Timmy is sick and tired of lagging behind his friends and guild-mates, all because of his inferior flying mount. He decides to purchase some gold with real money and buy his epic mount. Timmy thinks to himself, "It doesn't really hurt anyone, does it?" The answer to that question is, "Yes Timmy, it does". The European World of Warcraft
site has listed a gold-selling FAQ
that aims to educate players like Timmy on some of the consequences of purchasing products and services from a gold-selling company.
The site lists the obvious stuff, like spammers and bots, which both annoy people and take up Blizzard resources that could be put to better use, but the article also brings up some things that aren't always mentioned. Much of the gold that these companies trade in comes from hacked accounts, and many accounts are hacked after the owner enlists the aid of a power-leveling service. When the companies have access to the account, the unfortunate victim may also find their personal details being used for identity theft and credit card fraud. The bottom line is, without people using these services, the companies could not continue to operate. We here at Massively are also vehemently opposed to gold-selling, and agree wholeheartedly with Blizzard's message. Just say no, Timmy.