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. Rosalina

    Rosalina New User

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    To compare... Think about it this way. How many hours did it take you to get to where you are in trading? Also anyone can leave TF2 or CSGO open. Take me for instance. I have what? 1000 hours on TF2. Guess what I've actually played less than 5 hours of the game. I think the game isn't particularly that good. All those hours are from sitting on the main menu.
  2. Rosalina

    Rosalina New User

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    Let me be clear. I don't care if someone has made 50,000 clean trades in a year and then makes one trade with a scammer. It doesn't matter. Should the 30 years in service cop who kills an innocent citizen be treated identical to the brand new cop who does the same? Of course. We have rules and that's your choice to make 10,000 trades a month. You know the rules, you choose to ignore them... You bring the potential punishment upon yourself. I'm not forcing you to do all those trades. The whole reason we have the "trading with scammers rule" is to prevent people from helping scammers profit (the other hand of that coin is using scammers to profit). Well guess what? by not doing your proper background check you're helping scammers profit.

    Pretty much case closed, in my opinion. Do your damn background check. It's your own fault if you don't, you have no one to blame but yourself. Trading on steam is something that you have to take responsibility for
    Roudydogg1 likes this.
  3. Salmon

    Salmon Caution on SteamRep

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    That's not the right comparison to make. It's like if a cop writes 1000 tickets a month and gets 20 complaints a month vs a cop who writes 300 tickets a month but only gets 15 complaints. Which cop is more in need of re-training to reduce issues? Your analogy would make sense in the case of BigMac, who straight up said "screw it" and took a profitable trade from a scammer just to get profit, thinking he could get off with a warning. But those cases are a bit more clear cut - the real issue at hand here is the edge cases, where there is a reasonable doubt that the trader did their best to check.

    We can drop the pretense and just link Frost's case, I think. http://forums.f-o-g.eu/threads/7690-76561198061836787-frost.html

    The guy makes something around 10,000 trades a month. He background checks every single one as best he can. The issue is that "as best he can" means that he can still miss stuff. In the case which recently got his outpost ban, he missed that the user had a spike in value in their BP. Literally everything else about the user was perfect - "he had a rep thread , level 40 more than 30 games, 100 hours on GO and Tf2, he even traded with an OP moderator[not at the time]/ Expirenced trader (after the trade but even him failed to see the alt) - threfore I'm not going to consider an obvious alt." Consider also the difference in scale. He has a $50,000 backpack and even more in cash put into his bank account. The trade he was reported on FoG for (which was decided was not an obvious alt) was around $500 and that's still just 1% of his approximate net worth. The 2 trades which actually got him a warning from FoG & a ban on outpost were 16 and 20 keys, which are less than a tenth of a percent of his net worth. One of the two was from before he knew how to check people - the other was with someone who was declared by FoG to not be an obvious alt & was only known as an alt due to an SR tag 2 months after the trade took place.

    Until someone makes a feature for SR or some other site which directly returns a suspicious/not suspicious verdict for users to look at, I don't think it's fair to punish users for missing one minuscule detail when making a trade. If there was a yes/no site (which stored history generated by searches, allowing you to see what the verdict was when the trade occurred) and someone ignored the verdict to make a trade, then that should be punishable.

    Honestly, my opinion is that tf2op should really reconsider their ban on him as it seems like a gross overstepping. If you can't convince FoG of a report (they are the best at researching cases) then it's not something which someone should be banned for. It's complete fodder for nay-sayers to bash the staff with, and tf2op staff work too diligently and skillfully in every other way to let something like this drag them down. The last thing we need is to give people a reason to second guess bans instated by communities and make them think they need their own research to decide if someone is trustworthy or not.

    If anything, Frost proves that it's more than feasible for users to check every trade. He had 5 potential issues across tens of thousands of trades. The only known trade he made which they decided was an obvious alt was from before he was told to check this stuff. If he can do it, so can everyone.
  4. Burk very angry

    Burk very angry New User

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    The whole "we made this rule prevent scammers from profiting" is to make sure you aren't trading with the most obvious scammer alts. You know like the level 1, 12.6 hours in TF2, fresh 2 week old accounts that are magically quickselling unusuals? If you've been here on Steamrep long enough, then you would know that honest traders do make 1 mistake out of the hundreds/thousands of trades they make. This thread wasn't about doing the most thorough background checks ever, it was made for a trader who makes trades constantly to find out scammer alts in 1 minute or less. But at the end of the day, if you think my mistake was so bad, report me to FoG and Steamrep.
  5. Burk very angry

    Burk very angry New User

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    Sorry I wish I was able to edit or merge posts >_<

    You are comparing trading with a scammer/obvious scammer alt to someone ending someone else's life, sorry this is way different.
  6. [FoG] Downie

    [FoG] Downie New User

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    If you want to brainstorm about the rules be my guest, if you want to argue about an OP ban, please do it with the OP admins. Note that FoG is in a good relation with OP and we respect their decisions, they are our fellows , we share a lot of opinions, etc...
  7. Burk very angry

    Burk very angry New User

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    The point of the thread wasn't towards an OP ban, Rosaline/FortESP brought it up. I respect outpost's decisions and Fog's decisions as well.

