A lot of people don’t trust gaming services, and still decide to trade in person. This type of trading is rampant with risks, since you have no means of checking other person’s honesty except for googling whether they are on the scammers list. After users became more attentive to their actions online, the number of scammers has decreased a little, until they came up with more inventive ways of deceiving people. Here are three of the most popular schemes you can encounter when buying online items.
Fake Guarantor Scam
You decide to buy skins for real money. The seller you are interested in offers their guarantor, asking you to transfer skins to that person. You refuse, feeling proud of yourself for not letting the scammers to deceive you, and that’s when you are hooked.
You offer your own guarantor for one of your friends (by this I mean people on the friend list, not your real-life buddies), the scammer agrees, everyone is happy. While you are negotiation price and details of the deal, the scammer logins via their second profile, mimics the profile of your friend and receives your money. Though this Steam trade scam is well-known, people still fall for it. Make sure you check the list of your friends, or talk to your guarantor via alternative means of communication.
Too Good to be True
If your intuition says that something looks too good to be true, believe it. One of the most popular arguments against the fact that any cheap skin is a bad skin is skins which are put for sale for ridiculous prices due to a mistake – when you type $1.00 instead of $100. But the fact is, ordinary user has an incredibly small chance of buying such a skin, since they are mostly purchased by automated bots monitoring the market for such mistakes.
So, if the skin is too cheap, expect some inherent risk if you decide to try and purchase it. The same rule applies not only to purchasing items, but to articles, forum threads and messages with the following content: “Critical vulnerability was found in Steam! Install this cheat and get as many skins as you want for free before Valve blocks it!” The only one getting all the skins for free is the scammer behind the phishing program, of course.
Fake Link Scam
This should become your cardinal rule for any online interaction: pay attention to the link you are following. Though this scam is more popular with selling items rather than buying, certain variations are still used in the reverse scenario. For example, you are sending a trade request to someone whose items you want to buy, and the person responds with a link or a screenshot. The key question here is “why?” If you are messaged back with a link, it may be an indication of a popular Steam trade link scam.
What can you do? First of all, don’t open it. Secondly, check whether the nickname of the potential seller is mentioned in “Anti-scammers” and similar groups aimed at detecting and fighting fraud in the internet realm, and don’t do any deals with such users.
Keep Your Account Safe
I hope you are reading this article as preventive measures, however, as it usually goes, I bet you are seeking Steam scam help after getting into an unpleasant situation. First of all, try to calm down. Remember that you have 15 days to claim your account back.
If you have lost your in-game items due to fraudulent actions of other users, there’s very little chance you can get them back because of the rules described in the official items restoration policy. Still, notify support about the situation to help them identify the scammer and ban them. However, I believe that following basic rules and being attentive will be more than enough to protect all your in-game valuables.