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Be careful buying items with paypal now

Discussion in 'Discussion Archive' started by Trunk, Jul 7, 2012.

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  1. Trunk

    Trunk New User

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    For those of you who don't know who I am, this is my account and sourceop store:
    http://steamcommunity.com/id/thetrunk
    Store: http://www.sourceop.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=63310
    Reputation: http://www.sourceop.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=45870

    This thread is about how I've gotten trade banned by Steam and why it seems they are doing it.

    First off I've been buying and selling TF2 items via Paypal for more than 1 and a half years now. I've had my Steam account since 2005 and have over 2400 hours played on TF2. I've tried my best to be a positive member of the TF2 trading community and I have 31 pages of all positive sourceop reputation. I've never asked people to rep me on sourceop so those who have, have done it on their own accord.

    However since about 2 weeks ago I've been forced to leave all this behind and lose everything without any choice in the matter.

    2 weeks ago I received another alert on my Steam account saying:

    "This account has been flagged by Steam Support for violations of the Terms of Service Agreement. Purchasing, gifting, trading, and cd-key activation have been disabled."

    This is actually the 2nd time it's happened. The first time happened about 2 months ago when I bought buds off a trustworthy sourceop user via Paypal that turned out to be hacked from somebody 3-4 trades previously. So since paypal doesn't show up in Steam trade, it was a one-sided trade they thought I was involved in the hacking. However after showing them paypal screenshots they removed the ban. These are the last 2 responses from Steam:

    [​IMG]

    I understood why Steam did what they did and they resolved it in an appropriate matter. I held no grudge with them after this. However I wish I could say the same for the second time this happened.

    This time I don't even know what items I traded that were fraudulent. They actually just straight up accused me of "scamming or hijacking another user's account in Team Fortress 2" and gave pretty much no information. After sending them about 5 messages trying to to get them to tell me what items caused my account to be flagged and prove myself innocent, their last response was:

    [​IMG]

    Well it's not like stolen items have a little tag on them that says "This item has been stolen, don't trade for it or we will ban you"
    And it's not just me, a lot of people have been getting screwed for buying stuff with paypal since they are all one-sided trades. Just recently all of the bots on TF2WH have been banned as well, causing quite a lot of controversy on their forums:

    http://forum.tf2wh.com/discussion/4570/pending-updated-tf2wh-bots-have-been-trade-banned.#Item_1
    http://forum.tf2wh.com/discussion/4630/the-situation-an-update.#Item_1

    I've been buying and selling with paypal for 2 years now and all this has happened in the last ~2 months. So it seems to me they are basically just starting to kill the entire buying/selling TF2 items with real money.
    They locked about $2000 worth of stuff in my accounts and also locked the account I used to trade TF2WH with that contained more than 10 million credits (~1300$).

    So in summary, just be careful buying TF2 items with paypal now. If you happen to buy something that was hacked from another account previously, there's a good chance Steam will think you are part of the hacking and ban you. Even buying from trustworthy members is not enough anymore since they are tracking item history through 5+ accounts.
    It's really disappointing that they are seeing things in such black-and-white now and a lot of reputable members are being hurt. And I though Blizzard Entertainment customer service was bad...
  2. Trunk

    Trunk New User

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    Oh and since I forgot to mention it in the original post, they actually banned all 336 of my idling accounts as well. Those accounts never traded scammed items at all since they were just used to idle, then trade the items to my other account. It just seems like they banned them for trading with my alt account and that's all the reason they needed.
  3. AcesGamer

    AcesGamer User

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    I've also had an account trade banned for receiving hijacked items. I had no clue at the time. Valve however did not reverse my ban, even after I showed PayPal screenshots.
    Melkor likes this.
  4. Horse

    Horse Administrator SteamRep Admin

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    Well, one reason I don't care much for the process of money for game items. I prefer to say keep it in game for the purpose of "Trading" which is what the process is called, not Buy/Selling.

    Still, at the end of the day you can complain all you want and post on all these forums etc etc...but Valve reserves the right to do whatever they want to your account(s) at any time as shown on the agreement we all had to read (I think most ignore it) when we join up.

    http://store.steampowered.com/subscriber_agreement/
  5. HelenAngel

    HelenAngel Retired Staff

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    Okay, I just want to clear some things up here:

    People do not get trade-banned for buying items with Paypal. It is risky, yes. If you do a lot of Paypal trades, it can look like one-sided trades which will flag your account. HOWEVER, a person will NOT get trade banned just for Paypal trading. I bolded & underlined this because this is an excuse that scammers use to try to trick people into buying their stolen goods from them after they get trade banned. I'm not even slightly saying the OP is a scammer or ANYTHING like that- I'm saying I've seen several scammers use this excuse when it is simply not true.

    The reason the OP was trade-banned was due to receiving items that were either scammed or from a hijacking. So the more appropriate title for this thread should be, "Be careful buying items if you aren't sure where they came from." I'm not saying OP didn't do his due diligence as best as he was able- I know there are holes in TF2items & other search engines especially if it goes through private backpacks. It would be great if Valve could give us some more accurate tools of seeing an item's history.

