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Avoiding Common Scams
By Jimo
I will provide you information on commonly used scam techniques and how to better prepare yourself to avoid them.
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Introduction
This guide will provide you information on commonly used scam techniques and how to better prepare yourself to avoid them. Dishonest users are always coming up with new ways to scam people. Always be vigilant; if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Having Steam Guard enabled doesn't make you immune to account thieves; however it's essential to always keep it enabled. For instructions on how to enable Steam Guard click here. You can also read the guide I created below.


http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=153396149
Phishing Scams
Often times account hijackers rely on deceiving or tricking users into handing out their account credentials. This method is commonly known as phishing, and can be easily avoided by taking a few moments to double check the URL of the web page you're visiting.




Valve operates the following websites for Steam. If you are prompted with a login page, the first part of the URL within the browser will always be one of the following domains:


Additionally, all official Steam login pages are secured with an Extended Validation SSL Certificate[en.wikipedia.org]. Most modern web browsers will display this in the form of a padlock icon with a green highlight and the text Valve Corporation [US] to the left of the address bar.



The most common phishing scams lure victims in with the promise of free items and games. When the user clicks on the link they are greeted with a perfect replica of a Steam website which prompts them to login to continue. Often times the only way to verify their legitimacy is to look at the way the website address is spelled in the address bar. If the URL spelling is not accurate, or it points to a different site entirely, it exists only to steal your account credentials.

You can view examples of how the official Steam website URLs look in some of the most common web browsers below.




Some websites offer services which allow you to sign in through Steam. Whenever a website offers this service, the URL of the login page will always be one of the official Steam addresses.

If you're ever uncertain about the webpage you're on, don't type in your credentials. It's better to be safe than sorry.
Software Scams
Never install software or browser add-ons which promise item unlocks or game cheats. Scammers advertise this type of software to trick users into installing keyloggers and spyware on their machine. The intention of this is to steal credit card information and account credentials.

It's important to always keep your web browser up to date and to reguarly scan your computer with an up to date anti-virus tool.
Impersonation Scams
Valve employees and most Volunteer Steam Community Moderators can be identified by the corresponding badges on their Steam Profile.



Valve employees and Steam Community Moderators will NEVER ask or threaten you for your Steam account credentials, CD key, or credit card information. They will also never threaten to punish users for refusing to make trades or to click on links. Valve does not provide support anywhere besides the Steam Support website.

Scammers will often impersonate a Valve employee or a Steam Moderator to intimidate users into handing over valuable items or account credentials.



Scammers will also Impersonate users on your friends list and reputable traders within the community by spoofing their name and their Steam profile to give you a false sense of trust in them. Most of the time they will request to borrow an item which will never be returned. This type of scam can be avoided by knowing who you're trading with and by not allowing users to borrow items from your inventory.
Money Scams
Whenever trading items with other users don't trade for anything that can't be added to the trade window, such as money or CD keys. It's common for scammers to promise payment at a later date or through other means in exchange for items which they never intend to pay for. There is no way to enforce or ensure that the other user will ever uphold their side of the trade, the only way to make sure trades are done fairly and legitimately is to only trade for items that can be placed in the trade window.

In the example below, the scammer has attempted to trick the user into believing they will receive money once the trade has been completed by typing a message into the chat window.



It's also common for this type of scam to occur through the Steam Trade Offers feature. If you're unfamiliar with Steam Trade Offers you can learn more by reading my guide.
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=175759531




Wallet funds can't be transferred or traded from one Steam account to another through the trade window. The only way to sell an item for Steam wallet funds is to sell it on the Steam Community Market. For information on how to do this you can read the official FAQ or follow the guide below.
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=137629753

Another form of scamming can occur when people purchase items or Steam accounts through auction sites such as eBay. There is nothing holding users to their agreement when transactions are made through these types of websites. Not only is selling an account against the Steam EULA, the account being purchased is likely stolen.

Verifying Trades
Before clicking the Make Trade button in any trade ensure that everything is in the trade window. It's important to mouse over every item in the trade window to ensure you're trading for the desired item with the correct name, description and effect. It's common for a scammer to rename an item to trick you into believing it's something else. You can easily identify a renamed item by reading the red text on the item's thumbnail. The title of a renamed item is also in quotation marks.



Additionally, every action of the trade such as item additions and removals are logged at the bottom left of the window within the chat log. In general, take your time with your trades and do not rush any decisions. Scammers will try and rush you into a trade hoping that you make a mistake and not realize that they have removed items from the window.



For information on how to perform a Steam trade you can read my beginner's guide.
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=160483480
Reporting Users
If you witness a user who is attempting to scam yourself or others through the Steam Communiuty, you can report them by visiting their Steam profile and clicking the More button near the top.



From the dropdown menu select the Report Violation button.



Once you've clicked on Report Violation the report window will appear. Click on the appropriate category and fill in a brief description of what the user was doing and why you're reporting them.

When you're done, click on the Submit Report button.




If somebody attempts to scam you through the trade window you can report the trade as an attempted scam by clicking the flag icon near the bottom of the trade window.


In the report window describe how the attempted scam happened and click Report Scam.




Reports are reviewed by both Valve and Volunteer Steam Community Moderators. If action is taken against a user you've reported you'll receive an email notification.

You're also able to file a report on the community-driven website SteamRep[forums.steamrep.com] to alert other users of the scam. The website keeps a database of previous trade infractions for guilty scammers.
Getting Support
If you've fallen victim to a scam and you've lost access to your Steam account, the only way to regain access to it is to contact Steam Support directly. Steam Support is not obligated to recover any lost items.

Before writing your ticket complete the checklist found on this page to ensure that Steam Support can help you in an efficient manner.

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=265127337

Closing Notes
If you have any questions or comments regarding this guide please feel free to leave a comment below or get in touch with me on Steam or through my website[www.Jimo.co.uk].

You can also check out all of my other Steam Guides here.


http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=145245037
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=171054487
245 Comments
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Biggles! Jul 6 @ 4:09am 
Someone scammed me of a unusual defiant spartan when i first started TF2 it was my first unusual D:
7-23-72-5 Jul 1 @ 1:49am 
i got hijack/stolen items pls help me
Injoker Jul 1 @ 1:37am 
i got hijack/stolen items pls help me
Oboro Mochizuki Jun 30 @ 7:58pm 
go complain to valve at another place.
RIP cacamaricam Jun 27 @ 2:58pm 
My account was hijacked. PLEASE HELP ME :((
.. Jun 26 @ 5:41am 
one guy scammed my computer gaben save me D:
cØL†45 Jun 21 @ 10:56pm 
Got Scammed Please Help!
I See The His Item But I did Not Receive The Item He Trade. Please Please Help Me....
Dontclickme.gotscammed Jun 20 @ 1:52am 
someone send me a link to add his/her friend. so i went to the website. i trusted the website because its named steam. then when i logged in i have so many friends. and they kept spamming me.. HELP ME
wara-wiri-woke Jun 14 @ 1:23pm 
all of my dota 2 item gone valve
plizzz help me
EXcalibur Jun 12 @ 8:34am 
all of my item gone valve plizz fiz this