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How to avoid scammers

Discussion in 'Guides & Rules' started by Pointy, May 31, 2015.

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  1. Pointy

    Pointy Banned VIP

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    Hello there! Thank you for stopping by to look at this guide! I hope you can help prevent yourself and others from getting scammed by using the information in this guide! I hope you like it.

    A few definitions:
    Alt = Alternative account
    MM = Middleman
    Tagged = Banned on SteamRep by a community for positive/negative rep
    SR = SteamRep
    Rep = Reputation
    SOP = SourceOP
    BPTF / BP = Backpack.tf
    Acc = Account

    SteamRep

    If you are trading anything, you should always check the persons SteamRep before trading with them. To check someone's SteamRep, get their profile url and put it into the box on the front page of http://steamrep.com. Some servers may have the SteamRep plugin installed, if this is the case, type /sr in the chat, followed by the name of the person you want to check. Here are some examples of rep on SR:

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    The 1st picture shows 2 negative rep tags: Valve Trade Banned and Banned. Trade Banned means that they are banned from trading by Valve. Normally, you can't trade with these people therefore you don't have to worry about them. Banned means they have been banned by SteamRep or one of their partner communities. In the example shown, the player has been banned by a SR partner community, Fortress of Gamers, or FoG for short. Generally, the reason why they have been banned will be underneath the rep. Many communities handle tags differently, so not all communities tag for the same reasons.
    Trading with marked scammers WILL hurt your reputation

    The 2nd picture shows a 2 positive rep tags: Administrator and Middleman. The administrator tag is applied to either SR admins or admins designated by one of SR's multiple partner communities. The middleman tag is applied by a community in order to show that this person is trusted in holding items during item gambling (spycrabbing etc.). The community that has applied the tag will be stated in the bottom left hand corner of the rep box. Some admins or middlemen may have custom notes below their rep in order to tell you something. In this case, the admin and mm tags belong to Vintage Cobra.

    The 3rd picture shows 2 tags, one of which has reputation value: Caution and Donator. The caution tag is applied when minor events happen, such as Sharking (when a player gains immense profit, normally against a new trader, but not in a way that makes it scamming). This type of tag normally has a reason below it, but at times it can just say "Deceptive trading tactics". It may also include having a tag lowered from a scammer tag to caution tag, or other suspicious activities that cannot warrant a full banned tag (yet). In this case, the tag has been applied by the SR partner community Reddit Gaming or just Reddit for short. The donator tag does NOT count as positive rep, but normally shows that they are loyal to the community. There are 5 tiers of donations, which can be found > Here <. Again, do not count donator status as positive rep, as anyone can donate, scammer or not. Thanks to Someone

    On some of the pictures you may notice Banned Friends and Pending Reports: Banned friends shows how many friends that player has that have any type of negative reputation. This does not affect the player with the friends' reputation though. Pending reports means how many reports on the SteamRep forums there are against players. I reccommend you check the reports linked below the tag to see if they are legitimate or not, is they are, avoid these people at all costs, but you will not be banned if you trade with them in this state. If you do get banned after you have traded with a non marked scammer, you may appeal it wherever you were banned from. Thanks to Xenophobia

    There is one other tag in use at SR, which shows Valve Employees.

    [​IMG]

    Remember, Valve Employees will never ask for your password or login details. Don't just go adding these folks though, as the likely hood of them accepting your friend request is very slim!

    In this case, the Valve Employee tag belongs to Robin Walker, a very famous character in the world of Team Fortress 2.

    | steamname: Robin
    | steam3ID: [U:1:169802]
    | steamID32: STEAM_0:0:84901
    | steamID64: http://steamcommunity.com/profiles/76561197960435530
    | customURL: http://steamcommunity.com/id/robinwalker
    | steamrep: http://steamrep.com/profiles/76561197960435530

    "Give your item to a friend" (Impersonation / fake middleman)

    This type of scam is quite common, normally performed using alternative accounts (or alts for short), this type of scam is normally quite effective against uneducated traders. Remember, scammers aren't always banned on SteamRep, so don't trust someone just because they have no negative reputation on SR. (Note: I do not intend for this to be a guide for scammers, but against scammers.)

    How it happens:
    1) The scammer will normally add you, and have a small negotiation session.
    2) The scammer will normally ask you to trade your item to one of your friends so they can 'check that it isn't duped' (or similar). No item can be checked during a trade, so once this pops up in chat, you should stop immediately and report them on a community of your choice.
    3) The scammer will add you to a private chat group (or similar) and ask your friend to trade it back to you. This is where the scam takes place.
    4) The scammer will remove you from the group, and instantly replace you with their alt account, therefore your friend will trade your item to the scammers alt, not you.
    5) The scammer has taken your item, and then they will probably remove you.

