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.

Expansion to Investigative Policy? - Discord

Discussion in 'SteamRep General Discussion' started by ♪Mr.Dr.Prof.Dj♪, Nov 1, 2021.

  1. ♪Mr.Dr.Prof.Dj♪

    ♪Mr.Dr.Prof.Dj♪ New User

    Heyo! I tried looking up this topic within the forum, can't couldn't find an exact match to my question.

    Currently, messages outside of Steam fall outside of current investigative policy. My question is, would an expansion to include Discord messages be considered in the future?

    There was an exploit back in 2017 that was resolved regarding linking Steam accounts to Discord https://forums.steamrep.com/threads/dont-trust-unverified-steam-links-in-discord-profiles.165935/

    It seems that Discord accounts can now be verifiably linked to Steam accounts, and Discord accounts I believe can be identified with unique IDs as well. Do you guys believe this would be something feasible or are there just too many variables at play to properly investigate and verify?

    It seems that more and more people (especially regarding CS:GO items) are getting baited into Discord chats for scams, and scammers are intentionally avoiding Steam chat as a means to avoid tags here.
  2. Horse

    Horse Administrator SteamRep Admin

    SteamRep Admin:
    We couldn't include Discord cause then they would move to whatsapp, we add whatsapp and they go to telegram, or voice over, phone...you name it.
    We can't link accounts of any 3rd party platforms to Steam accounts, unless they did it themselves which most wouldn't that isn't possible. There is just no way to verify that and verify that in a timely manner. We are rather limited on what we can review with Steam even let alone other applications.

    Even if linked as you noted it can be quickly unlimited and discord info changed way before we had a chance to look at it.
    So - even if we took on discord scammers/people will leave that to use other means to communicate trading to avoid that, they do it now. Best advice is for users to NOT discuss Steam Trading outside of steam chat...if they do and must make sure that any and all formal agreements are noted clearly between the two users over steam chat with full screenshots taken of that...include it in the trade offer also. There are certain things we must see and balance before you can accept a report so without that there is nothing we can really do.
  3. ♪Mr.Dr.Prof.Dj♪

    ♪Mr.Dr.Prof.Dj♪ New User

    That makes sense. I didn't consider the "snowball effect" that it could bring with it. I just checked my Discord app and you can actually hide a linked account with a few clicks, so that makes sense as well. I wish Steam would add some sort of warning about communicating with other users outside of Steam, much like how they warn users about people not on their friends list and warning about giving out credentials. Thank you for the answer!
  4. VenGanZa

    VenGanZa User

    I wish Steam, ehem Valve would do a whole bunch of things, most of them TF2 related but still.....

    Sadly years go by, and things change. Once upon a time when I last traded keys were 2.33 refined and SteamRep was the Gold Star guarantee of rep and at least helped keep people safe. Now sure the market and many other things have changed, but SR continues on.

    A lot of people who post on SR presume that SR can wave a wand and stuff happens, the truth is that 99% SR guidelines and policy means that a great deal of the issues that aggrieve people are not applicable for action. Certain individuals on the forum jump on this as a critique, sure it is easy to ask "why can't you do this or that"... Well for a start there are rules and guidelines and other "stuff", and well even nearly a decade ago SR was so involved in ensuring that each and every process was fair and balanced, that at times it was ponderous to move forward.

    ♪Mr.Dr.Prof.Dj♪ I agree with you wholeheartedly, Steam should indeed include more warnings where appropriate. Since time immemorial there have been opportunities to scam, and any vacuum is filled by someone willing to scam. Sadly Valve has never been up to task of enforcing such things and SR has been fighting a losing battle.

    I do contend however that SR over the last decade had fought the good fight, and in spite of trading changing totally and arguably impacting on the razon de existir de SR, it still occupies a very important role in terms of trading.

    I wish like many who post, that SR could do more, had more power or impact, sadly this is not the case. What I am thankful for is that for those servers who use SR pluggin and pay attention to scammers and scam reports, we can be assured that at least some percentage of TF2 players are either somewhat protected or at least educated.

    I have been a strong advocate for SR for years beyond count *unless someone wants to actually count* and while I know the wheels turn slowly, the do indeed turn. Discord, or <insert name here app> may well be a perennial point of contention for someone, and there will always be valid reasons why XYZ cannot be used for evidence or because blah blah.

    The bottom line is that SR must always adhere to very strict protocols because those of us who use SR pluggin to safeguard our servers need to feel assured that any bans are justified and backed up by evidence.

    I will speak more of this in the near future when I bring servers online.

    GoV- VenGanZa TF2-T [A]
    ♪Mr.Dr.Prof.Dj♪ likes this.
  5. Lava

    Lava Public Relations SteamRep Admin

    SteamRep Admin:
    I don't think scammers in CS:GO are using Discord specifically as a means of avoiding SteamRep scrutiny. Most of them don't know or care about SteamRep to begin with. Instead, I think it's to escape scrutiny from Valve, who actually has the ability to hinder some of their operations.

    Scammers have always lured users onto other platforms to cover their tracks. It used to be common with Skype, Ventrillo, but most of the community knew that was a red flag. Part of that was avoiding us, but for many it was more to stay out of Valve's sight.

    Unfortunately, a lot of people have moved to Discord, giving that pretext an air of legitimacy, and even without users promoting it, Discord itself is a very ideal platform for fraud that gives scammers a sort of home field advantage. From a Discord chat, it's much easier to impersonate (and much harder to spot impostors), much easier to cover your tracks with untracked name/avatar changes, impossible for Valve to filter out phishing links, possible to edit and delete past messages when you might get in trouble, and easy to make a new account if Discord's Trust & Safety team catches on to what you're doing despite all this. It's also harder to report someone for scamming or even other malicious practices in Discord, and I've seen Discord servers used to coordinate much nastier things, comfortably safe from law enforcement and Discord moderation.

    As to the original question, as I said impersonation is a lot easier to pull off, and a lot harder to spot. A very fundamental part of SteamRep's evidence requirements means that we must be able to prove that the given accused profile was, in fact, the one performing this scam; and that it's not some impostor, mistaken identity, or doctored evidence. This also means it's a lot harder to collect proper evidence for, since we can't reliably capture it in a single screenshot to rule out fakes, and there's no audit trail. If we somehow managed to track scammer accounts on Discord, despite all this it's a hell of a lot easier to ditch an account and re-make it than it is on Steam, and it'd be near impossible to even notice the account was swapped out, much less prove it with a screenshot.

    I have seen some tools that were effective at tracking and combating Discord scams, which overcome most of the issues SteamRep's evidence requirements run into, and theoretically we might even be able to accept reports from those tools at some point, but currently all a scammer has to do is lure a victim into voice chat or DMs, and the tools become useless. As it stands, our recommendation is that you avoid Discord for any trades requiring trust, and exercise extreme caution if clicking on links posted in Discord so you don't end up on a phishing or malware site. If you still use it as your primary platform for trading, you do so at your own risk, and there's nothing we can do about it.