People are incredibly inventive when it comes to obtaining the best goods with minimum effort or money. Thankfully, often we can navigate the world without getting caught in fraudulent schemes, but with the invention of the internet and idea to buy stuff you have never seen with your own eyes before, it becomes harder. I hope that you are reading this article to prevent deceit rather than after being fooled. So, here’s the list of the most popular scams on Steam when selling items, and means of protecting your goods.
Most Popular Skin Selling Frauds
1. Posing as your friend.
I should admit that the first person who came up with such an idea possesses an impressive amount of creativity and ability to think out of the box, though sadly all these wonderful things were used to deceive less inventive internet users. So, here’s the story. Suddenly one of your Steam friend messages you, offering to trade. You’ve swapped items several times, so you agree, suspecting nothing. Since you’ve already traded with this friend a couple of times, you don’t pay much attention to the deal and just click “Accept.” And then you discover that your $300 knife skin was traded not for an equal item, bur for a worn-out old Glock cosmetics. The mechanism is simple. Scammer steals your real friend’s profile picture and nickname, and acts fast to change the equal items suggested at first to something a hundred times cheaper. A variation of this scam includes posing as your friend and asking to play with your skins a game or two. As you can guess, you won’t see them anymore.
2. Posing as a Valve or Steam employee.
If you receive a PM or an email from someone who introduces themselves as a Valve employee, ban them outright, and report as a scammer, if you are in the mood. Luckily, this type of deceit is becoming less popular, because users don’t buy the fact that someone from Steam decided to contact them as willingly as they were before.
However, the fraudulent scheme evolved, and now scammers try to mimic the system itself. They will opt for profile pic with the famous logo and write in an impersonal tone something like this:
“xxxyyyzzz is offering you $300 for your Counter Strike: Global Offensive selected items. Accept this trade for the money to be transferred to your wallet. Steam Support” Now, the spoiler that hopefully saves $300 for at least one person: the “Steam Support” messaging you is xxxyyyzzz himself, who have just changed the avatar and the nickname. I believe Steam should ban changing your account name to something like “Valve,” “Steam” etc.
3. Fake guarantor.
This usually happens when you are trading skins for real money. The scammer messages you and offer a guarantor, who can frequently be one of your Steam friends. The system is similar to pretending to be your friend. The accomplice of the scammer steals the nickname and the profile info from one of your friends and accepts the role, and you can guess the rest.
If you want to sell skins for real money, contact your friend via independent means, such as mobile, Skype, etc., and ask if they are participating in the trade. If you don’t know the person who is offered as a guarantor, it’s better to propose one of your friends instead, confirming that the account is their beforehand. If the user declines the offer immediately, it’s a clear indication of their true intentions.
Follow the Safety Policy and Be Happy
We all have been in a situation waiting for the kind stranger to send us “Top-secret info that will allow you to earn $10,000 a week” after prepaying $20. Being fooled is okay if you learn your lessons and become more careful as a result. To protect your account, connect Steam Guard and study Steam account restoration policy carefully to have a solid action plan in case of account fraud.
As for the skins fraud, remember that Steam Support won’t be able to restore the items in your inventory, as technically you were willingly giving them to the scammer, and proving otherwise is very difficult. Plus, they state in the official items restoration policy that this is impossible regardless of the ways items were obtained by, so be vigilant.