Social Fraud in Second Life (European Citizen)

TankWorld

New member
Oct 24, 2018
11
#1
Hello everyone.

I am being bothered by a topic for a while already after I realized, that a fellow Resident within Second Life has been making misleading statements towards several people about his/her reallife circumstances.

The person I am referring to is, which shouldn't surprise anyone, using multiple avatars, working as an Escort in well known Clubs. This at first might not sound like a big deal, if he/she wasn't lying about his/her reallife circumstances. To one person he/she claims to be from one country, to that person from the other. Then it is stated that he/she lives in a European Country which I don't want to specify, then claims to be a war refugee and migrated to that country, claims that he/she is a student for several years and so on.

What bothers me the most is, that he/she is using the feelings of people to make a pretty decent cut and uses it in RL. Now it has come out, that this person is neither a student nor a refugee and violates the law by not mentioning the income generated in SL to the social service, which is, under any circumstance, mandatory for everyone who receives social care from the state. That means, that tax-payers, like me, actually pay for someone who is not in the need for social care, committing fraud, violating national law.

My question now is, only knowing the potential amounts of money earned and the Avatars that the money is generated with, how could I report potential tax- and social-care fraud, if that Resident is not a citizen of the United States? It is the same, as he/she was working in black, which is a violation in the USA as well as in Europe.

I have tried to send abuse Reports within Second Life, but as long as the resident doesn't actually committ inworld fraud, such as selling empty boxes etc. Linden Lab does not seem interested in following up on the case, even though they should have the entirety of the transaction logs and the process credit history of the account the person uses to cash out with. I don't think this is an easy topic to deal with, as everyone who works as a dancer or an escort most likely has reasons to do so, but tricking people into believing that this person is not helped by the state, on multiple accounts is borderline malicious and sidestepping the law, not mentioning additional income to the agencies that already do their best to ensure that person is saved, is outright criminal, not to mention, that a student or a refugee who should either study or integrate him-/herself into society wouldn't be able to spend 14h a day online, trying to make people believe he/she is in need.

I know that it's a controversial topic, but I hope I can get some good advice on how to deal with such a fraud, because criminal actions like these should, imho, never be tolerated.

Greetings,
Tank
 
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Sep 26, 2018
258
#2
Personally I really highly unlikely that somebody living on social welfare is able to spend enough money for a PC, that's capable of running Second Life smoothly enough to do such stuff.
 

Dakota Tebaldi

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#3
What bothers me the most is, that he/she is using the feelings of people to make a pretty decent cut and uses it in RL. Now it has come out, that this person is neither a student nor a refugee and violates the law by not mentioning the income generated in SL to the social service, which is, under any circumstance, mandatory for everyone who receives social care from the state. That means, that tax-payers, like me, actually pay for someone who is not in the need for social care, committing fraud, violating national law.

My question now is, only knowing the potential amounts of money earned and the Avatars that the money is generated with, how could I report potential tax- and social-care fraud, if that Resident is not a citizen of the United States? It is the same, as he/she was working in black, which is a violation in the USA as well as in Europe.
I'd think it would be highly unusual if the person is actually making enough money in SL to fall afoul of social service fraud law. Although of course, I don't know what those laws are. In the US, people who must subsist on Social Security or disability insurance are allowed to make a small amount of money on their own without losing their benefit, usually less than $1,000 a month I'm pretty sure. In a way it would be cruel not to have this option, since Social Security is typically just barely enough to survive on. But AFIAK, people are still required to report that extra income so that the government knows about it.

Other countries might actually pay people enough that they don't have to scrape for extra money. And they might have different rules. You'll likely have to go to the government social services website of whatever country that person is from to find out their rules, and there will probably be a link on that website telling how to report fraud.

Please don't dox anyone here, but take a moment to consider how truly confident you are of their identity and nationality, if so much of what they've already said has turned out to be lies.
 

Dakota Tebaldi

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#4
Personally I really highly unlikely that somebody living on social welfare is able to spend enough money for a PC, that's capable of running Second Life smoothly enough to do such stuff.
Nah, I know a number of people on disability here in the US, that are still able to get online and use SL. They all had their computers already, before whatever circumstances happened that forced them onto social assistance.
 

TankWorld

New member
Oct 24, 2018
11
#5
I'd think it would be highly unusual if the person is actually making enough money in SL to fall afoul of social service fraud law. Although of course, I don't know what those laws are. In the US, people who must subsist on Social Security or disability insurance are allowed to make a small amount of money on their own without losing their benefit, usually less than $1,000 a month I'm pretty sure. In a way it would be cruel not to have this option, since Social Security is typically just barely enough to survive on. But AFIAK, people are still required to report that extra income so that the government knows about it.