    What to do if it happens to you:
    1) Go to either the SteamRep forums and go to the Report a Scam section > Clicky <
    2) Gather your evidence of the scam. This includes: the group chat, the chat with the scammer, your trade history, your friends trade history, the name history of the scammers alt and the group chat from your friends perspective. Evidence is required for a sucessful report!
    3) Click Submit Report on the SR forums, and fill out the form on the screen. All instructions are shown on the form.
    4) Alternatively, you could submit a report on a SR partner community. Normally, these are responded to faster. To get to a partner community's website, click one of the banners on the SR front page. (note: Friends of SteamRep do not have their own tags, but many will still accept reports and they will be tagged more quickly than a regular SR report)

    How to avoid this type of scam:
    1) Do not accept friend requests from level 0/private profiles. These are either scammers or phishing bots.
    2) Do not commence with the trade when the person attempts to 'check if an item is duped by trading it'. This is a tell tale sign that they are a scammer, as you do not need to trade an item to someone else in order to check that it is genuine.
    3) DO NOT trade with marked scammers on SR. This can and WILL harm your reputation.

    Fake Middleman Scams

    This normally happens when people don't check impersonator's rep (more info about impersonators below). A middleman's job is to hold items during a gambling session such as Spycrabbing or Rock Paper Scissors. If you are to ever use a middleman, you should always use one from a trusted community, such as Skial or Reddit. Many people add middlemen by searching through Steam, and it isn't too hard to come across an impersonator or scammer.

    How it happens:
    1) You add an impersonator or scammer without checking their rep.
    2) They will add you and the person you are opposing and take both of your sets of items.
    3) They will run with the items, causing a scam to have taken place.

    What to do if it happens to you:
    1) Go to either the SteamRep forums and go to the Report a Scam section > Clicky <
    2) Gather your evidence of the scam. This includes: chat with the scammer and trade history Evidence is required for a sucessful report!
    3) Click Submit Report on the SR forums, and fill out the form on the screen. All instructions are shown on the form.
    4) Alternatively, you could submit a report on a SR partner community. Normally, these are responded to faster. To get to a partner community's website, click one of the banners on the SR front page. (note: Friends of SteamRep do not have their own tags, but many will still accept reports and they will be tagged more quickly than a regular SR report)

    How to avoid getting scammed:
    1) Always check the rep of the middleman. If it is an impersonator, submit a report using the instructions above.
    2) Always use a trusted admin and/or middleman with positive reputation tags on SR.
    3) Never commit to any trade without confirming the above.
    4) Never use links provided by people to get to their profile, always click their profile picture to get to their profile. (Thanks to Nickston)

    \/ \/ \/ Continued Below \/ \/ \/
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2015
  2. Pointy

    Pointy Banned VIP

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    Trading for Cash

    Always be aware that this is a very risky form of trading. You should only ever trade for cash from verified PayPal accounts. Make sure that you have recieved a payment, not an invoice. Never trade with marked scammers. Don't trade cash to people if they use comments on their profile as rep, as this can be easily faked. Be aware of impersonators. Remember, you cannot trade for money via Steam Trading and you should report anyone attempting to trade your items for Steam Wallet money.
    Last but not least, ALWAYS tell the money sender to add their steamID64 to the notes in the money transaction. Check that they have sent their own steamID64 and once you have confirmed that it's their actual ID you can give them the items. If they have given a false steamID it's safe to assume that they will chargeback and if they have just left it out then refund the money and ask for it again.
    Also always save all the chats and profiles and everything that you do with money trades. The chats should be complete, from the beginning to the end and not as a copy-paste text, they should be as screenshots (non-cropped nor edited in any way).

