Account fraud is one of the most dangerous scams on the internet because you can lose all your possessions at once. At the same time, there’s a high chance you will restore your account back with all your stuff intact, which is impossible in case of simple items fraud due to strict Steam items restoration policy. I hope you are reading this beforehand to protect your account, not after it has been stolen.
Let’s take a detailed look at three most common schemes scammers employ to trick you into
1) Steam support fraud
Buying a game on an online auction or forum can be cheaper than purchasing a new one. Moreover, sellers are typically gamers and are willing to accept in-game items like skins and gems, which makes the transaction even more convenient. This seemingly harmless way of saving money gave birth to an insanely popular scam that left many users without the game and their beloved items.
So, you decide to buy a game with a discount from someone who already owns one. The person sends you a CD key, you type it in – everything works, you send skins, and the deal is finished. However, you have no means of checking whether your counterpart deleted their CD key, and they likely did not (why would they?). So, the seller now knows your unique game code and your login, so they can try to restore your account via Steam support. The cheater now can request account “restoration” knowing your login and the official game key.
2) Log in to an unreliable website.
There’s nothing wrong with looking for lower prices and discounts, we all do that. But sadly no one is going to give you the dream HyperBeast for free, so be careful when you click yet another one “get free skins” link. Usually, clicking won’t result in any critical bridge in your internet security but stay away from websites with weird-looking links, which look like an incomprehensible streak of letters and digits. Always check whether the connection is secure (a green lock at the left side of the bar before the link). Usually, this is enough to protect your in-game valuables.
Of course, don’t log in using your Steam account info on websites you don’t trust. I realize this it can be hard to follow this advice with CS:GO roulettes and bonus skins being shoves at your from every corner of the Internet. Try to gather necessary information before entering your info on any website, not just CS:GO-related one, and your account information will always be in a safe place.
3) Following a screenshot link.
This works a lot better on all of us then we would like to admit. The basic premise is that people pay little attention to most of the information they consume online. We are so used to clicking on different links from our friends, newsletters, and ads that we don’t give it a second thought, which is a huge mistake. If you are messaged with a screenshot of someone’s inventory offering you to trade, you should ignore it, and probably ban the person to avoid getting into the trap later, when you are less vigilant.
How does this scam work? It is equally easy and efficient, though it does require some additional programming skills from the scammers. You click the picture, and nothing suspicious happen – you indeed see a screenshot of someone else’s inventory, while malicious soft stealing your data via the browser.
To sum up, rely on essential internet security rules, don’t give your password and login to anyone who asks, and be careful around unknown people messaging your links, and your account will be just fine. In case you got scammed, try to calm down and immediately contact the support. Remember to provide information that the account is yours – e.g., photos of CD’s you possess, which are also added to your Steam library, or payment record for buying games. You have 15 days to get it back, and the chances are high that you will.
Stay safe and protect your on-line valuables!