play WoW. “They thought we were involved in some kind of fraud," one of the students told AnnArbor.com, "I'm pretty sure they have the wrong people, but they took all my stuff.” The students are currently exploring their legal options via MSU student legal services.



The FBI claims the raid was carried out in order to gather evidence that at least one of the pair was setting up fraudulent bank accounts in order to sell farmed gold. The authorities are also attempting to gather documents from various online sources including gameusd.com (a Chinese gold farming site) eBay, PayPal, and the United Services Automobile Association, which offers banking services.

Apr 15, 2011

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24 comments

  • angelusdlion - April 21, 2011 11:52 p.m.

    @lordlundar>> Um.. I didn't miss that point.
  • lordlundar - April 21, 2011 3:49 p.m.

    Congratulations on all the posters (including the article writer) that missed the point entirely. These people are setting up fraudulent bank accounts in other people's names. This fraud and identity theft which are both federal crimes, so yes the FBI is going to get called to respond to it. Where the money comes from isn't the issue, stop treating it like it is. The article could have completely went away from the gold farming part and still be accurate, just not a sensationalized.
  • oldschoolgamer - April 18, 2011 9:41 p.m.

    yea, people arent getting it.. gold farming is so corrupt its not even funny, Its plauged with credit card fraud, stolen cards, double billing, and all sorts of new tricks to screw people outta money. It costs CC companies and banks BILLIONS a year. Gold farmers are Crooks, period. this isnt some guy knocking over the seven eleven for 100 bucks, this is ripping off 10's of 1000's of people that can add up to 100's of millions. rememeber that next time you think about handing over your CC for some quick credits.. You might end up with your indentity stolen..
  • Sharkbot - April 18, 2011 5:36 p.m.

    It's a crime to do this, so honestly IDGAF what tax money goes to, the FBI is stopping crime that's their job, gold farming is a crime, FBI stops crime, therefor FBI stops gold farming.
  • bassfu - April 18, 2011 2:05 a.m.

    @AlphaAGENT144 You're right, someone's potentially breaking the law but they should be allowed to keep the tools they're using because it might be an inconvenience to them otherwise.
  • angelusdlion - April 17, 2011 4:58 p.m.

    @larinah>> you assume it's small time fraud. Was any amount of money mentioned in the article at all?
  • Larinah - April 16, 2011 4:40 a.m.

    @angelusdlion Ok? There are numerous websites on the internet that are formed with fraudulent bank accounts or scam others. I don't see them going after the King of Obababanohoochie that needs a cash wire to get his inheritance. But yeah, let's back them for going after small-time fraud, when there are much better ways for them to actually do something. So no, I'm not being a troll. Wise up, sir.
  • Whit - April 16, 2011 3:45 a.m.

    What a waste of FBI resources! The FBI should be going after Counterstrike wall hackers...
  • angelusdlion - April 16, 2011 3:24 a.m.

    @Larinah>>> did you miss the part where it said "Fraudulent bank accounts?" Or are you just being a troll?
  • Limbo - April 16, 2011 12:26 a.m.

    Why should the FBI be handling this? They should have far more important things to do, and it's not like gold farming (in my own opinion) is a huge deal anyways. Blizzard should be the ones handling this and tracking down these guys. Ban their WoW accounts, block their IP address from making a new account (if that's even possible for them to do). Also, they kind of NEED those computers considering they're in college and probably had work on them. Also, why did they take their consoles? It's not like they could use those to play WoW or gold farm.
  • Spacegrass - April 15, 2011 9:43 p.m.

    It's nice to see that all other crime has been eliminated, and the FBI has nothing better to spend their time on than stopping people from cheating in online games.
  • Larinah - April 15, 2011 8:49 p.m.

    @PimplesInYourAsstista Not a double standard, Sony violated constitutional rights, they deserved to have punishment, considering our Government won't punish them. I apologize for saying campus, but the fact of the matter is, the FBI broke into a Uni student's house and seized their computers and personal information. They should be going after a few more sizable targets, like for instance Steven Lerner of SEIU planning to CRASH THE ECONOMY! I mean come on, use a little common sense!
  • Haxorz - April 15, 2011 8:12 p.m.

    Trolololol. I bet it was more like FBI breaks into apt room, just leisurely grab stuff and leave. Nothing fancy but few guys in suits thinking wtf are we doing.
  • SecretGingerWizard - April 15, 2011 7:55 p.m.

    @xombiesarelove We're on our way Love, FBI
  • 8bitBaby - April 15, 2011 7:51 p.m.

    @dcbernman, NO you're wrong! Larinah is correct, it IS a waste of tax payer money. there are far bigger things this government needs to be handling. seriously. i know it's not a great thing, gold farming, and yes maybe some parties involved are quite villainous, but c'mon the FBI REALLY needs to get their priorities straight. this is piddling.
  • PimplesInYourAsstista - April 15, 2011 7:43 p.m.

    @Larinah Just like Sony should deal with that hacker douche by itself without Anonymous retards fucking up PSN? I smell a double standard...
  • xombiesarelove - April 15, 2011 7:19 p.m.

    If I got raided by the FBI I'd shit a brick.
  • BurntToShreds - April 15, 2011 7:06 p.m.

    Gold farming is the selling of virtual currency in return for real currency. Bank fraud can scam people out of a lot of money, so I hope that this leads to some serious action against gold farmers and virtual con artists.
  • AlphaAGENT144 - April 15, 2011 7:05 p.m.

    "HEY THERES THESE TWO KIDS WE SUSPECT OF FARMING MONEY ON A GAME, AND THEY DEPEND ON THESE COMPS FOR WORK TO PASS THEIR CLASSES" "what game?" "WORLD OF WHORE CRAFT" "LETS TAKE THEM COMPS, PARTNER" seriously, really? i mean, WoW is retarded imho, but really there was NO need for this
  • TBRays - April 15, 2011 6:49 p.m.

    what the fuck is gold farming?

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