Scams/Antiquated scams

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The ability to use these scams was significantly altered after an update.
This article is retained to provide information on past elements of RuneScape.

This is a list of cheats and scams that are very rare, or are nearly impossible to perform due to an update. Remember, this page is not intended to encourage scamming, but to help players avoid them.

Zamorak wine scam[edit | edit source]

Some players trick others into trying to steal Zamorak wine.

When attempted, a few Monks of Zamorak try to kill you, but high levelled players could kill them easily.

Suggested Action: Report the player under Rule 2.

Trust trades[edit | edit source]

Some players will offer to turn raw products into finished products for those who cannot do so, such as smithing rune, cutting dragonstones, and enchanting amulets. These are not always scams.


With the Assist System, scams such as this are largely obsolete. Simply ask to be assisted rather than trading the player any items. However, on RuneScape Classic, there is no assist system and no hiscores, so players should be careful when participating in trust trades. Try to trade raw material directly for finished products instead, if possible.

However, players will still lie about their skills. One common example of this is at the world 16 air crafting spot, where a player will lie about their runecrafting level, saying that they can make more air runes per essence than they really can. Use the hiscores to make sure they actually have the level that they say they do. Note that this is not reportable as Jagex has stated that you cannot be scammed out of something that you do not have yet (the extra runes that you would get with a higher level assist).

Money scam[edit | edit source]

When Player 2 would buy something from Player 1, Player 2 would put up all the money at first. Then when Player 1 accepts, Player 2 adds items to the deal to make it seem like it's worth it more to them. At the last second, Player 2 would change the money.

Example: Player 1 is selling a rune platebody for 80k. Player 2 puts in 80k, player 1 puts in the platebody and accepts. Player 2 then edits the trade, adding 10 tuna one-by-one, and then at the last second, changes the 80k to 8k. Player 1 accepts, not knowing about the change, since they didn't see it. Now player 2 has a rune platebody, and they only paid 8k+ the price of 10 tunas.

Suggested actions: Report the player immediately for item scamming.

Tribesmen scam[edit | edit source]

Player 1 would lure lower levels to Tribesmen found in Karamja and trick them into attacking them, or if they're low enough the tribesmen would attack them regardless. Tribesmen poison very often and can poison up to 60 life points. Player 1 would try and stall them by saying they had antipoisons and was willing to give them one or tell them there was a nearby bank they could deposit their items in. After 1–2 minutes the poisoned player would die and the scammer would take all the items they dropped.

Suggested Action: Report the player for item scamming.

Wizards' Tower scam[edit | edit source]

A higher levelled player says to a player below level 9 "Follow me," The high levelled leads the low levelled to the Wizards' Tower if not already there. The higher level goes upstairs in the tower. Player 1 (High level) stands at the door way of a room on the 2nd floor and says "Fight the wizard and I'll give you 10,000 gold". Player 2 (low level) begins to fight wizard. When Player 2 tries to exit room (because they are low on Lp) Player 1 shuts the door before Player 2 can get out, leaving Player 2 to die.

Because of the addition of gravestone looting, it can still be done.

Gilded altar scam[edit | edit source]

This is a scam used at POHs, in which someone advertises a house with a Gilded Altar, whilst the altar in the house is really a marble altar or some other altar. The 'scammer' hopes that the victim(s) will not notice the difference. This scam is quite rare.

Suggested action: Pay attention to the altar carefully. Examining it can reveal whether or not it is really a gilded altar. Reporting the player is based on many factors. If the player openly admits to the scam, report the player for Item Scamming.

Ranging Guild scam[edit | edit source]

Player 1 would take someone into the Ranging Guild and tell them to attack the level 72 tower guard. They often say "Keep auto retaliate on and if you kill them you get 500k each." Player 2 would then walk to the spot to attack them and get hit by the level 72 rangers. Since there were three rangers that could hit a max of 190, player 2 often died quickly, leaving Player 1 to collect the items.

Suggested Action: Again, report the player for item scamming.

Black lobster scam[edit | edit source]

One player will attempt to sell a 'black lobster' for a substantial amount of money, claiming it is rare and valuable, but instead it is a burnt lobster. Example of a transaction:

Player 1: Selling rare black lobster!

Player 1: It heals a lot, and is super rare!

Player 2: I’ll buy, how much?

Player 1: 100k

Player 1 and Player 2 trade

Player 1 offers burnt lobster

Player 2 offers 100k

Player 1 and Player 2 trade, Player 1 leaves or logs off, leaving Player 2 with a burnt lobster

Suggested action: Report the player for Item Scamming.

Gem cutting scam[edit | edit source]

Prior to the introduction of the Grand Exchange and the Assist System, a very legitimate form of attempting to raise the Crafting skill was to stand around and announce that they could craft gemstones of various kinds, usually announcing the most difficult type of gemstone they could cut (such as ruby, diamond, or even dragonstone). As the pre-Grand Exchange NPC gem trader did in fact pay quite a bit more for cut gemstones over the uncut variety, the statement that was found on uncut gemstones when "examined" ("This would be worth more if it were cut") was from a certain point of view to be true. Since many gemstones are traded in small quantities and require high levels of crafting to make useful items out of them, a great many players simply drop gemstones on the ground if they discover them or sell them to places like the gem traders or even general stores.

