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    1:30 am (UTC-7)   |    by

    Stealing login information from online games and other social networking sites is old news. Because it’s so common, it doesn’t seem to be much of a big deal. However, when real money is involved and people get arrested, that’s when things get messy.

    Just recently, a Dutch teenager was arrested for stealing almost $6000 worth of virtual furniture from users of the Habbo Hotel, a teenage chat room and gaming Web site.

    The concept of Habbo Hotel is that virtual furniture is purchased and/or traded by the community members in order to furnish their respective “hotel rooms”. Purchasing and trading are made possible through “credits”, which are paid with real money.

    According to the site’s owner, fake Habbo Web sites were created, drawing players to access them. The visitors’ user names and passwords were then collected from these spoofed sites in order for the hackers to access the real user accounts on the real Habbo Web site. Virtual furniture was then stolen from the victims’ accounts, hence also collecting cold, hard cash.

    This kind of phishing attack serves as a caution, not only to Habbo users, but all Internet users who spend real money on the Net, especially on virtual exchanges. Shelling out money to people we can’t see is never safe. The moolah is sure better spent on furniture that we can actually sit or lie on. Nothing beats the real thing.

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