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Old 03-07-2016, 01:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Anyone received this email from LL?

The other day I got an email from Support asking me to tell my relationship with Turbokitty (my assistant) and Justin Alastair (the alt we use when setting up couples animations). I also explained that since Turbokitty handles some discounts, I give her money to pay those.

Today I got this:

"Thank you for your response. Additionally, please clarify your source of Linden Dollar income for 2015 and 2016 in Second Life, particularly in January 2016."

I replied: "Well, I have a four-sim store, started in 2008, as well as hundreds of listings on the Marketplace. That is my sole source of Linden income. I have all sales records from 2008 on. I also have records of the federal income taxes I have paid, prepared by my business CPA. My store is incorporated as LaGalleriaSL."

and sent the sales records from Jan 2016.

What is up with this? I am a little nervous because of recent actions LL has taken against other merchants. I have never received anything like this before, so it doesn't seem routine. Fortunately I have documented every dime I ever received.
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Old 03-07-2016, 01:44 PM   #2 (permalink)
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As long as you are documenting everything on your end, I think it is way too soon to worry.
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Old 03-07-2016, 01:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Might be connected to:

Faster Credit Processing & Upcoming Changes to Fees

The part where they say "the better we know you and your business, the faster..."
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Old 03-07-2016, 02:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Might be connected to:

Faster Credit Processing & Upcoming Changes to Fees

The part where they say "the better we know you and your business, the faster..."
Oh that did not occur to me, thank you! Seems slow going if they are going to do this kind of investigation, tho.
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Old 03-07-2016, 02:16 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Old 03-07-2016, 02:36 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pamela Galli View Post
The other day I got an email from Support asking me to tell my relationship with Turbokitty (my assistant) and Justin Alastair (the alt we use when setting up couples animations). I also explained that since Turbokitty handles some discounts, I give her money to pay those.

Today I got this:

"Thank you for your response. Additionally, please clarify your source of Linden Dollar income for 2015 and 2016 in Second Life, particularly in January 2016."

I replied: "Well, I have a four-sim store, started in 2008, as well as hundreds of listings on the Marketplace. That is my sole source of Linden income. I have all sales records from 2008 on. I also have records of the federal income taxes I have paid, prepared by my business CPA. My store is incorporated as LaGalleriaSL."

and sent the sales records from Jan 2016.

What is up with this? I am a little nervous because of recent actions LL has taken against other merchants. I have never received anything like this before, so it doesn't seem routine. Fortunately I have documented every dime I ever received.
Hypothesis:

Something involving money laundering or fraud happened in January 2016. As part of the investigation, they're checking all people who cashed out over X amount during that month, especially those who seem to be operating with a team/alts.

I don't think it has anything to do with you personally. You just tipped the situational threshold.
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Old 03-07-2016, 03:22 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by bronxelf View Post
Hypothesis:

Something involving money laundering or fraud happened in January 2016. As part of the investigation, they're checking all people who cashed out over X amount during that month, especially those who seem to be operating with a team/alts.

I don't think it has anything to do with you personally. You just tipped the situational threshold.
Thanks, I know they are (rightly) paranoid about money laundering, thus my response. Hopefully that satisfies them.

Update: I asked Dakota, who is handling another support case, what this was about and she said it was the kind of questions they ask someone to verify their account, if they suspect phishing.

Last edited by Pamela Galli; 03-07-2016 at 10:47 PM.
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Old 03-08-2016, 02:46 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I get these all the time. When they see a fair number of L$ being gifted or otherwise paid to other avatars, they investigate it and want to know the relationship between you and the person getting the money. I mean, if you gift say... L$25,000 to someone.. surely there's a reason right?

Just answer their questions honestly, and you're fine.
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Old 03-08-2016, 03:34 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I mean, if you gift say... L$25,000 to someone.. surely there's a reason right?
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Old 03-08-2016, 05:20 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Why is Ellen posting on Beebo's account?
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Old 03-08-2016, 05:23 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Why is Ellen posting on Beebo's account?
I thought it was Rhonda...
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Old 03-08-2016, 10:50 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Personally, I think some of the questions are stupid. They have the transaction records for the time period in question, they can do the math and see that all your L income came from sales. The only thing I could reasonably see them asking is to clarify the relationships so that it's not money laundering. But asking you about your income? Hurrr Durrr they have all the records!
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Old 03-08-2016, 11:01 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Personally, I think some of the questions are stupid. They have the transaction records for the time period in question, they can do the math and see that all your L income came from sales. The only thing I could reasonably see them asking is to clarify the relationships so that it's not money laundering. But asking you about your income? Hurrr Durrr they have all the records!
You know, I wondered the same thing. I don't think it is just laziness that they did not bother to, say, look at my profile to easily find out how I get money -- it probably never occurred to them to do that first, as would to any actual SL user.
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Old 03-08-2016, 11:11 PM   #14 (permalink)
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It's just so callous. I mean really, they can tell from the transaction whether or not it's an object sale and then look at the percentage. I can see questioning specific high L amount transactions between you and your assistant or co-creators. But not "what's the source of your income?" Just dumb.
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Old 03-08-2016, 11:20 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Personally, I think some of the questions are stupid. They have the transaction records for the time period in question, they can do the math and see that all your L income came from sales. The only thing I could reasonably see them asking is to clarify the relationships so that it's not money laundering. But asking you about your income? Hurrr Durrr they have all the records!