Other countries might actually pay people enough that they don't have to scrape for extra money. And they might have different rules. You'll likely have to go to the government social services website of whatever country that person is from to find out their rules, and there will probably be a link on that website telling how to report fraud.

Please don't dox anyone here, but take a moment to consider how truly confident you are of their identity and nationality, if so much of what they've already said has turned out to be lies.
A rough estimate of the amount which he/she gets paid, what can be seen through multiple sources and screenshots, is at about 5000 L$ daily which is roughly 600 USD a month. Convert that into EUR, then consider how high the threshold for a so called "mini job" or additional income (maximum of 400 EUR) is and you will see, that this person already falls under the regulation. Also, there is a difference between social service fraud and tax fraud. As far as I know, if you stay, in most European Countries, below 1000 USD, resp. 1000 EUR per month, you still have to announce that additional income to the tax agency, but you won't have to pay taxes on it. But considering that even 10 EUR of additional income have to be announced to the tax agency and the social service, I am 100% sure that this person definitely is not doing either of those.

The usual payout threshold for standard residents is 999USD a month, which ensures LL that they do not have to report such transactions to the IRS as they are below the taxable income. I am not sure about the american law regarding additional income for health care and social care citizens but I do know that, in Germany, it is not allowed to make any additional money as long as you get financial aid from the social care or the unemployment care. I do remember the time between 2 jobs, when I personally was unemployed for a little longer and wasn't allowed to lie about a paypal account or skrill or any of these as they wanted to see each and every single cent. If they found a transaction from, let's say paypal, you had to give your paypal bank roll as well and if there was any money on it, they would add it to your total listed amount of money you own and, in case of passing a threshold, they would stop paying you social/unemployment money until that amount was used up, to make sure your basic needs are served.

There are a few of us already, all people that have, in good faith and with a heart, tried to support said person but someone was suspicious and digged around a little, eventually tracking down a total of 4 alts, using different stories but ending up always in pointing towards Germany as country of residence. Even though the german of that person is very poor, all of us can agree that we have to deal with a probably migrated person, trying to tell heartbreaking stories, scamming social service and that is what should be dealt with.

The problem though is, that we, from Germany, basically have no real means to investigate further, as likely the social service itself or any other agency (Customs, Tax Office) would have to contact Linden Lab. Hence why I asked if there is a way to report that, maybe even to an office in the US, so they can investigate a potential violation of given Tax- and Social Security Laws.
 

EmpressOfCommunism

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#6
600 dollars is well under the amount allowable for income on top of disability payments in most western countries. I'd focus less on trying to get disability payments revoked, if they are indeed on disability, and more on the in world lying. That in of itself is not necessarily against LL tos, but perhaps sending notice of the inconsistent stories and sympathy getting to relevant in world venues and employers is in order.
 
Sep 26, 2018
258
#7
The problem though is, that we, from Germany, basically have no real means to investigate further, as likely the social service itself or any other agency (Customs, Tax Office) would have to contact Linden Lab. Hence why I asked if there is a way to report that, maybe even to an office in the US, so they can investigate a potential violation of given Tax- and Social Security Laws.
I am pretty convinced that Linden Lab won't do anything, as long no American law enforcement authority is contacting them. Simple as that.
 

Veritable Quandry

Specializing in derails and train wrecks.
Sep 19, 2018
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#8
Deduct electricity, internet access, equipment depreciation, and home office expenses and any competent accountant can show a monthly loss. Mock them and move on. If you "warn" people about them be well aware of libel laws. Best to just block them and move on.
 

TankWorld

New member
Oct 24, 2018
11
#9
600 dollars is well under the amount allowable for income on top of disability payments in most western countries. I'd focus less on trying to get disability payments revoked, if they are indeed on disability, and more on the in world lying. That in of itself is not necessarily against LL tos, but perhaps sending notice of the inconsistent stories and sympathy getting to relevant in world venues and employers is in order.
600 Dollar is way above the amount of additional income that an unemployed person in germany can earn. Long term unemployed people are allowed to earn up to 450€ extra, which is currently something around 530 USD and even someone on disability is not allowed to pass that amount. Imho, at least looking at the current situation, it even constituates fraud as people are being deceived by a person with multiple (unregistered?) accounts to earn money beyond the allowed amount of what you can earn on top of your social care amount.

Imho, a notice will have less likely an impact, as this person is already moving from club to club, basically luring clients there away to "hidden" places and has been removed from the staff groups of more than a dozen groups.

I was under the impression that such behavior would be a case for the fraud department, but as long as the 999 USD threshold, monthly, isn't passed, I have little hope that Linden Lab will actually take actions, as they are working according to the US American law and that law only. Hence my question if anyone from Europe is around who maybe has experience with such cases and can potentially point out, if there is any chance at all to report an avatar so the agencies in charge take action and contact Linden Lab for information regarding that person to start an investigation for potential social fraud and, if eligible, tax fraud.
 

