Someone managed to scam me the other day. Normally, I'm very good at detecting this sort of thing, but this scam relied on patience on the scammer's part, combined with haste and unfamiliarity with EVE's user interface on my part. The scam was subtle enough that it even took me a couple of days to realize that I'd been scammed, so I thought I'd share to keep other from falling into this same trap. ;-)
I hadn't had a need or an opportunity to deal with the new contract system since it was updated some months ago, until a few days ago when I decided to build out a faction-fitted Tengu. I have a couple of these, but decided I wanted a third -- one of my mains gained the ability to fly them during my break from EVE. And this fit would need specialized rigs. So I got into the contract system and started buying the pieces that I wanted, most of which were reasonably rare: there was only a page or two of choices for them.
But then I got to the inevitable Caldari Navy Ballistic Control Systems, pulled that up, and found that there were more than a thousand contracts available. Yow. So, I used the column header to sort them by price (the blue circle on the graphic), and the low price came up as 120 million. This struck me as higher than I remembered paying for my last set. But that was almost a year ago; maybe the price had gone up? I tried a few more pages, and found the prices were all in that range. Five or six pages in, I found a set for 118 million before they went back up to 119 on pages seven and eight. It struck me as strange that the price would be lower on page four than it was on page one -- hadn't I hit the column to sort by price? But I was in a hurry, so I bought them and went on with my life.
I didn't even notice the part of the user interface circled in red. ;-)
Came back this morning to investigate why the contract system was behaving oddly for me and eventually figured out that by default, the contract page sorts by "Date Created (oldest first)". But if you look under that little twistie, you'll find another option is "Price (lowest first)". The real lowest price for CN BCSs today is around 90 million.
And that column sort? That only sorts the single page of visible entries, heh, not all of the pages.
So someone got between 90 and 100 million ISK out of me, and it took me a couple of days to realize it. Bravo to whomever it was! Like I said, I was in a hurry. It means that to take advantage of this little scam, you have to hope people leave their contract page set to the default, and leave a Caldari Navy BCS on contract for the full maximum contract term, and hope someone buys it right before the contract expires. So, this scam requires some patience to execute.
Funny and charming postscript to this story: the BCSs were fit on a Tengu that I have been sitting on in Jita for months. I had picked it up really cheap because someone accidentally listed it on contracts for far less than it was worth. So, guess I got my karmic comeuppance for that. ;-)