    IMHO, trading currency items are probably one of the riskiest items on the market because they have gone through so many hands. The community might want to reconsider using them in light of this. Max's heads, bill's hats, and earbuds often have long trading histories and fly across many users very quickly. I would be wary of using any of them at this point because it's virtually impossible to tell which ones are good and which aren't.

    High-volume traders may want to slow down a bit. It's tempting to snatch-up a good deal but at what cost? =(
  6. Trunk

    Trunk New User

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    Yes paypal trading is not bannable so I should've called it one-sided trading instead. Since there's just no way reliable to check an items history, just doing one sided trades can get you banned.
    If you are flagged, Steam just assumes you are a scammer and offers no chance of proving yourself innocent.
  7. SilentReaper(SR)

    SilentReaper(SR) Retired Staff

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    Its indeed related to items that have been hijacked. Any hijacked items that get traded without proper steam traded items traded for it, will be "illicit" to Valve/Steam support. We're trying to figure some out in this regards, as thats within our "protect the trader" idea. But it will take a lot of time and probably a new site with specific very custom and difficult functionality. As such, this won't be up in a quickie if ever, for dev of such would be taking a long time with no warranty of anything to be usable by the time its out due changes coming to steam.
  8. ViRaGisTe

    ViRaGisTe New User

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    Steam Trade policy

    What should I not trade for?

    Do not trade for anything that cannot be added into the trade window within Steam. The most common examples of these scenarios are the following:
    • Trading items/gifts for money. You cannot add wallet credit or any form of money into the trade window. A common example of this is trading for items/gifts in return for money via PayPal.

    What do you think about this ? Valve clearly states .. they dont like those parallel markets :(
  9. Starburst

    Starburst User

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    @viragiste:
    They have known about cash trading since the beginning, that is not new at all. They also posted as such (to lazy to look up spuf link) that they will not take action against those who do, the real issue is hijacked items being transferred thru accounts and because they cant tell who is actually trading for cash they assume its part of the scammer chain to "clean" or resell such items.
  10. Trunk

    Trunk New User

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    So after yet another week of waiting for a Steam response to my ticket, they sent me one saying that now I was banned for idling in TF2. Yes, Idling. So to date that is 3 completely separate and different reasons for why I've been banned.
    [​IMG]

    Fragmented customer support much Valve? They don't even care enough to give me a straight answer on why I was wrongly banned.

    I've already sent another message back to them trying to get them to confirm if idling is now actually a bannable offense...
  11. Xel'Naga

    Xel'Naga New User

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    I don't think the fact that they use various phrasing changes the fact that you know exactly why your account was disabled. In the Steam ToS, they pretty explicitly say that you can't use Steam to sell goods for your own financial gain. They also can disable your account at any time for any reason.

    Though, for what it's worth, I think one way to avoid getting your accounts flagged during PayPal trades it to make sure that both parties are offering up items. Let's say I sell somebody 50 keys via PayPal. I take the payment, and I put up 50 keys in the trade window. The buyer also puts up some throwaway item like a weapon or crate or something. This way it's a two-way trade, and it's less likely to get your account automatically flagged for review.

    That's just my theory, at least. Anybody have any other ideas on avoiding possible action from Valve?
  12. OakyTree

    OakyTree New User

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    It seems unlikely that just putting up a single item to fifty keys would bypass their detection system, if it did, that would be quite stupid on their part.
  13. Eoj Nawoh

    Eoj Nawoh Retired Staff Partner Community

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    One unusual for fifty keys. And generally the system would be more likely to find one sided.
  14. Ðiego™

    Ðiego™ Retired Staff

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    @ trunk

    i don't see trade-ban on your profile.
  15. Xel'Naga

    Xel'Naga New User

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    Perhaps his account was disabled in the same way Valve disabled the TF2WH bot accounts. They didn't show trade bans, either. Since OP's account history is similar to WH's (possessing stolen/hacked/duped items), it wouldn't seem too far-fetched that Valve did the same type of trade ban on him.
    Melkor likes this.
  16. SilentReaper(SR)

    SilentReaper(SR) Retired Staff

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    ehm thats a "Trade lock" as its called, and thats a temp ban for valve to investigate a issue till a final result comes out. The Idea is then that no reputation dmg is done by a "trade ban" on SR or elsewhere. that way, Valve can handle their bans unseen if they want.
    Melkor and Xel'Naga like this.
  17. ViRaGisTe

    ViRaGisTe New User

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    I dont think it will detect it .. even if you put one weapon for multiple unusuals. The trade policy states: Steam will not return any items or gifts that you feel have been traded unfairly. There are no exceptions to this policy.
    Most probably becuz of the many one sided-trades + multiple alternate accounts .. looked for their system like you were hijacking /scamming then selling for cash. Steam support didnt want to talk about their automated systems so they just made up those reasons.
  18. Ðiego™

    Ðiego™ Retired Staff

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    all these cries for a temporary ban?
  19. ViRaGisTe

    ViRaGisTe New User

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    it' s more about whether trading for paypal/cash and idling are bannable or not
  20. SilentReaper(SR)

    SilentReaper(SR) Retired Staff

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    if it is, that will ban like a great portion of the TF2 userbase.
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