TankWorld

New member
Oct 24, 2018
11
#10
Deduct electricity, internet access, equipment depreciation, and home office expenses and any competent accountant can show a monthly loss. Mock them and move on. If you "warn" people about them be well aware of libel laws. Best to just block them and move on.
Those costs are already covered by Social Security and can't be deducted. There is a minimum amount of money that every person has to have in order to live a modern life and that includes Internet Access, Electricity, Food etc. I do know about other people in a bad situation that are still honest and don't come up with stories like that Resident but those are not trying to undermine nor do they lie about nationality, education, personal situation and such. I think everyone is entitled to earn something additionally but there is a limit to everything which is well defined by the law. Mocking them won't be helping with stopping the fraud and won't be stopping the person from abusing the good will of people to help those in need. If you calculate the overall income of such a person, you will end up with that person being an average earning citizen, while he/she claims to be a victim of a war or such nonsense and all that while other refugees, that truly need help and shelter, have problems to stay fed.

It's already bad enough to claim to be a victim of terror or war but it's worse to make a profit with such a lie, on the back of others that went through hell. I don't think that such actions should be tolerated by Linden Lab, but they are, so there is only one way to deal with that and that is involving the law, sadly.
 

OrinB

I'm here...
Sep 20, 2018
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#11
By all means report their sl name to your local authorities social security fraud department, but that’s all you can do!
 

Sid

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#12
What bothers me the most is, that he/she is using the feelings of people to make a pretty decent cut and uses it in RL. Now it has come out, that this person is neither a student nor a refugee and violates the law by not mentioning the income generated in SL to the social service, which is, under any circumstance, mandatory for everyone who receives social care from the state. That means, that tax-payers, like me, actually pay for someone who is not in the need for social care, committing fraud, violating national law.
There is no way you can know, what the said person reports and doesn't report to the required authorities.
It is hear say at best. And besides, you can't know for sure where he/she uses the money for.
It only becomes RL money the moment he/she cashes out into RL money. Maybe it is used to support some nice shiney sims, tons of clothing in SL or mesh bodies and accessories. Maybe the person is only story telling about her/his reveneus. You have no real clue.
So sorry to say so, but it is none of your business really.
 
Last edited:

Veritable Quandry

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#13
I suggest you get a refund on your business degree. If a hobby is used to generate income you can deduct expenses necessary to do so. That includes the percentage of utilities and space in a domicile dedicated to that business purpose same as any other home business.
 

Pamela

Well-known member
Oct 7, 2018
250
Austin
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#14
By all means report their sl name to your local authorities social security fraud department, but that’s all you can do!
II would like a video of these concerned citizens marching into the IRS or FBI to report these master pixel criminals. In a virtual world. Making $20 a day.
 

Sid

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#15
I don't think that such actions should be tolerated by Linden Lab, but they are, so there is only one way to deal with that and that is involving the law, sadly.
If Linden Lab had to react to every gossip, hear say, wild guess or insinuation ......... That would not have ended well for the company a long time ago.
 

TankWorld

New member
Oct 24, 2018
11
#16
You are sidestepping the issue that the cashing out takes place in a European Country with strict laws on how much you can or can not earn on top of social support or even health support. I totally agree to the statements when it is about american laws as they are not half as strict as they are here, when it is about additional income, at least to my knowledge. You can only deduct expenses if you run a business. Running a business here costs money and with 600 Bucks a month, you can't cover anything. As soon as you are in social care, every additional income has to be reported to the tax office and the social care. Social care will reduce the money you get from the state as soon as you are hitting their threshold, which is way below 600 dollars monthly. I do not have a business degree but I know the laws here quite well. And calling existing evidence of income gossip is a bit... you know.

I can, at least, voice the concern of potential social fraud and tax fraud if the suspect is acting in a weird manner and using several accounts with shady stories to trick people into giving him/her money, claiming to be a refugee of war, being online 14 hours per day in a country where social security is ensured leaves no other option than this person actually working to make money in black, not reporting it where reporting is due.
 

Beebo Brink

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Sep 20, 2018
182
#17
This is none of your business.

This is none of your business.

This is none of your business.

This is none of your business.
 

Veritable Quandry

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#18
The quality of trolls has not improved much. I am just watching to see if the sockpuppets chime in to whip up the drama. Please at least do try to be amusing.
 

Cristiano

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#19
TankWorld what business of yours is any of this? The person may be a deceptive asshole, but why are you the one who needs to run and snitch on them? What skin do you have in this game?
 
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Soen Eber

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Sep 20, 2018
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#20
At a rough guess maybe half the people making more than lunch money in Second Life are disabled. It's just about the only venue for discrimination free socializing and work they have.

As Beebo said, it's none of your business, and don't make waves for anyone who is making a tough decision between food, rent, and medications.

A**hole