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Friend got banned for "suspicious IP activity", what to do?Follow

#1 Oct 11 2013 at 1:31 AM Rating: Decent
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This is a guy I've known for upwards, 8 years. He's been through 30+ terrible mmos with me and the other people in our tiny FC. Of all of us, he seems the most level-headed stand up guy, and today he just got banned out of nowhere for "suspicious IP activity". I want to help him, but I don't know what I can do, being unrelated in SE's eyes.

We ran Garuda HM yesterday a bunch, everyone logged off for maint, and he hasn't been online since. There's no new characters on his account. The kicker is that this suspicious activity (according to the web chat, after a 7-hour queue) is that an RMT-linked IP tried to login to my friend's ID, and the account was suspended. TRIED - DIDN'T SUCCEED. He reused an old account name apparently, but had a different password set. No login took place, his account is still soley in his hands, and it was escalated to a perma-ban as a result of him providing his details to the support agent for literally no given reason. The support agent gave this reason for termination:

>""Here is an excerpt from the activity log regarding this termination:""

and nothing else. The activity log is empty. It just ends there.
If they're banning for attempting logins too, what is the point of having an authenticator?
I understand suspension for the sake of protecting an account (Blizzard), but if no successful login took place, how on earth is that even remotely reasonable? Especially to then escalate a suspension to a ban, given valid account details were provided and acknowledged.

He's submitted a ticket, but is hesitant to call in because of the long distance cost (not American), and because he thinks it's rather hopeless given what people are saying on forums re:bans. If I call for him, they'll probably refuse to deal with anyone but the account holder, so I'm not sure what else there is. I just don't want to see him get screwed over like this, is there nothing I/we can do? Other friends are contemplating quitting because of this as well, which would be a pity given that the game itself is not the issue.

edit: thank you for the replies, I can't seem to reply, I get a 404 error.

Edited, Oct 11th 2013 11:20am by ttei020
#2 Oct 11 2013 at 3:12 AM Rating: Good
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He's really got no other recourse but to go through the proper channels. In this case, he'd probably have to call SE as anything related to account level changes requires phone contact. They won't deal with him through email other than to notify him that he'll have to contact their phone support.

Sucks and sorry to hear it. SE is well known for random bans at this point and there's such a stir about it that perhaps they've got a lot of feedback. Hopefully they'll investigate the situation more thoroughly and clear your friend if he's innocent. I have a friend who was a victim of a ban. The reason they gave was RMT related and while I can't be 100% certain he didn't do anything; he never had great gear or high level crafts or anything else that would alert anyone that he'd bought or sold gil. He played on PS2 so I know he wasn't botting or anything like that.
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#3 Oct 11 2013 at 6:57 AM Rating: Good
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They probably locked the account to make sure no one brute forced it.

Does your friend have a security token? If not, once he gets his account unlocked, he should get one. SE tends to be less ban slappy happy on the token based accounts.
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#4 Oct 11 2013 at 7:53 AM Rating: Good
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Where is he based? There is a UK number... (may not be relevant). There's also webchat.
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#5 Oct 11 2013 at 8:22 AM Rating: Excellent
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There's a good chance all he needs to do is change his password. The error message they give for that is the least user-friendly error I've ever seen, but basically, if someone tries to access your account too many times with the wrong password, they lock it until you log into the account website and change your password.

It happened to me once, and I went through a minor panic before I realized what the actual problem was.

This doesn't necessarily mean you've been hacked or anything. Often people trying to compromise accounts will use large collected lists of once known working email/password combos.

The best thing you can do for your account security is to get a token and use it.
#6 Oct 11 2013 at 8:58 AM Rating: Good
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I've actually gotten that by logging into the loadstone from work. Went home, same thing. SOB! however it let me change my password, once i did that it unlocked my account. I put a token on it and now can log in from anywhere without getting the ban. Hope that helps.
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#7 Oct 11 2013 at 9:15 PM Rating: Decent
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eldelphia wrote:
Where is he based? There is a UK number... (may not be relevant). There's also webchat.


