In New Horizons, some items and villagers are hard to come by. There is an element of luck when it comes to finding specific recipes and villagers. For this reason, underground markets have formed, allowing players to trade with each other for certain things. Raymond is a great example of a highly sought after villager that people are willing to pay real-life money to acquire. In this article, we’re going to show you some of Animal Crossing New Horizons scams, and how to protect yourself from them when you trade.
What is an Animal Crossing New Horizons scam?
Let’s use the villager Raymond as an example. This is one of the most popular villagers in New Horizons for reasons unknown. Maybe it’s because you can dress him up in a maid outfit, but that’s beside the point.
In places like Discord, players will offer to sell or trade Raymond for things like Nook Miles tickets. The seller might have no intention of actually selling you Raymond. It’s possible they are planning to steal whatever you are offering, and then quickly leave the game, never to be seen again.
In short, a scam is when malicious players try to trick honest players into trading with them to steal their items. It’s an unfortunate thing that has been happening since the first online multiplayer games with trading were invented.
How do people get scammed?
So, how exactly do people get scammed? There’s many reasons, and we’re going to listen them right now to hopefully prevent it from happening to you.
Not Knowing Any Better
The number one reason many people get scammed is simply by not knowing any better. For many people, Animal Crossing New Horizons is a casual game. Some people may be desperate to get a cool villager like Raymond and find out about the possibility of trading for him. If that person has never traded before, there’s a good chance they could get scammed due to being inexperienced.
Many people, including myself, will get scammed at one point or another in their lifetime. When it happens to you, it’s a lesson you won’t forget. Some people on the internet are always out to scam other unsuspecting people, and that’s a fact. It happens everyday in real-life, and Animal Crossing is no different.
If you’ve never been scammed, and you are aware of the fact it could happen, this might lead to overconfidence. Let’s face it, scammers can get creative in their methods. By thinking there’s no possible way YOU of all people could get scammed, you’re setting yourself up for it. Keep in mind there’s always a possibility it could happen.
Example Animal Crossing New Horizons Scams
There are a few popular methods out there that people will use to try and scam others.
- Real Money Trading (RMT) Scams
- Item Theft
- Fake Payment Scam
- Hemisphere Scam
- Bargaining Scam
- Trust Scam
First, the most common way people scam is by setting up websites or utilizing auction sites like eBay to “sell” Bells, villagers, or other items for real money. This is what’s called a real money trading scam. Luckily, eBay has great buyer protection, but it still can happen. In most online games, purchasing items with real currency is against the terms of service, but people do it anyway.
The safest thing we can tell you is to never attempt to purchase any sort of in-game item, villager, or currency with real money. Just don’t do it, no matter how desperate you are. There is no guarantee you will ever receive your item, and it’s just setting yourself up for disaster.
When people visit your island, there’s nothing stopping them from stealing things like hybrid flowers or fruits. As long as the player visiting your island is not a “best friend”, they will not be able to dig things up. It can still be annoying to have to wait a few days to re-craft something.
To counter this scam, you can make some areas inaccessible to visitors. Do this by fencing off areas with valuable like trees and flowers you don’t want stolen. Make sure you don’t publicly post your Dodo codes for malicious people to find. Share them only with your close friends you trust.
Fake Payment Scam
Here’s another common scam that has been around since the beginning of online trading. You have an item for sale, and you find a buyer that looks promising. Let’s say you want 50 Nook Miles Tickets for the item, and the buyer agrees.
When you go to make the trade, a buyer looking to do a fake payment scam might then drop 5 stacks of 1 Nook Miles Tickets instead of 5 stacks of 10. Now, the player hurried off to grab the item and before you realize it’s already too late. This can be difficult to defend against, and you have to double-check each stack to make sure the payment was accurate.
This can be done if the other player is hosting the session as well, and they will attempt to end the session before you notice what happened.
Some fish are only available during certain months in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. Players that do not Time Travel might want to visit other islands in the opposite Hemispheres. For this reason, some people might advertise their Southern Hemisphere island is open to visit for a fee.
In one instance, a player was charging a hefty entrance fee to their Southern Hemisphere island. A group of players pooled together some money to gain entry, only to find that they weren’t in the Southern Hemisphere at all!
In this scam, the buyer will try and persuade you into believing you accepted a lower price than originally agreed upon. For example, you agree to sell a statue for 50 Nook Miles Tickets, and the buyer comes in and drops 40. You reiterate that it’s 50 NMT, and they insist it was 40 NMT.
They may even go back and edit their message on Discord to try and confuse you. Some sellers might give up and just accept the lower price, which is why this is a thing. As soon as you notice this happen, it’s probably time to kick that person out of your session.
Trust scams involve building some rapport with a buyer or seller before doing the deal. After some trust is established, the other player will wait for you to drop the item, and then pick it up and leave. This commonly happens on high value items like Raymond, for example.
You might be thinking there’s no way you could ever fall for this. If you have a high-value item and tons of offers, there’s a chance you might just drop your guard for a second and get scammed.
How to Not Get Scammed in Animal Crossing New Horizons
Now that you know some common scams and how people do them, it’s time to protect yourself.
Take screenshots of everything, including your messages on Reddit or Discord prior to the transaction. Take note of the player’s name, any other identifiable information, and the transaction taking place including the item and price.
Next, you should record the actual transaction. This is not easy for everyone, but the simplest way to do it is by recording from your phone. Keep your phone recording the screen until the transaction is done. You should always be doing this for high-value ticket items.
Cancel the Scam
There’s one way to prevent scams from happening, and it’s important. Someone may try to end the session before the deal is complete. If this happens, you’ll see a green bar across your screen that says “Looks like someone’s leaving.”
When you see this green bar, you have a short period of time to go to the home screen and close your game. This causes a “communication with the destination locale has been interrupted” message to occur and completely revert everything that happened to the last session.
This is the only real line of defense you have against scammers, so practice going to the home screen and closing your game as fast as you can. Become the quickest ACNH game closer you possibly can if you plan to do a lot of trading.
Trade Trusted People
Finally, the last tip we have is to trade with only trusted people. There are popular markets out there like the ACTrade subreddit. There are also a few ACNH trading discords with thousands of users. Always go to these public places where there is some sort of moderation to prevent scammers from running rampant.
I hope this guide helps you understand some of the various types of scams out there so you don’t get scammed. Trading can be fun and rewarding as long as you take some precautionary measures!