This story is just too good not to tell. I discovered a few days ago that someone named BAALPEOR Panacek (yes, his first name is all caps) created a group named "Art Gallery Owners (FREE PROMOTIONS)". Now I own a large group called "Art Gallery Owners" which is a large group for gallery owners/lovers. No one is allowed to post notices on it, it's for me to announce updates of my gallery list and for discussion of interest to gallery owners. Event announcements are not allowed as per the group charter. Needless to say, it gets my panties in a bind when someone doesn't bother to read the group charter and spams my group.
So this guy BALLPEOR spams the group one day with an event announcement about his art gallery and I respond as per below:
Sasun Steinbeck: Hi BAALPEOR, please read the group charter. Absolutely no event announcements, thank you
BAALPEOR Panacek: Ok. This is new gallery. I dont it?
Sasun Steinbeck: please read the group charter. Absolutely no event announcements
BAALPEOR Panacek: Ok, sorry.
Sasun Steinbeck: if you'd like to join my gallery list I'll give you one of my kiosks
Sasun Steinbeck: rez it for detailed information on how to join
BAALPEOR Panacek: Ok, thank You.
[I visit the gallery real quick. It's an ugly gallery full of art he obviously just downloaded from the internet and is selling for profit. My opinion of him immediately plummets.]
Sasun Steinbeck: you DO have the proper legal rights to sell the art you are selling, correct?
BAALPEOR Panacek: Ok, correct, i make it. Thank You.
Sasun Steinbeck: actually, just delete that kiosk, your gallery doesn't have any original art, just art you copied off the internet
Sasun Steinbeck: are you absolutely sure you have the legal right to sell all this art?
BAALPEOR Panacek: it is medieval artist
Sasun Steinbeck: Dali is a medieval artist?
BAALPEOR Panacek: I have half of gallery, Hieronymus Bosch, Peter Breughel.
Sasun Steinbeck: ok
BAALPEOR Panacek: I tell to partner, about this.
[ok, good enough for me, whatever. I don't know who actually does or doesn't have copyright on all the art in his gallery and whether or not he actually has legal rights to sell it for profit, but I asked. Unless he tells me it's really his art mixed in with the classics he's got for sale there, he's not going on the list. I never hear from him again.]
Now fast forward to last week where I discover his group "Art Gallery Owners (FREE PROMOTIONS)". The following is our conversation over the course of the next week or so.
Sasun Steinbeck: Hi Baalpeor, what is the purpose of your Art Gallery Owners group?
Sasun Steinbeck: did you realize that there is already an Art Gallery Owners group?
[I've noticed that there are legit art gallery owners on his group. I'm concerned since I tell art gallery owners that get on my list to join my Art Gallery Owners group and I don't want them joining the wrong group and thinking I have anything to do with his spam group.]
Sasun Steinbeck: hello?
Sasun Steinbeck: Hi Baalpeor, are you there?
Sasun Steinbeck: I see you're online
Sasun Steinbeck: I'm wondering why you're not responding
[I'm miffed that I'm being ignored. I eventually assume that he camps somewhere 24x7, since he's always online.]
BAALPEOR Panacek: Hi Sasun, my group is Czech advertising group.
Sasun Steinbeck: can you please note that in your group charter? Since you named your group exactly the same as mine, it's confusing people that are looking for my group. I don't understand why you named it the same as my group, now everyone is just confused.
Sasun Steinbeck: why do you show as a member of my group but are hiding the fact that you are a member of your own group? This is all very strange.
BAALPEOR Panacek: Hi, Sasun. I established this group to be an advertising group. I want to allow a presentation to the galleries owners. If you are interested, I can sell you this group, I resign and you will become the owner. One member costs 10,- LD.
