To celebrate Dragalia Lost's 1 Year Anniversary, J-pop artist DAOKO released a compilation CD featuring all of her upbeat electronic tracks featured in the game. The album, titled simply DAOKO x Dragalia Lost, released on October 9th, 2019 to excited fans.
As a bonus for the First Press Release, players could also get a code verifiable for in-game items, namely upgrade resources and a special Wyrmprint featuring DAOKO.
This was quite cumbersome at first, as players needed to sign up for an ePlus account with a Japanese phone number. Eventually, ePlus made an English page for foreign fans to redeem their CD codes without an account.
In the time between people receiving their CDs and ePlus making an English page, ePlus account holders offered to redeem codes for people. Various users on r/dragalialost, Discord servers and other community hubs stepped forward volunteering to redeem codes for people. Since a single ePlus account could verify an unlimited number of CD code/ Dragalia Lost account ID combinations, this was a good idea, and many people needed to redeem their codes before an approaching deadline. (the deadline was extended to November 22nd, but before international redemption became possible, the deadline was set to November 1st).
I was one of the people who got scammed by this person. Because I didn't have a number, I had to reach out to someone else because when I got my CD, there was no indication or even a thought that they would make it internationally possible to redeem them. The only choice we had before they suddenly set that up was to ask for help.
[We had] no reason to believe there would ever be an international code redemption site because one of the perks was entering the DAOKO concert lottery which is a Japan-exclusive thing. I also had no reason to believe anyone in the subreddit who was offering this had ill intentions because the community has been absolutely fantastic and one of the warmest out there.
The nonjapanese option was added about a month after. But that was only about 2 weeks before the original deadline of November 1st for redeeming the code. They extended the deadline after to November 22.
Due to the deadline and long shipping times overseas, many players had little time left to redeem their codes and went with the best option possible, which was a subreddit helper.
When CD promotion rewards started rolling out, a group of people-- the ones whose codes were redeemed by u/datsKARMA-- noticed the Wyrmprint and Sunstone were never sent to their account.
Eventually r/GachaGaming picked up the story with a crospost from u/Goldenrice. One user who did get their rewards, u/ellemmenne, shared a testimony of redeeming with the user-- the video showing "proof" of redemption seemed odd, so they bugged datsKARMA again for further verification.
Eventually, the items were sent, notably with cleaner screenshots and a confirmation page as proof. This was likely done to make ellemmenne drop the issue, but for the rest of the players, it was easy to take the codes and vanish unnoticed until reward distribution.
Many users are rightfully angry that their redemption codes (exclusive to a pricey imported CD) were used, potentially invalidating the virtual portion of the purchase. Many are sending mail to an English ePlus Support page regarding the issue, with their codes and CD purchases as lasting proof that they bought the CD.
Normally, people in account trading and account sales have systems in place to protect against scamming. Sites like playerup.com and playerauctions.com have buyer protection, and even informal communities such as r/SIFtrades recruit moderators and volunteer middlemen for trades.
This was an odd incident however, as there was no existing infrastructure for redeeming a code from occasional merchandise. The Dragalia Lost community-- which is otherwise friendly and helpful-- is disappointed in the user, and other helpers such as u/KeelusBR stepped forward offering to help users get new codes.
While the scammer themselves is the real one to blame for all of this, there are some steps players can take in the future to reduce the likelihood of being scammed in virtual exchanges.