Prelude: The purpose of this quick guide is to show common trade practices and scam prevention techniques. Please read this guide prior to making your first trade or sale on SourceOP in order to highly reduce the chance of being scammed. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Index 1) Know who you’re dealing with 2) Verify steam link in rep matches the person you’re dealing with 3) How to organize the transaction and use a middleman 4) PayPal payments 5) Scamming techniques and how to avoid them ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1) Know who you’re dealing with This is done by checking the persons steam URL in Diego's Steam ID finder: http://www.steamrep.com/ All you have to do is copy the persons steam page URL and put it into the tool and click check. Please note when copying the URL to highlight and then copy it - do not attempt to write it out yourself as the font steam uses can make "I" look like "l", as scammers take may take advantage of this fairly often. *If your steam doesn't show the URL please look at the pic to get steam to show it: This is where the URL is located: This is what it will look like once you have checked-in the box. In this example It shows us that this profile (Mine) is listed as a SOP Trusted Seller, and as an MCT admin. Always look at this section (as shown in the red box) to see if they are already marked as a scammer (it will be written in red): 2) Verify steam link in the rep thread matches the person you’re dealing with Check several things: Date joined (both Steam and SourceOP), how many games they have, the amount of friends they have AND if they are a Trusted Seller or UTC Admin make sure that they are actually in these groups by clicking "View all xx groups" (as shown in the next picture): Once you have confirmed who they are you can always make it even safer to get them to PM you via SourceOP. 3) How to organize the transaction and use a middleman Arrange the details of the transaction: The amount of money and type of items involved, which currency, who pays the fees, and how the seller wants the monetary side of the transaction to be completed. Always arrange these details before you get a middleman. If anyone refuses to use a middleman DO NOT TRADE WITH THEM! Most scammers try to avoid using a middleman so they can runoff with your items or money. Selecting a Middleman: community admins and Trusted Sellers are the most popular choice as far as Middlemen are concerned. Always check to make sure it’s really them by checking their steam URL in the database and making sure they are part of the steam group. Also, if you are in a MCT server, you can type "!admins" (without quotes) into the chat box and it will show you who are the admins currently in the server. When using a middleman both parties should confirm what details of the transaction (what items and how much is being paid for said items). After the middleman confirms receiving the items, they will inform both parties the items were received and then the buyer can pay the seller. The seller then checks their PayPal and confirms that they have received the payment. The middleman then gives the items to the buyer. 4) PayPal payments Sending Click on the “Send Money” tab on top. Then, click on the “Personal” tab. The Gift option should be automatically checked. Make sure you send the money through “Instant Transfer” or your “PayPal Balance” to ensure the person receives the money immediately and with no fees. If both parties do not reside in the same country, a 1% fee will be applied. Some countries (such as India), do not have the gift option available and the payment will have to be sent as “Goods” under the “Purchase” tab, be careful of this and deal at your own discretion. Receiving Under the “My Account” tab, click on the “Details” link for that particular transaction. Verify that the payment was sent as a Gift (it will say “Payment Type: Instant” at the bottom). You should also receive no fees nor be able to see a shipping address. It should look exactly like the picture blow. 5) Scamming techniques and how to avoid them Scammers can be very creative when it comes to ways of scamming, so inform yourself accordingly. I) Impersonation Most impersonators are very easy to spot and they usually modify their steam profile. Solution: It can be prevented by reading Step 2. II) Advanced Impersonation While it hasn’t been done yet, be wary of this technique. It works the same way as impersonation, but they take it further by impersonating a person in your friends list. Quick scenario below: Person A (scammer) adds person B (victim) saying he just wants to be friends. B checks out A’s profile and sees that he is currently not a scammer; all checks out good. After a certain time period, A changes his name and profile info to perfectly imitate someone on B’s profile who he regularly trades with, person C (the imitated). Since B knows C very well, he doesn’t both to check his profile at all. When person C goes offline, A uses this to his advantage and trades with B who is fooled and then proceeds to get scammed. Solution: Always check your “friends” profile to confirm that they are not a scammer and are in fact really themselves. III) Going rouge: Several scammers stand out from the rest and dedicate lots of time to their work. They start out by buying a few refined and several non-vintage hats in order to build up a medium amount of rep. Once they have enough so others victims suspect they are legit, they set up a large number of big-ticket trades and scam them in succession. Solution: Check the quality of their rep and not just the amount. Also, check their previous posts and look at the amounts they bid. IV) Phishing: Some people will earn your trust for a bit and let your guard fall. Meanwhile, they will make you click on a link during friendly conversation. Then a script runs from that website and enters malicious code into your computer. They get the info and login into your account and, well, you know the rest. Solution: Never click on any links from strangers unless you are 100% sure the link is safe. If unsure, run it through Google search. Also, if you have Firefox, use the “Web of Trust” and “NoScript” Add-ons. Also, have Steam Guard enabled. There is NO reason you should not have it enabled. Finally, ensure that your steam password is not the same as your email password. V) Fake Middleman Some scammers team up by impersonating a middleman or using one of theirs friends as a middleman. Don't fall for it. Solution: Only use Trusted Sellers, UTC Admins, or Steamrep Middlemen. Don’t use a random “joe” whom you’ve never heard of. Postlude: Use your common sense. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t go through with it. Don’t let greed get in the way nor be afraid to deny a few deals.