1. There is no such thing as a "pending" ban or Steam admin. Anyone threatening your account is a scammer trying to scare you. Read more.

Asking for an update/edit for the Trading With Scammers Rule.

Discussion in 'Discussion Archive' started by Burk very angry, Aug 18, 2015.

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  1. Burk very angry

    Burk very angry New User

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    I agree that no scammer should profit off of their bad deeds, and some people who trade with their scammer alts don't even trade with them intentionally, and some people look at the guidelines but are still somewhat unsure.

    What is considered an "obvious" scammer alternate account (alt)?

    Scammers frequently make new Steam accounts (or buy Steam accounts) to avoid bans placed on their main account. An obvious scammer alt is a trader who has a great deal of knowledge of the values of items and the Steam economy, yet has a very recent Steam account or very low hours played in TF2. Trading with these accounts is not permitted.

    The following clues help identify an obvious scammer alt:
    • Low hours of TF2/DotA with a deep knowledge of item values
    • -What is a low amount of hours? Should <100 be considered low, or should they have 200+?
    • New Steam start date, but eager to trade high value items
    • -We all know people with fresh 2 week accounts and high value items are obvious, but what is not considered a "new" steam start date.
    • Private backpack, and with no rep threads
    • Quickselling fresh items that are less than a day old in their backpack
    • Nearly empty game backpack except for a few high value items with very recent history

    That's actually it for the most part :/
    It would help users a lot if they knew the numbers of what is really low hours or what's a new steam start date.
  2. Salmon

    Salmon Caution on SteamRep

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    I thought the little bait attempt at me in my moderator application raised an interesting question, even if the idiot was way off point in execution. It would've been a lot more interesting if he had made it a grey situation and done it to someone with an actual rank.

    To me, "obvious scammer alt" is one of those "I know it when I see it" sort of things. There's no hard set line. For example, I recently reported http://www.tf2outpost.com/user/325672 as he fell quite easily into the "obvious alt" category despite having zero indicators on his profile. Why? Three unusuals magically appear in his backpack. High hours, old account, and still an alt.
  3. Tio José das Vacas

    Tio José das Vacas SteamRep Admin Partner Community Donator - Tier V

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    I'm going to speak by myself and by self only. I have no doubts that we should punish people that actively trade with marked scammers/scammer alts, it's the same as buying a stolen phone from a guy in the street and you can get in trouble for that ( In Portugal at least)- the point is if your knowingly trading with him, your knowingly helping him selling stolen items, he's making profit with your help. That being said, I think we should clarify what's an obvious alt and ascertain that the person traded with an alt knowingly that the account as indeed an alt. We ( Steam community) should define what's an alt, I don't know if giving exact hours, etc... is going to help but I think you @Burk very angry and other members should helps us SR, FoG, MCT, OP, SOP, etc... by giving suggestions, let's brainstorm about it! Let's give this thread some content and help out!

    So here are my suggestions:
    - Change the 3 strike rule , yeah the 3 strike rule works most of the time- I'm going to quote my fellow from backpack.tf (i hope you don't mind)
    , I honestly think it's pertinent question, should we?

    - Educate the community- yes i've seen a lot of SR admin and community admins trying to educate people, but why don't people like you and other members, with a bit of knowledge of how SR and partner communities work, help us out? Maybe even start a course?

    - Maybe add a probation Tag before the caution tag- this tag would be applied when a person does for example two mistake, then a caution and final if the person is clearly trading with marked scammer/scammers alt by his own will. What do you guys think?


    Run of ideas for now, but If I have more, I will edit my reply.

    To conclude, I'm going to reinforce that those are my ideas, they are not official- The only thing I can say for SR and FoG is that we are here to educate and not to punish by one mistake.
    Roudydogg1 and blind polar bear like this.
  4. blind polar bear

    blind polar bear Former Backpack.tf admin

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    I'm just going to post what bp.tf does here: http://forums.backpack.tf/index.php?/topic/29027-guide-for-background-checks/

    I don't think it's fair to the community to be wishy-washy. Saying things like, "use common sense," or, "check hours, level, games," is just not fair. If you are going to ban someone from all communities, you need to be specific. If scammers find ways around these rules, you can change them at a later date, but don't punish users for that.