    The point of this thread was to brainstorm about the rules, but it got derailed.
  8. SilentReaper(SR)

    SilentReaper(SR) Retired Staff

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    The rule against trading with scammers and their obvious alts is aimed against those said scammers profiting of their stolen items. This may be indirect or direct or way watered down the line once the scammer has traded the stolen unusual or high value item for keys or lower unusuals or w/e items. And a bit further down to smaller items and in the end selling the smaller items for money. By that, the scammer has long lost the Stolen items, but gained its worth in items in their backpack. By trading them, you enable them to swap those items into items the scammer thinks he can sell directly for money. This is the basic reason why we have the rule against trading with scammers and their alts.

    The discussion about whether some account is a "obvious" alt, can go from superficial to a very deep investigation on the account. This question is often asked among admins, for we get to see every day obvious alts. Hell, I even look at 10+ year old accounts, and can often deduce which of those accounts got brute force hijacked and sold, for those accounts where abandoned by their original owners (for whatever reason). I'm not going to tell the telltale signs for those, for there is no use (keep in mind: before 2012, there was no steamguard, if the account was never logged on and activated with steamguard after that, it never got steam guard protected). Just take it from me: Those old (real) accounts are actually rarely active (in trading). The discussion is also often between admins what is to be defined a "obvious" alt. And to be fair, this has to be without the tools we have available, and without going incredibly deep. We often already know some account is a alt before we ever visit the steam profile, if we even find that needed. However, the tools that we use, also provide some (small) clues into how likely somebody can mistake it as "real" account.

    The balance has every time to be struck somewhere by a admin, and its always a bit of a hard decision to go with either way. This is the exact reason why there is the "3 strike" rule. And in some cases it does bite back with the traders that do a lot of trading, and we do try to compensate for that. People make mistakes, and while we're hard on the trading with scammers, we try not to mark for trading with obvious alts, unless we really have to. We do expect people to do due diligence depending on the size of the trade and research their trades deep enough to trade safely. Nobody is perfect, not SR admins, not any trader. But as a trader gets more experience, they get also a good feel of the legitimacy of other accounts.

    Anyhow, what I'm trying to say is, that the "obvious" in "obvious alt" really is what within a couple minutes can be found out by looking around their profile, and some easily done things. And yeah, the list is very long in what can be looked at, and basically I would say "everything". For that's what I look at, everything on their profile and "shared". And sure, a bunch set it to private, and that should make you running, for anybody with a private profile/bp has something to hide.

    As been said earlier in this topic, its impossible to set a "measure" on a account and be done with it. For then you should basically give everything on a profile a "measure" and having a very long checklist, and that would still not say anything, for the scammers can use the same checklist to just match it and be done with it. This would immediately invalidate any "checklist" one could write up.

    On another note, what we really come hard down on, is intentional trading with scammers, if we warned you to not trade with X, and you still traded with X, then you are basically saying: I don't care, I'll profit, the stolen items can pose risk for others when I trade them, and I still don't care. Which is the reason those intentionally trading with a scammer getting a straight ban.

    /edit, adjusted a wrong sentence about trading with scammers, which was meant to be "obvious alt".
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2015
  9. Rosalina

    Rosalina New User

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    How so? the two are perfectly comparable. I just took the situation given to us at hand and took it to a full extreme. The results are consistent and are more than reasonably comparable.

    I'm sorry you're wrong. A scammer alt is still a scammer. According to SteamREP. It doesn't matter how old the account is. They can have a 5 year old alt with 500 games and it could still be a scammer alt. Tagged or not, it's still a scammer.
    Roudydogg1 likes this.
  10. Burk very angry

    Burk very angry New User

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    Sorry if I misunderstood, so if a 5 year old alt with 500 games and is not marked, we're magically supposed to know that it's a scammer alt? Please explain it more.
  11. You Are The One

    You Are The One Head Appeal Admin SteamRep Admin

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    Just ignore him,

    Unless other factors were at play such as the trader being an admin/mod at some community who may have elevated access to backend info either at SR or their community or item histories were pretty damming very very unlikely an account that fits his example would be considered a "obvious scammer alt"

    Its called discretion and SR does use it, SR is not actually in the business of "gothca" tags of well known users, they look for intent and if a user otherwise reasonably could have known or found out. (actually checking the user tho irrelevant in most cases)
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2015
  12. Rosalina

    Rosalina New User

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    No necessarily. My point was that any scammer alt is a scammer alt. Doesn't make them an obvious scammer alt. Doesn't make them a non-scammer alt. But it does make them a scammer alt. That's a fact. It was a side tangent commentary.