With the introduction of the Grand Exchange, access to other players who wish to improve their Crafting skill by using gemstones has improved significantly, and uncut gemstones are worth considerably more than their cut counterparts for all gemstone varieties. Depending on the current market conditions and the gem type, the value of the uncut variety may even be worth double the value as the cut version of the gemstone. The statement from examining uncut gemstones was changed by Jagex several months after the introduction of the Grand Exchange and after it was pointed out in the RuneScape Official Forums to be completely false, and that some scamming based upon this statement was happening.

People involved with this scam try to convince generally new players that the old economics of RuneScape are still in place, and that these players can "earn" huge amounts of money by having their gemstones cut. The worst of the worst kind of scammers will still insist that you "give" the gemstones to be cut, and often just walk away or even teleport to a new location in order to avoid the player they just scammed. If this happens, Jagex does consider this kind of act to be against the rules, and it should be reported as soon as it happens. Unfortunately, the player who gets scammed will not recover their lost gemstones.

A more subtle scam is to offer to "assist" the player in cutting the gemstone without revealing the loss of value that will result from having the gemstone cut. Legitimate players who train crafting by cutting gemstones may level by purchasing a large number of uncut gemstones from other players, and either offer those cut gemstones on the Grand Exchange or create jewellery and other items from those cut gemstones. What the scammers are trying to accomplish here is to quickly raise their crafting skill without having to spend the coins that more legitimate players would usually spend to accomplish that same task. A legitimate transaction would have players trading cut gemstones for uncut ones, however the new trading interface would quickly let these new players be completely aware of the huge loss they would suffer from such a transaction. By only offering the "assist" feature and turning down trade offers, this "fact" of dropping the value of the gemstones is hidden from these newer players.

Jagex (as of May 2008) doesn't consider this to be a scam and will not apply any black marks or cause any penalty to those players who engage in this practice. This is a "buyer beware" situation and is mainly a warning to those players who may be tempted to engage one of these gem traders for assistance when you can earn more money from uncut gemstones simply by selling them as uncut gemstones.

This is not to suggest that offering assistance for gem cutting is always a scam, and there are legitimate reasons including some quest requirements that may require some gem cutting services. But they are quite rare, and it would be the player who has the uncut gemstones that ought to initiate the request to have the gemstones cut in that situation. Most crowded areas of RuneScape particularly banks and near popular furnaces have several players with high levels of crafting that would more than satisfy any demand for crafting assistance should the legitimate need for such help arise. Crafting is also such a difficult skill to earn experience points in (or expensive to earn experience quickly) that requests for assistance usually have multiple players showing up and eager to offer that assistance for "free" at any time.

Suggested Action: Don't give free uncut gems to another player to cut, this can just be done through the assist system.

Player house item drop scam[edit | edit source]

Scammers will talk the player into dropping an item, because (s)he can pick it up again before it appears to other players. Before the player takes it, they will expel the player from their player-owned house, and will take the item once it appears to them. Jagex has implemented an update that now warns the player when dropping items in a house.

Suggested action: Report the player for item scamming .

Item drop telekinetic grab scam[edit | edit source]

Sometimes players will ask the victim to drop an item across a fence or other obstacle, saying that the player can pick it up if the scammer makes a move to take it. Do not drop your item for any reason; they may use Telekinetic Grab on it. You will also not be able to tell when your item becomes visible to them, allowing them to act like they have not seen the item up to the time they cast their spell.

Suggested action: Report the player for item scamming.

Telekinetic Grab at level 1 Magic scam[edit | edit source]

A player may find a relatively new player with black armour, which was relatively expensive at the time, and tell the victim to drop the armour and press Alt+F4, Ctrl+W or Ctrl+F4 (which closes the window) to turn it into something more valuable. This would leave the items on the ground for the scammer to take, while the victim would have to re-open RuneScape, almost always too late to pick up their items.

Suggested action: Report the player for item scamming.

This scam no longer works, because a warning message appears before using Alt+F4, Ctrl+F4 and Ctrl+W

RuneScape Classic needle scam[edit | edit source]

In RuneScape Classic, some scammers have been known to offer 10 million coins for items. Upon trading, the scammer will actually offer 1 million coins and a Needle. On the RuneScape Classic trading screen, this would look like 10,000,001 coins. The classic needles have been given a darker colour recently to avoid similar scams on classic. However, the grey-on-grey colours can still cause an easy scam.

Suggested action: Report the player for item scamming.