    What to do if it happens to you:
    1) Go to either the SteamRep forums and go to the Report a Scam section > Clicky <
    2) Gather your evidence of the scam. This includes: trade history, PayPal history, any trade offers you may have recieved. Evidence is required for a sucessful report!
    3) Click Submit Report on the SR forums, and fill out the form on the screen. All instructions are shown on the form.
    4) Alternatively, you could submit a report on a SR partner community. Normally, these are responded to faster. To get to a partner community's website, click one of the banners on the SR front page. (note: Friends of SteamRep do not have their own tags, but many will still accept reports and they will be tagged more quickly than a regular SR report)

    Impersonators

    Impersonators are peoples who impersonate community admins or middlemen. These people should be reported and avoided at all costs. If you do happen to come across one, report them immediately. Impersonators will normally have the same name (and possibly the same profile picture) as a community admin or middleman, but not have any positive rep tags. These people normally use normal scam methods by deceiving people into believing they are dealing with a trusted person, when in fact they are trying to scam you. Always check that you are trading with the correct person by checking the info stated at the top of a trade windows (how long you have been friends etc.) (Thanks to Bodomi)

    Here is an example of an impersonator:

    | steamname: Vintage Co*bra
    | steam3ID: [U:1:216769531]
    | steamID32: STEAM_0:1:108384765
    | steamID64: http://steamcommunity.com/profiles/76561198177035259
    | customURL:
    | steamrep: http://steamrep.com/profiles/76561198177035259

    They have (near enough) the same name as a trusted admin, but they are a scammer for impersonating a trusted admin. Here is the actual admin's profile:

    | steamname: Vintage Cobra | B> CSGO skins $
    | steam3ID: [U:1:25826175]
    | steamID32: STEAM_0:1:12913087
    | steamID64: http://steamcommunity.com/profiles/76561197986091903
    | customURL: http://steamcommunity.com/id/proevox
    | steamrep: http://steamrep.com/profiles/76561197986091903

    Phishing

    Phishers were very common before Valve changed how limited accounts work. You can read more about that here

    Phishers are new accounts that add random people to spread a phishing link/virus. Clicking the link might get your account hijacked. If your account has been hijacked. Please contact Steam Support.

    How to report phishers?
    It's very easy to report a phisher. Go to the phishers profile and click "More" -> "Report Violation".
    Once you have written a message (that the account sends out phishing links) just click on "Submit Report".

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    However, if want to report a phishing link, you can add one of the contributors of this guide (me, Milk and Chride) (remember to follow their add rules!). If you want to send an email including the link, you can send an email to [email protected] or [email protected]

    Since SR don't tag for phishing anymore, they can not recieve a full banned tag. However, you may be able to get them banned on TF2Outpost for phishing. To report someone on TF2Outpost, do the following:

    1) Get to the accused's SR profile
    2) Click the Research Tools dropdown below the profile and/or admin notes
    3) Click TF2Outpost.com from the center column
    4) Click the flag button labeled REPORT USER (this is only visible if you are logged in, so log in and go back to the profile, then reload and it should appear)
    5) Select the reason and supply the evidence

    An example of a phishing link could be a link to a fake Mumble or Teamspeak client. Always make sure all familiar links are spelled correctly. Never accept links from other people to download popular software. Always use your search engine to find software. Only accept links from people you trust.

    Hint for Google Chrome users
    There's a plugin for Chrome that blocks misspelled links, you can find it here.

    Thanks!

    Thanks for reading my guide! I hope you enjoyed it! If you think we've missed anything, reply below.

    Please do NOT try sending phishing links here.

    Thanks to @MilkGames@MilkGames for help on the Phishing section.
    Thanks to @Chride2k8 |LZ|@Chride2k8 |LZ| for help with SR related topics and the layout.
    Thanks to @Nickston@Nickston for the feedback on MM scams.
    Thanks to @Someone@Someone for the feedback on Caution tags.
    Thanks to Bodomi for the feedback on Impersonators.
    Thanks to @Xenophobia@Xenophobia for feedback on Pending Reports.

    Original Guide: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=452513386
    Also at: http://forums.steamrep.com/threads/how-to-avoid-scammers.102092/

    Thanks,
    Pointy
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 15, 2016
  3. F7are

    F7are VIP Member

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    For middleman scams, it's important that you don't use links the person provides themselves. You should always click on the profile picture of whoever is going to middleman for you, then right-click anywhere on the page and copy the page URL. That way, you can enter this URL directly on SteamRep to see who it is.

    A fake middleman can simply copy-paste the real middleman's SteamRep link and pretend that it is his account.

    An important rule with trading is Trust no one until the trade has been done.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2015
  4. Pointy

    Pointy Banned VIP

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    Updated to match Steam guide.

    EDIT:

     
  5. TriforceSmasher

    TriforceSmasher Senior Server Admin

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    What about the rest I told you?

    (Not rushing, just curious if you intend to add it)
     
  6. ForteSP

    ForteSP Member

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  7. Someone

    Someone Member

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    Last edited: Jun 25, 2015