The Trading Post Scandal
An investigative report
|Times Investigative Reporters|
All of us are familiar with the Whyville Trading Post where we can all auction
items that we have and no longer want. But, most people don't know what
went on there back in January. It all started when the Trading Post opened.
The idea was: auction items, bid on items, and earn money. Seems safe
enough, huh? Evidently not.
The truth was that the Trading Post wasn't exactly trustworthy. Some fiendish
person with a taste for greed had found a loophole in the Trading Post, and started
a scam that profited users in thousands, even millions, of clams. Our job was to
find out all about the crime.
So, here's the scoop: let's say a girl has a screen name called X. X goes and
puts up all of her unwanted objects for auction. Okay, that's great. BUT, this
is the part where you have to pay attention. X creates another user,
we'll call it Y, who goes and bids thousands of clams on the girls other
name, X. As a result, since Y was really bidding on herself, X would end up
with all of the clams Y bid, and Y would be in serious debt. Get it?
Got it? GOOD.
What we tried to uncover was: Who did this? Why did they do it? Did
anyone help them? Was it a mistake? We received a list of possible
suspects from City Hall and the Times Editor, and we wrote all of them a note
on Whyville and explained the situation, asking if they did it. Days
went by and we still didn't get anything. It seemed as though we were
pumping a dry well. One day, we got our first reply:
"Oh, that's very bad. Sorry, but I didn't do it, but I'll be glad to help
you find the person. Bye!" - Cheese123
Okay, this wasn't exactly our person, but at least we had narrowed it down
by one. Soon we started getting more, but all of them claimed that they
didn't do it! Well, we could see how no one would actually want to come
out and admit that they did the crime, but we knew there had to be one
courageous person out there. Here are some quotes from some of the people
The scene of the crime
"I've heard of this happening before, but I didn't do it." - Christina
"I saw someone bid 5000 on my bubbly hair!" - Tech-Girl
"I DIDN'T DO IT!" - banana
We were sincerely about to give up. I mean, the article was due, and we
felt that we didn't have anything to produce, so we were going to let the
editor know and let her add a note in the Times about the situation.
BUT, one GLORIOUS day, we got the reply we had been waiting for.
It was a letter from one of our users on Whyville, and was a suspect. The person
was very sweet about it, and explained it to us like this: she and her sister had
found out the way to get lots of clams. They committed the crime for one
reason: to see how far it would go. She said that she has learned her lesson,
and that she doesn't want anyone to be mad at her. She was willing to let City
Hall know about what she and her sister have done. After the loophole was fixed
(which we will tell you about in a second), they decided just to leave the matter
The person is very, very sorry and wishes to remain unknown.
We figured it would be very cruel to expose her, so we did as she wished, and she
Fortunately, the mystery has been solved, and the loophole
has been fixed so that you can no longer bid an amount of clams that you don't have.
Unfortunately for all of those who made and received these fake bids,
all the clams that they had given themselves have now disappeared, as
they were non-existent clams to begin with.
We would like to let the culprit who DID confess know that we
think that what she did was very gutsy. We appreciate that you actually
were honest, and you really helped us out. Now, we must take off our trench
coats and leave our magnifying glasses behind as the Trading Post Scandal is
If you want to Y-mail us, please do!