[OMG. Did I just read that right? This guy is offering for me to buy his group so that I can delete it? Is this like a ransom request? He obviously could care less about his group members if he's ready to abandon them for a few filty lucre, sheesh. OK so I play along and see where this goes, it's just too weird not to at this point. I'm also getting spammed on a regular basis from all the random crap people are advertising on this group. It's horrible and already driving me crazy.]
Sasun Steinbeck: OK I'll buy the group from you for that amount. Make me an owner and quit the group and I'll pay you.
Sasun Steinbeck: what do you think?
BAALPEOR Panacek: Ok, Sasun I make You owner, pay me, an I quit from group.
[At this point, I'm getting angry. I'm always one to assume good intent, but at this point, I've changed my mind. I think he's doing this on purpose. Why is he hiding his own membership in his own group? Could this be some kind of griefing designed to make money from legit large group owners? Well, Let's see if he'll make me an owner before I pay him a dime, shall we?]
Sasun Steinbeck: you need to make me an owner and leave the group
Sasun Steinbeck: and Vera Eales need to leave the group as well
[Vera is another group owner, so she's gotta go]
BAALPEOR Panacek: Contact me, we meet, Vera now isnt owner.
[Wow he got her to resign as group owner, cool. At this point my plan is to get group owner control of this group and nuke it off the face of the earth, along with his ransom payment.]
Sasun Steinbeck: you still haven't made me owner, please do that now.
Sasun Steinbeck: If you want to sell this group to me so that I can delete it, please make me owner.
BAALPEOR Panacek: Sasun, after pay, ok?
[Interesting that he doesn't deny that he's selling the group to me to delete. It's my strong opinion now that this is nothing but a clever form of griefing. He knows I'm going to delete the group. I'm convinced he created it just to convince me to buy it from him. But I want to get him to admit it first.]
BAALPEOR Panacek: You are now owner, i will out after pay.
BAALPEOR Panacek: 530 L$.
[OMG. He made me owner. He can't boot me out now. I can't boot him either, but I'm now in complete control of the group. First order of business is to turn off group notices and stop the spam. Maybe he won't notice for a few days. Technically, we have not agreed on anything. I agreed to pay him after he leaves the group. He wants me to pay him first. Yeah right.]
Sasun Steinbeck: ok let me get this straight and make sure I understand this. You are ransoming this group to me for 530L so that I can delete it. You purposefully named it very similar to my group so that it would cause confusion with people looking to join my LEGITIMATE art gallery owners group. your group, in fact, has NOTHING to do with art gallery owners. you want me to pay you 530 so that I can delete it. What's going to stop you from creating ANOTHER group with a name smiliar to mine in order to cause confusion and ransom that group off to me again??
BAALPEOR Panacek: I have offered the group,...you dont want...immediately leave it! If you dont do it, you will be sorry.
[Uh oh. He's catching on. The scammer has been scammed. Even still I'm giving him a chance to explain his actions on why he created this group and named it the same as mine then offered to sell it to me to delete. Apparently I will be sorry if I don't. Hm, not sure about that, this is rather entertaining so far.]
BAALPEOR Panacek has offered to become your friend in Second Life. Log in to accept or decline the offer.
[Awww my new friend, how nice. Sure I'll be his pal.]
[Update: I've been pwnd. He made everyone in the group owners! LOL! Now no one is booting anyone and he gave up control of the group completely!]
Sasun Steinbeck: Looks like I'm not going to be buying your group after all, you made EVERYONE an owner. That was pretty stupid.
BAALPEOR Panacek: Fine Sasun, You dont me paid 530 L$, I giv this group all members ad I out from this group. Now I will build new group, Art Gallery Owners (Free advertising). We meet near. Bye :))
[What a sad, sad man. I wonder if his next victim will pay.]
[Update: He's created ANOTHER group trying to cash in on my group name and suck in unsuspecting gallery owners looking for my group. It's called "ART GALLERY OWNERS ..." (note the "..." he added). It's a spam group, and isn't very big, so hopefully not too many gallery owners are fooled.]