Defined by Merriam-Webster as “1a: assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something b : one in which confidence is placed”
There isn’t a heck of a lot of people you can trust in EvE. There’s been a lot of news lately involving trust issues. Stories of people who have placed their trust in seemingly trustworthy individuals or organizations within EvE and had their trust broken. The latest news comes from the ISD regarding rare ships being stolen from the Kenzoku Alliance by a trusted courier resource. Evidently the courier, who was enlisted to move some assets for Kenzoku, ended up absconding with 3 very rare ships. It was stated in the linked article that the courier had been used before and the betrayal was unexpected.
Another is the EBank scandal perpetrated by Ricdic. Essentially, Ricdic, a trusted high-ranking member of the EBank organization, stole a large amount of funds from the EBank service organization. He then took those funds and engaged in RMT or Real Money Trading. While he got his EvE accounts banned for his efforts, his actions have caused severe financial issues for EBank, and it will take time before EBank is a trusted organization again. It is a shame that Ricdic caused so much mistrust from his single action of theft.
It’s a rare thing in EvE to trust anyone. There are no rules in EvE that enforce theft, save those that extend to real money trading, EvE account hacking, or game exploits. Organizations like EBank are under constant scrutiny for these sorts of actions, as are corporations and alliances who have to put trust in their members to ensure that day-to-day tasks can be handled. The CEO and directors cannot be online 23/7, so they must delegate roles and duties to other members of their group. With this responsibility comes the concern that someday, somehow, assets or ISK might be stolen by a trusted resource. Even directors of corporations and alliances, similar to what caused BoB’s downfall, can become untrustworthy.
Corporations and Alliances can certainly take steps to mitigate these issues, but none of them are completely foolproof. There are organizations within EvE that are dedicated to corporate espionage. It’s part of EvE. These organizations can spend months getting into an organization and then in a few short days can render a corporation broke and without assets in their hangars.
The corporation I first started with had an incident right before I left where we had a member kicked out of the corporation. He was bragging about stealing all the assets from his previous corporation before he joined up with us. So all of his ships and ISK (which was quite substantial) was not originally his by his own hard work, but just ripped from his previous corporation. My CEO at the time wasn’t too keen on having a corp thief around and summarily removed him from our corporation. A few short months after I left that corporation I heard that they had a number of assets stolen from the corporation, including a Rorqual, and a number of other ships and various fittings. I never found out whether it was the same person using an alt, or just a coincidence, but it just proves that you have to be very careful where you place your trust.
I’m glad that the current corporation I’m in has been very small for a while, and is self-sustaining. We have very few members, and we are very picky about who we bring on and what access levels they get when they join. I’m lucky enough to have met my CEO in real-life, and I would trust him with my gear in EvE. He’s earned my trust, and I feel confident that he trusts me too. I don’t invest in player run investment schemes, nor do I hold any player-run bank accounts. I read every contract carefully before I hit the accept button. Yes, I’m not one of those that throw caution to the wind. I’m like that in real life too.
This is not to say I don’t enjoy reading about the exploits of the Guiding Hand Social Club, what happened to the Band of Brothers Alliance, or any of the other political intrigue stories that go on around the EvE Universe. That’s what makes the game exciting. It would suck to happen to me or my corporation, but we all have to accept the fact that it’s part of the game.
In summary, it is possible to place your trust in something in EvE. You just have to look really hard to find it, and accept the possibility that it could be broken at any time.
And some real world advice: Please, keep your EvE account password safe (change it regularly), don’t go to any sites that look suspicious (especially the RMT sites – some are loaded with spyware and potentially keyloggers), and make sure you know what you’re downloading when you download EvE tools that are not CCP created.