They don't deal with account level issues of this kind over the chat service, but they will give him a proper number to phone.

DonfranciscoOflfrit wrote:
There's a good chance all he needs to do is change his password. The error message they give for that is the least user-friendly error I've ever seen, but basically, if someone tries to access your account too many times with the wrong password, they lock it until you log into the account website and change your password.


The error you're referring to has a link to reset your password. Judging by how they know it's IP related, it's probably something completely different.
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Rinsui wrote:
Only hips + boobs all day and hips + boobs all over my icecream

HaibaneRenmei wrote:
30 bucks is almost free

cocodojo wrote:
Its personal preference and all, but yes we need to educate WoW players that this is OUR game, these are Characters and not Toons. Time to beat that into them one at a time.
#8 Oct 11 2013 at 10:31 PM Rating: Decent
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Catwho wrote:
They probably locked the account to make sure no one brute forced it.

Does your friend have a security token? If not, once he gets his account unlocked, he should get one. SE tends to be less ban slappy happy on the token based accounts.

Phone auth I believe. I was the only one in our group to order a physical auth, and it still hasn't arrived, lol.
eldelphia wrote:
Where is he based? There is a UK number... (may not be relevant). There's also webchat.

Oz
DomfranciscoOfIfrit wrote:
There's a good chance all he needs to do is change his password. The error message they give for that is the least user-friendly error I've ever seen, but basically, if someone tries to access your account too many times with the wrong password, they lock it until you log into the account website and change your password.

It happened to me once, and I went through a minor panic before I realized what the actual problem was.

This doesn't necessarily mean you've been hacked or anything. Often people trying to compromise accounts will use large collected lists of once known working email/password combos.

The best thing you can do for your account security is to get a token and use it.

Has one, did nothing. The account was not breached, web-chat confirmed this. They logged and suspended based on the *attempt*. It was suspended, then escalated to a ban upon his inquiry with webchat, and webchat dc'd after giving the reason for termination as the empty activity log, ie., no reason whatsoever. The account is currently banned, changing the password (if he's even able to) will not change his restriction from the game.

Anyway, thank you for the advice regardless. I think it's a bit hopeless now though, he's being stubborn & doesn't want to call in, even though that's likely his best shot at it. I guess, let this die.
#9 Oct 11 2013 at 10:38 PM Rating: Decent
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ttei020 wrote:
Quote:
The best thing you can do for your account security is to get a token and use it.

Has one, did nothing. The account was not breached, web-chat confirmed this. They logged and suspended based on the *attempt*. It was suspended, then escalated to a ban upon his inquiry with webchat, and webchat dc'd after giving the reason for termination as the empty activity log, ie., no reason whatsoever. The account is currently banned, changing the password (if he's even able to) will not change his restriction from the game.

Anyway, thank you for the advice regardless. I think it's a bit hopeless now though, he's being stubborn & doesn't want to call in, even though that's likely his best shot at it. I guess, let this die.


Yeah, when your account gets banned you can still log into MogStation as usual but instead of your account status saying 'active' or 'inactive', it will instead say 'unusable' or something to that effect.

Once the account is banned the only recourse is to submit a ban report to try and have them lift it. To be honest I've never heard of a ban reversal when submitting this type of report, but with all the issues going on in XIV right now I'd say it's probably worth a shot.

Have your friend contact SE again and request a ban appeal. It's a longshot, but about the only thing he can do at this point.


Edited, Oct 12th 2013 12:39am by FilthMcNasty
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Rinsui wrote:
Only hips + boobs all day and hips + boobs all over my icecream

HaibaneRenmei wrote:
30 bucks is almost free

cocodojo wrote:
Its personal preference and all, but yes we need to educate WoW players that this is OUR game, these are Characters and not Toons. Time to beat that into them one at a time.
#10 Oct 11 2013 at 10:54 PM Rating: Decent
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639 posts
Most of all the post above are bad and inaccurate advice. As someone who moved from Korea to Vietnam during T3-4 beta, then bought ffxiv and banned due to the IP address change. I can say for certain what one has to do to unlock it. First off its temporary suspended. If one has a security token they must use the one time password to verify who they are. Then change the password and your set,

If you don't, then you call SE. Verify name, address, birthday, and email. If you do that most will unban the account. Some will ask for the CD key. This can be found through the digital subscription you have. After you verify this, they will unfreeze your account. They may give you a new password or not. It is not that hard to do.

