After the nuking last year of a lot of bots it looks like the spammers, scammers and bots are making a comeback. I know Jagex is doing what it can to kill them, but, the ones who turn loose the spam bots, scam bots and resource bots are still out there. For the last several days I get anywhere from two to four 'PM' from throwaway accounts advertising the 'gold' sites (I won't name them so they don't any more business). They try to hide the website names so that auto detection doesn't work, but, humans can detect them easily. Each time it happens I report all of the accounts so that Jagex can see where they originate.
I did a WHOIS lookup for the accounts and every one I found was a Chinese registered web site. I wonder how long it will be before the internet as a whole tells China they will not have access to the internet until they clean up their house and prove it.
I don't know what Jagex does in the background, but, if they are not already talking to other gaming companies it would be a good time now to start. They can compare notes on how they handle this problem and as a group try to shut down this crap. A good place would be to see who does the credit card processing for those sites and let them know what is going on and if they continue then they may be also be hauled to court as an accomplice to the spam/scam/bot providers.
The gold sites give an unfair advantage to players in that they can 'buy' gold for Runescape that can then buy materials for various skills or weapons. With that flood of gold they drive up the price for the items so that it is harder for legit players to obtain those items. Also, do you really trust these sites with your credit card information?
Bots make it harder for legit players to obtain the resources they need and also flood the market with a large amount of raw materials which has the effect of driving down prices. With the low prices and competition for those resources a lot of players are not doing those skills or going to other games. This hurts all legit players.
One of the good places to look at right now is the green dragons. There are a lot of players there with identical setups taking out the dragons for their bones and hides.