    At bp.tf we are VERY specific about what we consider grounds for suspecting someone to be a scammer alt. I know it's not hard to have a level >3 or to mine 1000 hours in a game or to buy 3 games for less than 50 cents each. But at some point if a scammer is going out of his way to disguise an alt, you cannot blame the trader for missing it, especially the trader who does 10,000 trades a year and cannot afford to spend more than a minute for a basic background check. If multiple experienced traders and >50% of traders in general wouldn't think twice about trading with a level 40 account with 20 games, then it's not reasonable to ban them when it's later found to be a scammer alt.

    I also want to post this excellent script provided by one of our forum users. If you run it on our site, you can run a thorough background check that looks at pending FoG reports, bans across multiple communities, in addition to some other useful information, all within a matter of seconds - http://forums.backpack.tf/index.php?/topic/40570-how-to-easily-perform-a-background-check-rep-dupes/
    Salmon and Tio José das Vacas like this.
  5. Salmon

    Salmon Caution on SteamRep

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    Has bp.tf ever considered letting users flag their items as scammed? Would require owning -> losing an item -> report it as scammed. Obviously needs proof uploaded & mod time if someone complains about an item being marked (eg blackmail after a trade - though attempting that could warrant tagging the blackmailing user)
  6. blind polar bear

    blind polar bear Former Backpack.tf admin

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    We already add a scammer tag on the itemid if the person is banned / marked on SR - http://backpack.tf/item/3268911433. Beyond that, it would be pretty redundant to allow users to report specific items. They should just report the user instead. We allow user reports and probably get ~20-30 of them per day.
  7. Salmon

    Salmon Caution on SteamRep

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    Many scammers don't have public backpacks or transfer it to a vault before it gets scanned, so when the item resurfaces it's not got a scammer in its bp history. If the item itself gets tagged, then the only way that a scammer can sell the item is through steam market.
  8. Tio José das Vacas

    Tio José das Vacas SteamRep Admin Partner Community Donator - Tier V

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    I can actually see that as good thing (with a lot of thinking) , but who are we to mark items? Mark the item only if it's still in the hands of the scammer or mark it even if we QS it before receiving the tag? Don't you think that would contradict our try to educate people?
  9. Salmon

    Salmon Caution on SteamRep

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    Users would be able to mark any item of their own which appeared in their BP history, of their own accord. This makes the item immediately "dirty." Abuse of the system would get the abuser tagged. If someone buys a tagged item off market, they can get the tag removed by showing screenshot of market history.
  10. Salmon

    Salmon Caution on SteamRep

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    Could also put say a 2 hr limit after item disappears from their BP to initiate a tag on the item(s). Doesn't stop chargeback scammers, but they're a very low % of scams these days.
  11. Burk very angry

    Burk very angry New User

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    Here's a some food for thought:
    -We all know a fresh 2 week account with high value items is an obvious scammer alt. I'd say an account just be at least 6+ months hold to be doing high-tier/cash trading. Some people could debate that some people can learn the ropes of cash trading or having high tier items in just a few months, but for me at least, I think an account just be 6+ months old.
    -As for how many hours...idk on that one. A few years ago I had some unusuals but barely had 100 hours. I think 100+ hours in any games should be good enough.
    -Also I've known steamrep for several years. HelenAngel is VERY understandable when it comes to trading with scammers. You have to be either homeyhomedawg or Penek to be marked by SR for trading with scammers.

    The rules haven't been updated for years, above are some of my ideas of what I think is good.
  12. Debras Neighbor #1

    Debras Neighbor #1 New User

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    Your asking too much from steamrep, everyone has lost hope http://i.imgur.com/Ow3eqDs.png including the mods. When people follow a system because they HAVE TOO, and NOT BECAUSE THEY BELIEVE IN IT you know something is very wrong. It took SR 2 years to adjust the bills hat minimum, took em months to recieve a report from fog, which they didnt care about. AND i bet this will take at least 5 years to get done. Government Speed > Snailrep
  13. Rosalina

    Rosalina New User

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    http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=397697949

    That pretty much summarizes all relevant points of how to determine a scammer alt and most of the points that SR and it's partners look into when determining a scammer alt. By far the best and most encompassing guidelines on determining a scammer alt. It gives you a list of the things SR and it's partners could look at and ways to avoid trading with them.

    It's pretty much a godsend for this community which is now so driven on avoiding trades with scammers. Not quite sure why it isn't as big as it should be. I had 2 TF2OP Admins and 2 different SR admins co-edit it, give me feedback after completing it and offer other points for me to add so it has gone under significant editing.