Good luck. Hardest part was the two hours on the phone to talk to a rep.

#11 Oct 11 2013 at 11:42 PM Rating: Decent
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Hey man, don't get me wrong. If someone gets banned for no reason, well tha'ts just sad. But, i hear this all the time. Are you sure your friend didn't buy gil or something? You want to make the STF sound like a bunch of idiots, but i really doubt that is the case. If they ban someone, it is after a very long investigation. I refuse to believe that your friend was totally innocent.
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#12 Oct 12 2013 at 12:12 AM Rating: Default
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ttei020 wrote:
This is a guy I've known for upwards, 8 years. He's been through 30+ terrible mmos with me and the other people in our tiny FC. Of all of us, he seems the most level-headed stand up guy, and today he just got banned out of nowhere for "suspicious IP activity". I want to help him, but I don't know what I can do, being unrelated in SE's eyes.

We ran Garuda HM yesterday a bunch, everyone logged off for maint, and he hasn't been online since. There's no new characters on his account. The kicker is that this suspicious activity (according to the web chat, after a 7-hour queue) is that an RMT-linked IP tried to login to my friend's ID, and the account was suspended. TRIED - DIDN'T SUCCEED. He reused an old account name apparently, but had a different password set. No login took place, his account is still soley in his hands, and it was escalated to a perma-ban as a result of him providing his details to the support agent for literally no given reason. The support agent gave this reason for termination:

>""Here is an excerpt from the activity log regarding this termination:""

and nothing else. The activity log is empty. It just ends there.
If they're banning for attempting logins too, what is the point of having an authenticator?
I understand suspension for the sake of protecting an account (Blizzard), but if no successful login took place, how on earth is that even remotely reasonable? Especially to then escalate a suspension to a ban, given valid account details were provided and acknowledged.

He's submitted a ticket, but is hesitant to call in because of the long distance cost (not American), and because he thinks it's rather hopeless given what people are saying on forums re:bans. If I call for him, they'll probably refuse to deal with anyone but the account holder, so I'm not sure what else there is. I just don't want to see him get screwed over like this, is there nothing I/we can do? Other friends are contemplating quitting because of this as well, which would be a pity given that the game itself is not the issue.

edit: thank you for the replies, I can't seem to reply, I get a 404 error.

Edited, Oct 11th 2013 11:20am by ttei020



This is America and it usually is never the biggest market for SE. I think they are using they tried to log in as an excuse. They cannot pick it up unless you get into the account. Unless your friend was using something else in his background and they noticed it. In addiction, they should put jail on this game like FFXI. The GM’s are better explaining everything out. You also get to still log into your account. You just sitting in jail unless banned for good.
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#13 Oct 12 2013 at 12:47 AM Rating: Good
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Queen EmmanuellaLima wrote:

This is America and it usually is never the biggest market for SE. I think they are using they tried to log in as an excuse. They cannot pick it up unless you get into the account. Unless your friend was using something else in his background and they noticed it. In addiction, they should put jail on this game like FFXI. The GM’s are better explaining everything out. You also get to still log into your account. You just sitting in jail unless banned for good.

I'm sorry, but I don't quite understand past the market point. The JP userbase is much larger, yes.
kimjongil76 wrote:
Most of all the post above are bad and inaccurate advice. As someone who moved from Korea to Vietnam during T3-4 beta, then bought ffxiv and banned due to the IP address change. I can say for certain what one has to do to unlock it. First off its temporary suspended. If one has a security token they must use the one time password to verify who they are. Then change the password and your set,

If you don't, then you call SE. Verify name, address, birthday, and email. If you do that most will unban the account. Some will ask for the CD key. This can be found through the digital subscription you have. After you verify this, they will unfreeze your account. They may give you a new password or not. It is not that hard to do.