I don't know, a shop would be a pretty effective way to launder money.



Dirty money buys L$.



Dirty crooks all have a pre agreed "Go buy from this particular store".



Store owner receives the L$ in "legit looking transactions"



Store owner transfers it out as clean money.
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Old 03-08-2016, 11:33 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I don't know, a shop would be a pretty effective way to launder money.
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Old 03-08-2016, 11:36 PM   #17 (permalink)
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This is true, but then the questions should be pointed to specific transactions with specific individuals. And the specific individuals here are her assistant and co-creator or contributor.

I mean, the inquiry is "please clarify your source of Linden dollar income." When it's almost all object sales, what the hell else really is she supposed to say? Now, if there was a high number of gift transactions, I could understand that. Asking about her assistant and co-creator/contributor makes sense. My only real objection is asking her some vague bullshit that they could see for themselves. They can see the precise transaction, that it's an object sale, the precise location of the sale, find the asset. What the hell else is there to say?
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Old 03-09-2016, 12:41 AM   #18 (permalink)
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This is true, but then the questions should be pointed to specific transactions with specific individuals. And the specific individuals here are her assistant and co-creator or contributor.

I mean, the inquiry is "please clarify your source of Linden dollar income." When it's almost all object sales, what the hell else really is she supposed to say? Now, if there was a high number of gift transactions, I could understand that. Asking about her assistant and co-creator/contributor makes sense. My only real objection is asking her some vague bullshit that they could see for themselves. They can see the precise transaction, that it's an object sale, the precise location of the sale, find the asset. What the hell else is there to say?
The thing is, my assistant just gets a little money every now and then, and she disburses it to customers applying for certain discounts. Nothing suspicious. And Justin Alastair, an alt who is used only to set up animations, never gets a dime and is only inworld rarely. There isn't anything suspicious. But apparently it was to them because the answer to their first email generated the second questions about where my income comes from.

So I am kind of leaning towards thinking maybe there was some attempt to hack my account -- I will never know because this is just one of many Super Secret things LL considers none of my business.

I think I will reply to their last message asking why the questions. ETA: I just got an auto reply saying case is closed. Oh well.
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Old 03-09-2016, 01:06 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Just curious- did the original e-mail indicate that you had any time period to respond or that there were any consequences if you did not respond?
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Old 03-09-2016, 01:15 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Just curious- did the original e-mail indicate that you had any time period to respond or that there were any consequences if you did not respond?
Nope. Now I wish I had just asked them why they were asking.
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Old 03-09-2016, 01:43 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ramen Jedburgh View Post
I don't know, a shop would be a pretty effective way to launder money.



Dirty money buys L$.



Dirty crooks all have a pre agreed "Go buy from this particular store".



Store owner receives the L$ in "legit looking transactions"



Store owner transfers it out as clean money.
By definition this is what laundering is. Making it clean. Even looking at transaction logs only goes so far. Asking questions is hard to see as callous, bureaucratic maybe..
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Old 03-09-2016, 02:00 AM   #22 (permalink)
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So every store owner is suspect, got it.

My point is that there is a reason to ask questions, so get to it. Identify the specific transactions or people and cut to the chase. How familiar are you with x avatar that purchased 10k worth of stuff in one day? Or y avatar? Because the questions involving quantities or frequency of anything have answers known to them already by rubbing two brain cells together. I just cannot imagine what kind of answer they were expecting or looking for, other than "I have a store and make furniture" if there were few gift transactions. If the gift transactions are suspect then ask about those, not some dumbass question about the nature of her L income.

I think it's callous because questions of this nature would naturally make someone nervous, that they may have done something wrong or dealt with someone bad. Dumbshit questions designed to torque your brain just add stress. Anyone that hacked Pam's account would know what she did and how she gets her L income. Ask something more specific to make sure that it's her. "To verify your account, please tell us ..." something specific that Pam would know from her transaction history or some tax form provided.

Last edited by Cristalle; 03-09-2016 at 02:05 AM.
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Old 03-09-2016, 02:19 AM   #23 (permalink)
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LL doesn't write US financial laws and regulations, or even lobby in favor of them as far as I know. It's a shitty system, I'd be among first to agree with that, but in fairness to LL it's what they're stuck working with along with the rest of us.
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Old 03-09-2016, 02:32 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Yeah, I'm well aware that they don't write the laws. My feeling is that someone perhaps was hacking Pam's account, or they thought someone was, and asked intentionally vague (but stupid) questions that a hacker would know or reasonably guess. If you're trying to verify the account, just say so and ask for something that only Pam would know - something off a tax form, for example, or an old transaction that can't be determined from looking at the current website. Obviously if it's money laundering, they have to be vague to some extent, but my only real objection is the stupidity of the "clarify your income" demand. They can see damned well how she gets her income. What was she supposed to say? "Mi papi from Colombia scored a K and bought a bunch of my stuff" ? hurrr durr.
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Old 03-09-2016, 02:48 AM   #25 (permalink)
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It's possible something fishy happened, but 'tis the tax bullshit season too so accounts get looked at more closely this time of year I think, just for sake of dotting i's and crossing t's. If they were asking q's like this in July or August I'd be far more nervous.
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