TSTO Tips & GameZino, what we know

On Tuesday, August 6th the popular blog TSTO Tips published an article endorsing the third-party service GameZino. This service claims to legally purchase iTunes gift cards in bulk for deep discounts, which are then used to purchased in-app content. This information has since been proven false. First of all, iTunes gift cards are not available anywhere for discounts as significant as GameZino has led its customers to believe. Secondly, the items they are offering correspond with a well-known hack for the game, that prior to these events could easily be obtained online.

What makes this story even more interesting is that the post endorsing GameZino on TSTO Tips was not written by the owner of the site Tony Campbell (aka Mr T) it was written by Allen Cox, the owner of GameZino.

According to e-mail conversations between Mr. Campbell and Mike Schuman (aka Mike S.), a former contributor to TSTO Tips, there was indeed a deal reached which transferred control of the site TSTO Tips to Allen Cox of GameZino. This deal locked all other contributors out of the site, outside of Mr. Cox, who went on to use the popularity of the blog to promote his own service. This is at the very least a violation of terms of service for the game, and is at most illegal.

Once users became aware that this was indeed a scam, they sought to seek retribution by filing a claim on PayPal. Some users have been successful in this endeavor, while others have not. For those who have managed to get their money refunded, I encourage you to share your story as it may help others.

It should be noted that GameZino appeared to honor the items purchased by users, but it was done through an illegal hack of the game. Hopefully Electronic Arts will pursue legal action against GameZino and shut the site down. Until then the best thing you can do is avoid both TSTO Tips and GameZino until these matters are resolved. GameZino plans to expand their service to other mobile games, which not only threatens the security of customers, but the ability for these games to generate income.

Source: r/tappedout/

23 thoughts on “TSTO Tips & GameZino, what we know

  1. I’ve started to see comments on Twitter about the inactivity on TSTOT, so hopefully that will encourage people to start looking for alternative news and help sources. I added evidence that Allen Cox was masquerading under the good name that Tony Campbell nurtured to the Tapped Out thread on Reddit. I feel bad for anyone who fell for the scam.

  2. It was really easy to dispute.

    I just set up a claim saying the products were bootleg or not as advertised and wrote a note stating that they were advertised as being bought with itunes giftcards and were actually an illegal hack. This is fraud and the seller used identity theft to promote the sale. My money was refunded in 24 hours, Gamezino doesn’t seem to be responding so it goes through quickly.

  3. I purchased from gamezino 3 am this morning through paypal then like an idiot I did the research. I’m sure I would have recieved my order but I do not support illegal activities so I disputed through PayPal online. In the dispute option I put didn’t recieve order and in the comments I stated fraud I then escalated the dispute. I recieved an email 8 am the same mornihg from PayPal that I will recieve a refund. I think it was processed so quickly because of others disputes. So please people keep sending disputes its helping others.

    • Well it was the reputation of Mr T that really made this seem like it might be for real. I’ll admit that even I looked a bit further into the site. However less than a minute after seeing it I knew something was up, especially since all negative comments were being deleted from the blog.

  4. SO here’s my story and it has an interesting twist. I also ordered from these ass hats pretty much as soon as I saw that TSTO had endorsed them. Didn’t even think about the too good to be true situation. Got my items delivered as promised, but here is the thing. They also fixed my town!!! something I had been asking EA to do for 2 weeks!!!! I had the Krustyland in my town problem. I had emailed out to EA and nothing was done, no fix, no email back from EA, just basically ignored me. SO when they came in to add my doughnuts they also eliminated all the garbage from my land and the krustyland entrance from my boardwalk. Truthfully, I would have spent my $20 just to have my game back to normal, so that’s how I’m looking at this transaction. Yes I did end up with less than reputable doughnuts, but they also fixed my game.

    • I too have suffered with the Krustyland glitch and have filed a support ticket with EA with regards to it; came online this morning to find that they’d given me 300 donuts compensation – although they still haven’t cleaned up the debris or moved the entrance yet! Still, it’s nice to get another set of Krustyland tickets from it every 2 hours!

      • Here’s the thing – Gamezino was using the game mod from the same developer who also posted a version of his mod that would fix your KL glitch. So THEY didn’t fix squat without the help of someone else. That fix was freely available on the Web, posted via Reddit, btw. EA has since fixed the glitch.

    • Woot Woot! I saw that, man these buildings are getting more and more expensive! My reserve of ~1.3 million is about gone with these three buildings (well 2 buildings and vehicle)

  5. I have been periodically checking the other site out of curiosity, I was a daily visitor and old habits die hard. What makes me sad is the comments welcoming Mr. T back, asking for help and why no new content. I wish I could let them know what’s going on, but unfortunately we all know negative comments aren’t getting through. That site was hit hard after the Herman storyline and couldn’t seem to find it’s feet once the smoke cleared. I am glad I found your site, and am now a daily visitor here as I like your format, easy style and I wish you much success.