Good luck. Hardest part was the two hours on the phone to talk to a rep.


Yes, it looks like the only solution is convincing him to call support.
Teneleven wrote:
Hey man, don't get me wrong. If someone gets banned for no reason, well tha'ts just sad. But, i hear this all the time. Are you sure your friend didn't buy gil or something? You want to make the STF sound like a bunch of idiots, but i really doubt that is the case. If they ban someone, it is after a very long investigation. I refuse to believe that your friend was totally innocent.

What's the point in me trying to prove otherwise to some dude on the internet though. What am I supposed to say when you've already got him pidgeonholed, guilty until proven innocent, etc., despite everything I've gone at reasonable length to describe? This guy is pve-casual-yet-competent, an older gamer, totally chill. He's never bought into the competitive stuff when we've been playing P2W F2Ps; I don't even remember him buying mounts or xp boosting items. We played a long line of grind games before coming to FFXIV, where he'd just farm away at his own pace. It would be utterly a surprise to me if that was the case here, given how easy it is to progress in XIV, furthermore especially as support made no mention of him engaging in RMT activities.

And while you're free to think what you want, why come to give such baseless accusations? Would you accuse someone of stealing their gas because some shady Chinese guy tried to break into their car overnight? What will you say when it is your account suspended? "oh man, I must be guilty, ban me, ban meeeee~ harder o-ohhh yeah~ t-thank you for your glorious judgement Papa Squenix, you can do no wrong"? Yeah, somehow I doubt that.

I only wanted to know how to support him, which has since been answered.
#14Queen EmmanuellaLima, Posted: Oct 12 2013 at 12:54 AM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) Main point I was trying to make they do not care about US players. Is one of the reasons I came back to the game. They will not instantly change anything because they do not care this is like 1% of their market. He can call as much as he wants it might be months before he gets a response. He needs to hope it is a short-term ban and he will get his account back.
#15 Oct 12 2013 at 1:12 AM Rating: Good
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Teneleven wrote:
Hey man, don't get me wrong. If someone gets banned for no reason, well tha'ts just sad. But, i hear this all the time. Are you sure your friend didn't buy gil or something? You want to make the STF sound like a bunch of idiots, but i really doubt that is the case. If they ban someone, it is after a very long investigation. I refuse to believe that your friend was totally innocent.


Despite the gaping loopholes and the recent bans on players who simply used the market wards to make money, you refuse to even believe that this guy might be a victim? Really dude?

SE made a bot that bans bots but since it's a bot, it doesn't actually investigate... it just bans for suspicious activity. "We're against botting, but we created a bot to ban the bots". That's lazy as ****.
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Rinsui wrote:
Only hips + boobs all day and hips + boobs all over my icecream

HaibaneRenmei wrote:
30 bucks is almost free

cocodojo wrote:
Its personal preference and all, but yes we need to educate WoW players that this is OUR game, these are Characters and not Toons. Time to beat that into them one at a time.
#16 Oct 12 2013 at 3:45 AM Rating: Decent
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I agree with Filthy, theres been alot of "blanket banning" going around it seems, which gives much more reason to believe innocent people are getting hit. Then theres the hacking and teleporting.. Atleast I havent been effected, but I hope your friend figures it out. He should atleast try calling them once.

Edited, Oct 12th 2013 5:45am by aadrenry
#17 Oct 12 2013 at 4:15 AM Rating: Good
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Someone tried to hack Mister Happy

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#18 Oct 12 2013 at 4:33 AM Rating: Excellent
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I know from 11 years of FFXI that this is typical for SE. I live in Japan, but my work takes me all over Asia. I've had my POL/SEA locked from logging in from different IPs when I'm on the road. The answer given by SE was exactly that "Suspicious IP activity".

At least for FFXI, it was just a matter of calling customer support and answering a couple of questions.
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