    I do believe that your definition of "obvious alt" is very, very, very forgiving definition of "obvious."
    Roudydogg1 likes this.
  13. Burk very angry

    Burk very angry New User

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    On a side note, when you mean "Scammers" you mean people who stole items or do you also include scammers who trade with "scammers"?

    On the main part. The obvious scammer alt I traded with only had 1 out of the 5 signs of obvious scammer alts in the SR FAQ, I'm not sure if there has to be 0 out of 5 signs on the FAQ or how it works if someone has 4 good signs but 1 bad sign.
  14. Lava

    Lava Public Relations SteamRep Admin

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    For the record, the account in question (linked below) you got your ban from TF2OP for had multiple signs per our FAQ:
    • Low hours in game (300-ish now, but allegedly only 100-something at time of trade), but unusually deep knowledge of trading/prices for someone that new, and dealing with multiple high-value items.
    • New Steam start date, account was created in April of this year, about 4 months ago. To clarify, simply being new is not in itself incriminating or reason not to trade with them, but if they're dealing with high value items and seem unusually knowledgeable about what they're doing for someone new. The alt was selling both high-value CSGO items and TF2 items, and for someone with low hours that's a bit sketchy.
    • Not necessarily quickselling, but selling recently-acquired high value items that came out of nowhere. This one is not against the letter of rule, and admittedly would take some extra time to establish, but considering the above 2 points is still worth looking at. I realize this step is a bit more involved, and I'm not one to quote bp.tf prices, but his backpack jumped from $88 to $1394 in the span of a week. This can happen legitimately - I once saw someone with less than 100 hours on an unusual trade server, selling a hat worth ~$600 - but usually it's recognizable by a single high-value item they have/had with no history they likely unboxed themself, rather than a handful of unusuals like we have in the account's history.
    I think the process of identifying alts, and discussion of whether we should revisit our criteria for recognizing alts, very much has merit. I think that concern is further reinforced by people who I know are very high profile and also careful about who they trade with, being fooled by this alt. However, your ban on TF2OP for trading with the scammer alt is between you and them. They have even taken the time to explain this to you. SteamRep does not, and will not, intervene in our partners' bans, and they are well within their right to ban anyone from their own site for any reason (or no reason) they see fit. We only intervene if they are also applying BANNED tags, and then only rarely.
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  15. SilentReaper(SR)

    SilentReaper(SR) Retired Staff

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    For your question: I mean with Scammer any that is marked, no matter the reason. Unless you have a specific sentence in my reply above where you might think I meant something else.... English is not my first language. And I have many distractions to take care of.

    As for those "signs", these are just a road map of things to start looking at, not really "guidelines" for what consist of being alts. Its just often the most basic ones you can find.

    For instance I can look at ones game hours... I see a 1000 hours... and only 3 achievements.... what conclusion do you draw? Does it mean anything by itself? are there other things you should notice?
    Again, I see a 1000 hours, and I see a lot of achievements (60+% of all), but those all where made within the same day/week, what conclusion do you draw? Achievement server? Steam Achievement Manager?
    Another example, I see a profile, but near no hours on CS:GO, TF2 or DotA2, but I see expensive items for one of those games in his/her backpack... (except keys on this, for that is a payment commodity)... what conclusion(s) do you draw?

    All those don't say its a alt by itself, but you gotta paint a picture and learn to "read" a profile in its whole, games, what games where played, did the user actually play the games, does that make interest for that game's items "justified"? What types of traders are there? There are whole bunches of traders who are not interested in the "main 3 games" with game items on steam, they are more interested in other games. Or play only 1 game, and a way smaller part plays 2 of those games... etc. Read the comments, see the screenshots, oldest, when, badges, there is a TON of information on a profile that you can digest, and if you think about it, you can draw conclusions from there. When you do that often enough, you look at a profile, and you will see what you need to look at probably faster and faster. I'm often way longer busy writing down my conclusions on researches then actually looking at them. For instance, I look at comments... when you ignore all the "trading" related ones... whats left? and if none, what does that say? why?

