This post serves as my entry to the Pod and Planet Fiction Contest YC117 this year. The main character featured in this news report style article is taken from a real EVE capsuleer who’s proficient in the art of internet spaceship insurance fraud.
The content to be considered for judging starts from the next section onwards.
Our current main offices reside inside the bustling trade hub station of Amarr. Wrecks can be seen littered all over the undock. Nothing new all in all for this station. Further out though lies a capital ship freighter wreck currently being salvaged by several enterprising frigates. CONCORD are examining the remains of this wreck as we write this, as it has obvious signs of modern day ship insurance fraud.
This is however by no means the first time we’ve chosen to report on the steadily growing influx of ship insurance fraud, and if trends continue it will probably not be the last. The sight we’ve seen ourselves in previous articles that new players emerge daily in this game of fraud. Most of them firmly with their eye on the potential ISK up for grabs.
As one of our past fraudulent sources once disclosed:
“It’s a dangerous game to play. One that most would never even contemplate playing. You have to be smart, crafty, ready to sacrifice, and always one step ahead of the rarely competent space police.”
The man known only as Market Tycoon is one of the more recent players of this “dangerous game”. One who has captured the imaginations and hearts of many inside of the public “NPSI” circles. He in the realms of the latter seems to have created something of a minor celebrity for himself.
We managed to get an interview with this mysterious figure to try and catch a glimpse of the underground fraud scene as a whole, and perhaps unravel some of the mystery surrounding his own mysterious character.
For his own security he asked us not to reveal certain details divulged in the interview and that we refrain from quoting him verbatim on several sensitive areas.
Market began by telling us that his background in business made him perfect for the growing crime of ship insurance fraud (on some level). The ISK he earned back then was considerable, even incredible at times when he tried hard enough. Playing the markets he recalled came with its own highs (and lows) but just never quite lived up to his new “profession”. He also joyfully stated that:
“Long gone are the days of space spreadsheets and market order one-upmanship.”
With which he continued to say; pulling the wool over CONCORD’s eyes and seeing the insurance ISK roll into his wallet provided a feeling like no other. Something he believed was part of the motivation behind the continuation of the ship insurance fraud crime wave. His new calling he explained was one that is infinitely more fulfilling than the last, and he knew others who felt the same.
We speculated with Market for a while that the reasoning behind continual increases of ship insurance fraud is in part also down to the relative ease at which it can be carried out. In most cases Market told us that:
“To get started, the prospective fraud artist needs only a willing accomplice and some start-up capital to purchase the ships that are to be sacrificed. A familiarity with the legal system behind kill-rights is also very beneficial.”
Taking this a bit further we asked how many others he knew were involved in crimes of this sort. Market was reluctant to answer at first, but did say there are a group of several others he is familiar with who meet often to discuss the “trade”. Furthermore there have been some he said who came to him for “advice”. Seeking to emulate the actions of those like himself. He was of course not giving out any names.
It is at this point in the interview we attempted to shed light on the esoteric nature of Market’s reputation. We asked the origins of his ambiguous name and why he thought certain capsuleers spoke of him in such romanticised terms. Market immediately displayed to us his pilot’s license. The name on his P.L.E.X really was to our surprise genuinely printed as “Market Tycoon”. Which he believes is what sparked his fanciful almost outlaw like image. That of:
“A trader turned rogue against the system, seeking revenge upon the bureaucratic corporate whores who penalised him at every chance they got, in a time gone past.”
His words not ours.
Most of the image though he admitted to being confined to the public fleet communities familiar with his exploits, and not much further than that.
The interview we had with our source culminated in him affirming his desire to continue playing the system, and emphasised that in reality he was doing nothing wrong. He referred to his actions as being “technically inside the law.” CONCORD naturally of course disagree with this sentiment. As they have stated on many occasions when being forced to respond to unending criticism for their lack of foresight in regulating and maintaining the capsuleer insurance laws. Some of which have only been changed in recent times to cater for issues outside of the scope of this article.
One thing we definitely learned from our brief discussion with Market is that he certainly enjoys this and it is something he does not do out of necessity or dire need. Perhaps most memorably he made clear that even the insurance payout itself was:
“Just the icing on the starcake.”
This interview we conducted with Market leaves us with conflicted views on the subject. On one hand this is clearly some sort of manipulation of the system. Whilst on the other CONCORD seems seriously lacking their responsibility and sheer ability to handle the situation at large.
Regardless we expect this ever growing phenomena to continue to affect New Eden’s space lanes for a long time to come.
Thanks for reading.
Has you or someone you know been personally affected by insurance fraud? If so please don’t get in touch. Instead send all fraud enquiries directly to CONCORD. Thanks!
“From Riches to Riches” came third in this years contest within its category!
Thanks goes out to Sam who always puts a lot of work into bringing these contests to fruition, and for the judges who sacrificed some of their spare time to read through the many contest entries.
See you next year!
– Sleightz: @S1eightz