Exchanging gaming items is one of the best ways to refresh your inventory. You don’t need to pay a fee while selling your items, it’s also a bit faster and a good experience, if you are careful enough. Exchanging was the first way of refreshing your inventory since the selling option wasn’t accessible at first. And as anything connected to money and selling, it is rampant with scams. However, attentiveness and a habit to double-check at what you are clicking will help you avoid most of the unpleasant encounters on Steam and exchange your cosmetics safely.
1. Fake items exchange.
There are two types of this scam. The first one is becoming unpopular due to growing internet literacy. It requires obtaining direct control of the PC of the vision. The skins thief usually employs a program that allows controlling other person’s computer, such as Teamviewer. They may persuade a naïve user that this is a mandatory part of every exchange. The deceiver at first shows real exchange window with valuable items, and then changes them last minute and clicks “confirm” at the victim’s computer.
However, because Internet literacy rates are growing, this is becoming less popular. Scammers try to отвлечь and quickly change the items. The person doesn’t notice changes and clicks “Accept.” The worst thing about this type of the scam is that you can’t prove you were scammed since your inattentiveness is what played the part. So double-check the items and don’t hurry to make the exchange.
2. Steam support scam.
We should admit that it was a pretty intelligent and nearly undetectable way of fooling users before the scheme became known. Scammer changes their profile, adds a profile pic with the Steam logo and renames themselves as “Steam Support/Admin/Official Valve Representative” etc. And I can see here as a user can buy into the lies – it’s internet, a place with no barriers, where you can be messaged by anyone.
Of course, the sad truth is that you were messaged by a scammer posing as a Valve employee. Remember to ignore such messages and report the account to save someone else’s skins from getting stolen. Again, if you have clicked “Accept the trade,” you can’t undo the action, as the official items restoration policy states that Steam won’t restore any items that have left the account regardless of the reasons.
3. Posing as your friend.
This fraudulent scheme is even cleverer than the first one. To avoid getting scammed, check your friends list and whom you allow into your “private circle.” The scheme is simple and neat, and at first, deceived users weren’t even able to untangle the knot and were unjustly mad at their friends. The tactic is the same as in the previous plan, but a little trickier.
The scammer, which is usually in your friend list as one of those people you never talked to and never will, adopts your friend’s personality for a day after changing their nickname, profile info, and picture. They initiate an exchange, and you agree, suspecting nothing, and then they proceed to tick you by changing the items in the offer. Another popular variation is asking to wear your cool skin for a couple of days, to which you, of course, agree, because you believe you are doing a favor to your friend, just never to see your beloved HyperBeast again.
Always double-check via other means of communication whether it is your friend who is asking to wear your skin, and again be attentive before you accept the trade or exchange offer to save all your VR valuables.
So, the main message of this long read is following: don’t exchange items you value with people you barely know, and double-check in real life whether your friend has initiated the transaction.