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GiftBot Discount Scam in Second Life

mesh doll (click here for a raw shot)

I recently tried this new applier from Glam Affair called Mavi, made exclusively for the LeLutka mesh heads. I felt like a perfect mesh doll in it. One of my favorite appliers to date!

Glam Affair does such amazing skins with all sorts of appliers that I decided to login to my male alt, named Manberry, and take him to the Glam Affair sim to check Tableau Vivant. They create a lot of gorgeous skins for men, which I own, so I went to see if they had released an applier for the new SLink Physique male mesh body.

As soon as I landed there, I received an object from a Second Life resident that was only one day old. They offered me some sort of discount object claiming that it would give me 60% off at Glam Affair (the store sim I was on).

GiftBot Discount Scams

I had heard about this sort of thing from other creators on plurk complaining about giftbot avatars sending these kinds of things to their customers as soon as they land on the sims. It’s basically an object and once you wear/attach/rez it, you get this kind of message asking you to give it access to your linden dollars:

What people end up doing is believing they can trust this sort of thing, or perhaps they accept without reading it completely, and then realize that this bot script will steal all of their lindens. This can be quite troublesome for them and also for the content creators that own that sim. Every content creator tries to make sure their customers have a pleasant shopping experience and their sim is a safe place to shop. These kinds of things can make that difficult.

Unfortunately there is not much the content creators can do aside from letting Linden Lab know about the account and banning it from their sim. However, as mentioned in my plurk, it’s futile since these are bots and a new one is created by the culprits within minutes to replace it.

If this sort of thing happens to you, these are the steps that you can take:

  1. Deny/Delete Object: Immediately deny or delete object without attaching, rezzing or wearing from your inventory.
  2. Report: File an Abuse Report against that resident/bot right away to make Linden Lab aware of it so they can take the appropriate action.
  3. Block: Block/Mute that avatar/bot right away.
  4. Inform Sim Owner: It might be a good idea to also let the sim owner know, even though they cannot do much else but ban from the sim.

Most of these bots that you may encounter on popular sims will be named ‘shopsdiscount’ or ‘giftbot’ or something similar. So if you encounter an avatar like that, especially if they are only a few days old, please don’t accept anything from them. However, be aware that the names change frequently, it’s not really the name of the avatar that matters. What matters is the entire idea about this discount/free gift scam that you need to be aware of , watch out for and also tell your friends and family about. We don’t need more people losing money to these scammers.

Hopefully if you ever experience this kind of script asking for permission to access your lindens, you will make sure the source is a legit one and you will read it carefully before accepting because this kind of message and script is used legitimately in certain situations. A few people in my plurk have shared instances in which you may accept giving permission to access your lindens:

  1. If you are a shopper, certain vendors that have shop at home HUDs sometimes require access.
  2. If you are a merchant and setup a certain type of vendor, you may need to give access for various reasons such as: to give refunds to your customers in certain situations.
  3. For a vendor at an event or rental sharing percentage with landlord.
  4. For different charity or partnership vendors.
  5. If you are a DJ, perhaps you may need to give access to a tip jar if you are splitting tips with club or host.

So you see, there are certain situations where this kind of script for giving access to your lindens is legitimate, but please keep in mind, if you do not 100% know what this thing is and where it came from and are not entirely certain it is legit: DO NOT ALLOW! It’s just not worth the risk!

A big thank you to everyone in my plurk that helped me understand all of this and guided me on how I should blog about it. Please make sure to share this post with your family and friends so people are more aware and not easily scammed.

If you have any ideas or comments about this scam or want to share your personal experience, please do so in the comments. Perhaps we can all find a way to be rid of these scammers for good! Thank you!

What I’m wearing in the first image:
*Mesh Body: Maitreya Mesh Body – Lara V3.3 by Onyx LeShelle
*Mesh Head: .LeLutka.Mesh Head-Karin by Jadenart
*Skin Applier: Glam Affair Mavi by Aida Ewing
*Eyes: IKON Triumph Eyes by Ikon Innovia (@ ShinyShabby)
Hair: Magika Itch by Sabina Gully
*Tattoo: Letis Tattoo :: Rasalhague by Leti Hax


Strawberry has been a Second Life Resident since 2007 and a Linden Lab employee since 2019.

31 thoughts on “GiftBot Discount Scam in Second Life

  • Melinda Palianta

    I got hit by this today at Belleza, fortunately I deleted the object then reported the person. There was an avatar using a full body alpha trying to hide in a wall, so I suspect it might have been a spotter for the bot.

  • I was hit by one at Magika the other day when she released her new hair. The thing was giftbot1 or something similar, only 1 day old, and the card – “60% Magika Store Discount” properties said it was ‘created by/last owned by’ the bot that sent it. I did a quick zoom to see where it was coming from but it was a flyby – the bot hit me and three other girls on the sim then TPd away quickly.. Because Sabina had just released a brand new hair the place was packed and warnings went out in local so everyone nearby was hopefully saved in time.. We ARd the hell out of the bot but they multiply like hornbag freakin’ jacked up rabbits.