An example of a Needle Scam

Item-switching scam[edit | edit source]

Another common trick that scammers use is to switch items at the last minute in a trade, and hope that the other player doesn't notice. Scammers may also remove items before accepting. However, Jagex changed the way trading works, allowing any change in the trade to be marked with a flashing exclamation point, so this type of scam is virtually impossible to pull off now, although, many players still fall for this scam and it often happens a lot in World 2 in Falador and in G.E

Examples of such scams include:

The following scams no longer work in any circumstance (as the items used to scam are no longer tradeable):

Changes that reduce the effectiveness of this scam:

  • Magic logs now no longer look like any other logs, they are blue/green with sparkles. Scammers used to ask players to trade in a German server, and sell them willow logs which looked similar at the time and had a similar name in German.
  • The trade system now, when a player reduces or removes displays right before displays an "!" mark where the item was.
  • Scammers will sometimes attempt to bypass the trade warning by offering the item that the victim thinks he will get, wait for the victim to offer coins, click "Decline", pretend to have declined by accident, and offer a new trade with switched items.

Suggested actions: Check the second screen carefully. If the other player is trying to scam, cancel the trade and immediately report the player for items scamming in the honour section of the rules. If you do not wish to trade with the player any more, click "Decline" to close the trade window.

Drop scam[edit | edit source]

Some players will trick other players into dropping their items for them. As of the 10 December drop update, the scammer is unable to get any of the victim's items. Plus, when you try to navigate away from the page while you are still logged in, it will remind you that you are still logged in, so pressing alt-f4 and ctrl-w does not work any more.

Suggested action: Ctrl-F4, Alt-F4, and Ctrl-W closes your window, and you may not have enough time to log back in before your cash pile is taken by the scammer.

Prevention tips: Don't press strange key-combinations when asked. Also, remember that there are NO cheats or special codes in RuneScape. In no circumstances should you try any of these codes. If you are truly curious as to what they do, try using them with a different window when you are not logged on. Even if these did work, it would be in breach of knowingly exploiting a bug, which prohibits bug abuse, including item duplicating.

Armour trimming and "upgrading"[edit | edit source]

Trimmed armour is obtained from treasure trails and normal armour cannot be trimmed by anyone. Scammers would say that they could trim armour via crafting/smithing, sometimes having a partner with them wearing trimmed armour, and advertising that it really worked. No player or NPC can trim armour. Although this scam has fallen out of popularity, it is still a method employed by various scammers, this scam is seen regularly on F2P servers.

Suggested actions: Report the player for item scamming.

Another armour scam, is to tell another player you can enchant their valuable armour so it will become stronger.

Suggested actions: Once again, report the player for item scamming. This is because there is no known way to make said valuable armour stronger.

The king's wishes[edit | edit source]

Although a relatively old scam, a player messages another claiming, "The King wants to see your armour." or "The King wishes to see your all your money." When asked where this "King" is the player will claim, that he will take your items to him. This is obviously a scam and should be avoided.

Suggested actions: Report the player for Item scamming.

Non-existent item scams[edit | edit source]

Scammers will try to sell items that don't actually exist. For example, they may try to steal free-players' money by telling them about a coin that allows them to access a members world. This will steal their money and give them one coin in return.

Another early scam involved selling a key that supposedly opened the west Varrock bank vault.

Suggested actions: Report the player for item scamming (rule 2).

Dragonstone scam[edit | edit source]

Some players will trick other players into buying expensive items, and then selling them, to lose relatively large amounts of money.

Suggested Action: Check the money making method with Grand Exchange database and other resources before trying the method if you're unsure.

Semi-cooked karambwan scam[edit | edit source]

Semi-cooked karambwan is poisonous when eaten. Some scammers would ask the victim to duel in their house and get them to low HP. Afterwards, they will expel the victim and then offer the victim the semi-cooked karambwan. If the victim eats it, they will get poisoned and die. This no longer works as the item is no longer tradeable, and can no longer drop the victim to below 10 LP.

Duel Arena duel options scam[edit | edit source]

This scam involves a scammer in the Duel Arena changing the rules before fighting just before victim accepts them. For example, the player agrees to duel with the scammer and stakes a valuable item. They agree that no food will be used during the fight, but just before they hit the 'accept' button, the scammer unticks the 'No Food' option and hope the victim does not notice. Of course, the scammer brought food with them and will easily defeat win the as the victim (most likely) didn't bring food themselves. This scam could be avoided by checking the second confirmation screen carefully, just like trade scams. This scam isn't possible anymore as players can't quickly change an option anymore, and players would receive a warning that the rules have changed.

Duel Arena trading scam[edit | edit source]

A scammer will simply spot someone with an expensive armour set or weapons and will ask them to help the scammer train in the duel arena in exchange of an amount of money like 1m or 2m. The scammer will then ask the victim to remove their armour and will trade them the amount and then decline the trade. They will then ask the player to show their inventory in the trade to see how many inventory spaces they have to give them food. The scammer will then trade the player back and show the money they promised to the player, then they will wait for the player to put all of their items in the trade and the scammer will then put the food in and accept the trade hoping the other player didn't notice that the scammer got all of their stuff inside the trade.

This scam is no longer possible due to the removal of the Duel Arena. As the "duel anywhere" feature does not give experience, there is no reason to use dueling as a training method.