This may not be a direct relation to the whole trading issue.. but it WILL help you find out if the person you're about to try to trade with is involved in some stuff that would sway you one way or the other. I'm going to help you spot someone that is a Steam Hacker first of all. This one is easy. What do people hack on Steam? Pretty much ANYTHING... they hack their Steam level, they hack their card numbers, their badges, etc. The easiest way to spot a hacker on Steam is to check out their Steam level. If they are anywhere over 90 then it's pretty safe to assume they should have quite a bit of history for you to verify. If you click on their "badges" link on their Steam profile, you should not only see their badges, but also the EXP they have accumulated so far. If it shows an insane amount of EXP required for the next level (it's generally going to be less than 10K unless they are over level 190) like this guy: http://steamcommunity.com/profiles/76561198062161809. If you'll notice he has only 5 badges and is level 90+ (your first clue) then you click his badges and note that in order to make his next level, he requires over 95,000 exp. That's the sure sign that someone has hacked their Steam Level. Some hackers are a bit smarter and cover their tracks better. They might actually care what people think or they might have some money and time tied up in the account. You never know. But, another sure way to tell is to click their badges. Pay close attention to the timeframe they created their badges. Now, bear in mind that when you create a badge, you have to buy/trade for the cards first. Granted, this can be done in advance. However, you still have to click the "create" button for each badge level (up to 5 for regular non-seasonal badges and 1 for normal non-seasonal FOIL badges) and watch all the little cards swirl around and then the data about what 3 items you received, if you completed a level, etc. That takes time as well as switching between that badge and the next one that needs your attention. Generally a high-end computer system with a great internet can put a 10-card badge together in about 15 seconds from click to click. That means a 5-level badge will take about 75 seconds. Note that it takes more than 1 minute. Even a 5-card badge still has a minimum time for completion of 10 seconds each. This is, not only for Steam to keep the servers from being bombarded by people creating badges, but also to keep people from timing out and losing their hard-earned cards, etc. So... we know the background information. But, when you're looking closely at some people's cards.. you'll notice something strange. They have more than one 5-level badge created in the same minute. Is that possible? The short answer is "yes". Because the system is limited on what it tracks, it only actually posts the time the badge was COMPLETED, not when it was started. So, it's possible that you could get done with one badge at 1 second into a minute and finish a quick 5-card badge and potentially have two badges created in the same minute that are level 5. Is it likely? No. Don't forget, if you're looking at a non-level 5 badge then it took much less time to create them and you can have all kinds of them done in the same minute. I wouldn't expect more than a couple though. So, why do people have up to 20 to 60 level 5 badges with the exact same time and date? That's not possible. Based on everything we just talked about, it's not possible to have more than two (unlikely) level 5 badges created in the same minute, much less 20. Yet, when you go into the badges of most of the uber-high level profiles on Steam, you'll note that they have lots and lots of situations where they have 20-60 badges all created in the same minute. (example: Check out http://steamcommunity.com/profiles/76561198032978162 badges on Dec 16th at 9:21 PM.. he has 16 level 5 badges all created in the same minute... actually he has lots of these types of situations, this is just an example... another is Feb 15th at 11:50 PM.. he made over 20 level 1 badges all in the same minute, the next minute several more. Again, not possible. Not even with scripts) That's when you know you're not dealing with someone that's on the level. They are hacking and creating badges for their profile. Not that anyone should be surprised considering the amount of time and money that goes into even hitting level 200 (I know, I'm level 200 and did it totally legitimately). So, there you have it. A very basic crash-course on how to spot hackers and scammers on Steam. They may have a perfect track record in rep, trading, etc. But, do you really want to trade with someone that may have just created that account specifically to make it look like they are a pillar of the community, but could end up banned at any time when Steam finally starts getting wise to some of these tricks, hacks and exploits? Basically, the deal with the Steam Subscriber Agreement (SSA) is as follows: Anything you buy from the Marketplace is known as a commodity. Commodities (per the SSA) are owned by Steam, therefore they can control what you do with them. In this case we're going to be talking about Steam Cards and Badges.