    I can't teach you how to look at a profile, its self-taught with questions. One you only master if you look at every profile you trade at, and take the experience you get into account. You can sorta get the same if you just go down a bunch of reports here, and look at the accused their profiles... the downside? personal interest.. you have more interest researching when you want to prevent you losing money then with a random profile... but that one collides with the interest to "get the deal done asap, because he's pushy" (which is another tell-tale). And only once you start to see the "gaps" you will start to understand what it is what you look for.

    Each of any of what you can find on a profile can be filled up to any "specification" you will put out... but only when you start to learn to read them, you understand that no guide is ever going to cover what you learned to see. I can write a thousand cases, and none of the ones you ever will encounter will be exactly like that, unless it happens to be that exact account.

    Till you put in the work to learn to recognize them, there is no guide in the world who can tell you "by this and this you will know its a alt" for that is simply not true, for you will not remember all its tiny intrications... but once you learned to read the profile... its some you will never forget.

    I mentioned above that I look at old accounts and can deduce if these where hijacked / sold... I can often even tell even roundabout WHEN they where sold... or maybe clearer: when the new user of it started using them. And only sometimes I can pinpoint it closer with SR's back end data. Yes, just by looking at the profile itself, and sometimes google (Rarily I use it, for its mostly junk).

    The ramp up from small times trader to a bigger trader should have taught one to read profiles. This is also incorporated into our rules. You have a brain, you can digest information and conclude things from what you see and read, its your strongest tool against bad experiences. The internet is a bad place and you should have your guards up at all times when doing activities that could be harmful for you.

    As I now see lava has replied regarding intentions etc, I had no interest atm to look at the OP's motives etc, more in the discussion at this time. tbh, I'm not too much caring about it either. SR won't intrude on individual bans, unless very extreme conditions, for we will always talk with the owner/involved admin if some is of interest. We rather let them handle it. Bans on a partner/friend's comm... we have no say over them and we don't want to either. Some admins have such access as part of being admin on said community, but those would there be acting as admin for that comm, not as SR admin. SR has a very rigid rule: we do not interfere with partner/friend community bans. The only ones we sometimes look into are the ones that are shown on our site, for it must consist of a certain quality level, and we play it via their admins that we convey concerns, and leave it up to them. Its very rare that we've overturned a partner's tag. It never happened without communicating with them first afaik.
  16. Burk very angry

    Burk very angry New User

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    Exactly, my outpost ban is between outpost and I, the point wasn't to bring up the ban. I made the thread because if there's a slight chance that the rules change or I get unbanned on Outpost I know how to fix my errors. I realize my mistake, ret0rd was more obvious now that I look back and realize what I've done, but some parts of SR's signs of potential scammer alts are somewhat vague. For the most part I want to know what's the minimum amount of hours or steam date someone has so I know that they aren't a fresh obvious alt. Some scammer alts DO buy 10 year alts + hours but unless you check their backpack value increasing exponentially it's hard to tell, but I'm just talking ground level on what's an obvious scammer alt.

    Thank you for your response though I liked it.
  17. Lava

    Lava Public Relations SteamRep Admin

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    There is no hard cutoff, and there probably never will be, it's a judgement call. If we set a number, then scammers would simply pull for that criteria on their alts and people would easily trade with them, while traders would only basically run a script and not do any research. Sometimes you trade with an account not considered "obvious", and when that happens it generally isn't held against you. Your own experience is also taken into consideration.
  18. Burk very angry

    Burk very angry New User

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    Alright then I guess there isn't a need for an update on the rules unless someone disagrees with me. I should make better judgement calls instead of just looking at the signs of possible scammer alts.
  19. blind polar bear

    blind polar bear Former Backpack.tf admin

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    Holy crap, you are off your rails. People ARE marked for scamming people, even once. That's completely different from trading with a scammer.

    This is exactly the problem with literal interpretations of rules instead of understanding the spirit of the rules. You have to take a broader view here. Everything we do is to make the community a better place. That seems to be the first thing that gets forgotten when talking about "marking" people.

    I'm glad to see at least some admins here seem to get that. "This is the exact reason why there is the "3 strike" rule. And in some cases it does bite back with the traders that do a lot of trading, and we do try to compensate for that. People make mistakes, and while we're hard on the trading with scammers, we try not to mark for trading with obvious alts, unless we really have to."
  20. Rosalina

    Rosalina New User

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    Ok I'm going to be blunt. Are you stupid? Did you bother to read my comments about how there is no literal clear cut rule? Because you sound like you never even bothered to read my comments. The comparison is not even remotely similar to comparing scamming with trading with scammers. I never said there shouldn't be a 3 strike rule. Don't even bother replying to my message or answering my questions because everyone here knows the answers are an incredibly obvious "Yes" and "No I didn't read a word you said"
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