PSA: FFXIV, Account Theft, And Ban Investigations

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Today’s PSA is brought to you by the letter B and the number 7.

Here at MMO Fallout, I regularly receive emails from people asking me to unban their accounts, in complete ignorance to the fact that I am neither officially associated with nor work for any of the games that I report on. But that’s beside the point. The other email that I get rather often is in response to my articles about keeping your account safe, particularly from people who have the attitude of “who cares if my account is stolen? I just email support and they restore it within a day or so.” Hopefully none of these people are playing Final Fantasy XIV, because they are in for a surprise.

With the success of Square Enix’s latest title, the natural progression of events has lead to accounts being stolen in large quantities and used for botting materials or spamming chat. As I’ve said in previous articles, why would you waste your own money when there are so many unprotected accounts ripe for the picking? It’s like robbing a bank and leaving your neighbor’s wallet at the scene of the crime, and then testifying against him in court about how you never really trusted his attitude. Sure, a simple alibi will get him a not guilty verdict, but that is the end of a long and stressful path and may eventually fail.

In the case of Final Fantasy XIV, reversing a ban because your account was stolen and used to bot/spam isn’t as simple as calling up customer support and asking them to flip a switch. No, according to players who have been victims of account theft, Square Enix is performing full investigations on the affected accounts to make sure that the claims are legitimate, and boy is there quite a long line just to get in the door. What does this mean for you, the player? Imagine that everyone in your neighborhood’s driver’s license expired on the exact same day, and everyone had to go down to the DMV to get their paperwork in. The DMV opens at 9am and you get there a little past four when everyone is out of work and meeting the group who has been there all morning. Imagine that line, and double it, and you have a good idea as to how long you’ll be waiting for your account to be restored. One player in particular was apparently told that the line and subsequent investigation could take at least three weeks as the matter had to be dealt with by Square Enix’s Japan offices.

If that isn’t enough motivation to keep your account as secure as possible from your end, I’m not sure what is.

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