    I'd use this.
  14. Burk very angry

    Burk very angry New User

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    I disagree with one thing you just said. If everyone said "I don't believe in the system" so they go around scamming and trading with scammers, then they are a scammer. Whether or not you are forced to follow a system, if you get marked on Steamrep or any of the communities for trading with scammers you are going to be banned from pretty much every trade server and no one would trade with you. If this takes a long time for the rules to update, so be it. But the rules (hopefully) are going to change.
  15. Burk very angry

    Burk very angry New User

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    I like the thread, it was a good read. However, I traded with a user who didn't match any of the factors you listed except one, and I got banned for it. It might've been on outpost's fault, but perhaps the signs you listed need to be more specific, like using numbers.
  16. Rosalina

    Rosalina New User

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    No you can't give specific numbers because there is no official number such as "if an account is over level 100 it's legit."
    Anyone can buy an 11 year old account, easily grind it up to level 80, etc. There are many different ways to tell a scammer alt. It's very objective. There aren't clean cut numbers that determine a scammer alt. The guy you traded with had numerous signs of being an obvious alt... I'd absolutely say he was more than obvious as a scammer alt.

    Let me list a few of the signs that I notice within the first 2 minutes of looking at his account

    1) account less than 4 months old
    2) Started offering god tier knives and unusuals and maxes as soon as he created his outpost account
    3) Various spikes in his item history. His backpack jumps to $800 in value less than 2 months after it's created
    4) Very high steam level in spite of being a brand new account
    5) clear knowledge of trading that suggests there's no way in hell he is someone who actually is brand new to steam in under 4 months

    Lets compare that to my guide you can see that he fails the tests offered in

    5b
    5c
    6a
    6b
    6c

    I just added another part 8a that he fails too. So at the time of the trade he would have had 5 obvious signs of being a scammer alt, failed 5 alt check tests (6 at the current moment).

    Lava and Roudydogg1 like this.
  17. Roudydogg1

    Roudydogg1 Neonheights Co-Owner Friend Community

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    You sum it up perfectly when you say it's very objective. It is very hard to put to use numbers or very defined guidelines to define an alt, when an alt could have any 'number' or look like any thing. So honestly in my opinion often times it may be better to leave the definition broad? I mean it really isn't just "either, or".

    As for the
    Interesting point, but I believe that part of what makes a trader experienced -for all intents and purposes- is that they /do/ think twice about trading with high lvl accounts with many games. And it may be a bit off topic, but if a trader /is/ fooled by those kind of accounts (and they did not feel a need to check) then perhaps they're not as experienced as they thought.
  18. Burk very angry

    Burk very angry New User

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    5b- Not everyone builds up from scratch to unusual, but good point.
    5c- That was my fault, I didn't really look through the dates of his trades, he had 2 pages on his outpost tho
    6a- He had over 30+ games, but wasn't a fresh 2 week account. I guess 6+ months should be the minimum at least.
    6b- He had 100+ hours in TF2 and CSGO. What should be the minimum hours a non obvious alt should have? Although scammer alts can easily mine them.
    6c-Now that I look back, that's true.
  19. Burk very angry

    Burk very angry New User

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    I think making numbers would help a lot, there are scammers who go out there way to make their accounts look super legit, but I've dealt with tons of obvious hijacker/scammer alts who do not even try to hide their dirty goods.

    As for the fiasco that happened not too long ago, 10+ cash traders traded with him. I saw that he was an active outpost user, had rep threads, had games + some hours, no reports, I thought it would be safe to trade with him. Every other trade thought the same thing I did, so no it's not like we're a bunch of careless traders who don't spend time checking for obvious scammer alts. But when you're doing tons of trades a day and can only spend about 1 minute background checks, you don't have enough time to look thoroughly into everything.
  20. blind polar bear

    blind polar bear Former Backpack.tf admin

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    My point remains the same. If 90% of the community wouldn't think twice about trading with the person you are calling an obvious scammer, then your guidelines are in a sense pointless. Not pointless from the perspective that traders SHOULD be looking for things like that to prevent scammers from offloading items but pointless from the perspective that banning a sub-group of people just because they were reported for trading with that guy is arbitrary and unfair. Let's say this guy has made 500 trades. Only 8 people were banned for trading with him. Most of those 8 people are experienced traders who have complete 10,000 trades in a year. Just by chance, they are going to get banned more frequently. When chance is the major deciding factor about whether someone gets marked or not, the rules need to be changed.

    I'm not saying a thorough background check is a bad thing. I'm saying that you cannot expect every single trader to complete that kind of background check because 90% of people don't.
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