The Consequences of Buying Gold Have you ever...
  • Discovered that your password was changed without your knowledge?
  • Logged in to your favorite character or guild bank to discover your inventory has been wiped out?
  • Received repeated in-game messages that advertise gold for sale?
  • Been the victim of an in-game scam that promised a rare mount in exchange for gold?
  • Watched a ridiculously fast character mine that mineral node you were going for and speed away?
  • Received a suspicious email that claims to come from Blizzard and demands that you "verify" account details?

If so, then you have been affected, directly or indirectly, by companies that exploit their way into vast quantities of gold, in order to turn around and sell it for real-world money. Every day, Blizzard staff investigates thousands of reports about account compromises, scams, cheaters, phishing emails, advertisements, and more that are traced back to unscrupulous gold selling companies. They do real damage to the game and to the community, and we need your help to combat it.

What is gold buying?

Buying gold describes the practice of exchanging real money for virtual game currency, such as gold in World of Warcraft. In most cases, the currency is purchased from companies that are unaffiliated with the game developer and have no legitimate claim to broker the transactions.

Why does Blizzard care if I buy gold?

>Buying gold supports unethical behavior that degrades the gameplay experience for our entire community. The overwhelming majority of purchased gold comes from stolen player accounts, in which character inventories are stripped of value, liquidated into gold and sent off to be sold. This halts the victims’ ability to play the game and contribute to their guilds.

It’s also costly for Blizzard, as we task hundreds of Game Masters and account specialists to assist compromise victims, help secure accounts, and restore their characters. These efforts require time and focus that could otherwise be spent addressing player requests more quickly.

On top of this, gold selling companies often farm resources using hack programs, sell fake product codes as a scam, and spam entire realms with ads to buy gold. These activities disrupt the game in very real ways and have no place within World of Warcraft.

Do all gold sellers steal, scam and exploit?

Probably not, but a great majority do. In WoW, it takes time and dedication to legitimately amass wealth and build character value. Rather than play the game normally, they’ve found it more convenient to steal player accounts and liquidate character inventories to fill purchase orders. Not surprisingly, companies don't advertise when they obtain their gold illicitly because that might dissuade potential customers.

What is Blizzard doing to help?

Our developers, support staff, and anti-hack teams work diligently to stop the exploits these companies use and help players who have become victims of their operations. We're constantly evolving our techniques to detect and prevent the latest risks players face to make sure that your characters are available when you want them.

We've also added more convenient and fun ways for players to acquire the funds needed to play, such as daily quests, guild perks, and XP to gold conversion at max level. These opportunities are available to make sure that players can focus on the types of gameplay they love most, without needing to grind for hours to cover costs.

What happens to people who buy gold?

Players who choose to buy gold and support these exploitive companies may find the purchased gold removed from their account so that it can be returned to the rightful character. If it was your gold, wouldn’t you want it back?

How can I help?

The best way to contribute is to refuse to buy gold. Encourage friends, family, and guildmates to do the same. The negative impacts these companies create depend directly on people using their services. Without them, the companies have no way to continue their unethical actions.

We also encourage you to protect your account so that gold sellers can't benefit from your hard-won loot. Keep your password secret and scan your computer with updated antivirus software regularly. Be careful with suspicious emails containing questionable links. For an extra layer of security, consider picking up the Authenticator keychain or the Mobile Authenticator for smartphones. For additional information on account security, check out our guide here