  • Shimmer Ellis

    The sim owners should hire someone(s)and give them eject power.Heck, I’d do it, that is how sick I am of these things.Also, I would disallow anyone under 30 days old, period.

  • For weeks now, we get these “giftbots” with different numbers at Redgrave and Mimi’s Choice. Sometimes 3 or more in a day. Banning is not an option, they change so fast. The only thing we can do is sending out a message on the sim or start shouting. It’s important that more people know about this, thank you Strawberry.

  • Vulcan Viper

    Thank you so much for sharing this, Strawberry!

  • We have this problem at our store also. I think we have about 30 or more gift bots banned from our store at the current moment. It’s a huge problem. They were using certain groups to join in a attempt of validating their avi for suspecting targets. I would join that group nearly everyday to get the jump on banning them before they could even get to my store. We are thinking about to limiting the age of avatars coming to our store as well. Anything to help customers safe.

  • Venus Petrov

    Wonderful summary of what to do in these nefarious situations. You underscore why people should READ before they CLICK.

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  • Chestnut Rau

    Why does Linden Lab let this kind of thing go on with no response? Isn’t there something they could do? Similar scams have existed since I began my time in SL which goes back to 2007.

    Of course it is important that everyone be smart about this scam. I feel for people who have money stolen and I also feel for the creators who are left to police thieves with little to no help from LL.

    I hope there are better protections in the new world.

  • Bet

    You are at home, knock on door – person says “give me your wallet and ATM pin and you’ll get a 60% discount on the hot new restaurant at the Mall”

    Do you give the wallet and PIN ? People get blinded by greed. A new item is introduced and then they give a huge discount ?

    Linden can’t install common sense.

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  • kathrin

    Having been in SL for a while there are a few things that can be done to combat these things. 1 is changing the sim or parcel one is on to only allow those with payment info on file OR those in the group (make sure the group has like a 50L join fee) only on sim. OR get a marketplace store. Yes it seems a bit harsh but it’s how you can stop the gift bot scammers in their tracks. If they can’t get onto the sim where people are they can’t actually harass the customers that way. Because reporting them to LL and banning them individually doesn’t actually discourage them, as someone said, they create new accounts within minuets to replace the banned ones. You have to stop them all together. If you don’t give them the ability to get to the sim that discourages them and will actually make them stop.

  • I will be on the lookout for this and I have shared this with all my people.. Thank You StrawberrySingh for the awesome blog post!

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  • It’s too complicated for even deleting or banning bots, you create others and so one is never free of it … but reporting and always taking care of incoming objects and reading the messages that appear can avoid major problems.
    Sorry for the English, I’m using a translator.

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  • Mel

    So the @hole of the creator starts banning people with 1 day old. They demand payment info on file. The guy from 2010 that wants a role-play alt can’t get in. The guy who just made an account right now with no idea of nefarious purposes can’t get in. @hole creator just lost some customers. And get taxed as elitist @hole.

    Then they do the same for whoever has info on file. Smart customer makes paypal account, link to SL, end of story.

    What no one is counting is that anyone can go on the many sites and PURCHASE an alt with a last name, old like a grandmother, and give out these sweet gifts anyway, and the stupid customers will fall for it because the avatar is OLD.

    None of these are solutions. Unfortunately, the clear and obvious solution is WAY far fetched simply because no one bothers to read the frucking little Terms of Service. if people actually had their brains in place and were less eager for instant gratification, they’d find out the best way to prevent such crap is to READ before joining ANY social environment (Google is a good friend and a research never killed anyone), and Read The Frucking ToS. It’s not there for decoration and it WILL want people that scams MAY happen, LL is NOT responsible for the crap, and that research a product prior purchase never hurt anyone – and prevented headaches like this one. If people read more and bitch less, the amount of elitist @holes would diminish drastically and with such, the amount of scammers. Until they invent a brand new tactic, that is.

  • Thanks for such informative post, Berry. It’s good to see that we are not alone. I love the way you show your care about others in your posts. Keep up the good job!

  • Thank you everyone for sharing your experiences. I hope getting the word out stops these scammers for good!

  • unfortunately, scammers are the unavoidable ransom of success, they pollute our fun as soonas there is something to win, even for free in a free game… 🙁
    Now, the only way to allow to hunt those @#*! people is to provide Linden Labs with ALL the information that might be useful to track them, that includes the object and the included script; this because it might be possible to hide an avatar behind a proxy server. The destination of the stolen funds is much more important to know and track; The author of the object and its script too.
    Thus I would suggest to keep the object and make it available as much as possible to SL authorities and, if you are able to do it, edit it, and write down the name, surl and key of the objects and script designer(s).



  • Belinda Resident

    I just heard the Linden boss Ebbie Linden used to run a phonesex line before he got boss at Linden Labs. OMG what is the world coming to.

  • World is doing great– libel laws alive and enforceable.

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