  6. Hey Team.I did fall for the scam, received what I ordered, but also filed a dispute with Paypal under the fraudulent items route.I don’t know how that will pan out, but we’ll see what happens.I was wondering if I have anything to worry about regarding my game files.I used a throwaway password upon ordering, and have switched to a different password now that the items were delivered.What are your thoughts/suggestions?Should I delete and re-install just to be safe?

    • Update:My paypal dispute was successful.I’m just hoping that EA will understand the trust and popularity with the old site, and won’t come down too hard on those of us who were battling a brief battle with intelligence.

  7. Hi love this new site, as like others sad about the tips site. But in the good there has been a couple of sites that have come from this that has been great, this one included. Took me awhile to want to enjoy not only playing the game but finding the fun reading about the information and insight on the game again. One thing that I haven’t found since this mess, other than that one email sent to Mike S., has there been any official word by Tony C. about this after almost two weeks. And I feel bad for the ones that fell for it since it was, at first face value, seemingly highly endorsed by someone that had a strong conviction on hacking. Anyway that’s my two cents. Again thanks for a fresh new blog on the game we enjoy.

  8. I feel violated.I admit, I was dumb and fell for this.I can usually smell a scam from a mile away, but thought this was being endorsed by a trusted person.Today was the final wakeup call…an update to the game was pushed, which featured a new level, and STILL no new content on tstotips.com except for glowing reviews of gamezino.So I did an internet search (like I obviously should have done beforehand) and found the true story.

    EA: I apologize and throw myself at your mercy.I have bought two boatloads of donuts in the past, and will continue to do so in the future if you can find it in your heart to not ban me.All I wanted was the past items you have denied to Android users, and thought this was a legit method of obtaining them.Please, I beg you, forgive my stupidity.It will not happen again.Please, please understand my position.You have communicated with the blog owner (former) of tstotips.com, you know he is a good guy.I thought he was endorsing a legit method, it is only now that I learn it is an illegal hack.Once again, I beg for your mercy.If you want to take the donuts for the items I thought I was buying via a legit method, this is fine.My intent was not to rip you off, I was assured that this method did NOT rip you off, and that you were getting paid.I was stupid…as we all know, if a deal seems too good to be true, then it probably is.This proved true yet again.

    One more time, I am sorry.I beg for mercy.

  9. ;_; I also followed TSTO tips daily, and I’m soooo sad to find out about all this!
    I knew there were something wrong when I went there today and didn’t find anything about level 33. I think it will be just a matter of time for people to realize and abandon the site, and hopefully EA to take some action against game zino.

    Fortunatelly I didn’t fall for the scam, but like many people I didn’t even suspect it due to Mr. T’s reputation. I even looket their site up.

    My goodness, that’s so sick, makes me feel so angry how there are dishonest people like that! I really hope they won’t go unpunished much longer.

  10. Yup….I totally fell for it. Filed a dispute/claim with PayPal….they denied. Now I’ve filed with B of A…they’ve given me my $$ back, but say they’ll investigate for 90 days….. I don’t know if they’ll ask me follow up or how vigorously those jerks are defending the paybacks. The thing is, I wouldn’t blame “Mr. T” for selling or trying to monetize the site-it was insanely popular, and he seemed checked out if it…..this was just an extremely cheap and lazy way to do it. And those idiots, instead of just that one post, then continuing with some actual content….just took all the money they could and failed on the long view….they could’ve owned a multi-million hit site for years. The whole thing is just a failure on all sides of forward thinking…. Just dumb.

    • I agree with you, and I think we’ll never know for sure whether Mr. T is a victim or not, so we can’t really judge him. If he is a victim, though, I feel really and trully sorry for him (seriously, I even cried, hahaha) because I know how hard he worked on that website.

      I’m sorry to hear about what happened to you D: I wish you the best of luck and my sympathies. Hopefully you’ll get your money back and paypal will ban their account once and for all.

  11. I would to thank the author for telling the the truth about gamezino. Tstotips.com used to be a great site till gamezino took over tstotips.com and kicked Mike.s l, Mr.t l, Werdna Simpson and rcprinter from tstotips and start to advertise there illegel hacking site. Of course they immedatley hire nvidshd their employee and start looking for new authors who don’t know the horrible truth behind tstotips.com. I was wondering why I know longer see the old authors and just some new ones it may seem like everything is fine but there is a horrible truth behind and Gamezino is deleting all the comments that say the truth about Gamezino.Ea and Fox need to take serious action and i believe everyon needs to know the truth.

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