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Procedures leading to false taggings

Discussion in 'Discussion Archive' started by T-Virus, Jan 7, 2013.

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  1. T-Virus

    T-Virus Donator - Tier IV

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    Hello, my name is Eric AKA T-Virus,

    I have been marked as a scammer twice previously on SteamRep, and an additional time threatened with a scam tag. None of the tags have held because I am in fact, not a scammer nor knowingly deal with scammers. I am making this thread to inform you that I feel like I'm being targeted and ask for a review of procedures used to mark me in hopes of both; 1. making sure I'm not being targeted and 2. to avoid such issues like this for me and other traders in the same boat going forward. Below I will cite the three incidents in detail for you in hopes of SR correcting obviously flawed procedures used in my taggings.

    The first time was from MCT claiming I ran from a spycrab with out any evidence. MCT used | http://oi48.tinypic.com/28rma9i.jpg | this chat as evidence. They had no information of any crab that took place, who was crabbed, when exactly it was or anyone that saw it. How do they not have any of this information? Because it was about 5 months after the incident occurred (as seen by the picture below). They gave me a full scammer tag.

    http://oi49.tinypic.com/66xf87.jpg

    http://oi50.tinypic.com/2e4lpnb.jpg

    The second time I was given a caution tag, but threatened to get a full scammer tag if I did not provide the correct information.

    4:53 PM - Mattie!: As a CAUTION yes, but hopefully when you get home you can provide more screenshots to prevent a SCAMMER tag. I need to be sure your story holds up to what you said, etc

    Full chat here - http://pastebin.com/5Q4vMFTc

    Here is what happened. A guy named Moot added me. He had 500+ tf2 hours, 60+ hours in the past 2 weeks and his steam rep was clean but his account was semi new. He then told me he had bought a Secret Moon Team Captain and needed money badly so he was selling it for cheap. I assumed he was suspicious from the beginning. So while in mumble with an SR Admin I asked him to check the account on SourceOp (came back nothing suspicious), TF2 Outpost(the SR admin was banned on outpost at the time - I asked pretendeer to unban him), TF2 Trading Post (had not used), and SteamRep (no notes on user). Just to make sure, I had the user give me a screenshot of their trade history. No connections to any other marked account. Other than the account being new, there were no red flags that I could find.

    The next day I get an add from Mattie telling me I bought my hat off a scammer alt. Mattie was very offensive assuming that I knowingly traded with a scammer.

    4:12 PM - ☣T-Virus: ?
    4:12 PM - Mattie!: Hey there
    4:13 PM - ☣T-Virus: i know you are here for the TC
    4:13 PM - Mattie!: Need to ask you about your Secret TC--- can you tell me the scammer alt you bought that from?

    Full chat here - http://pastebin.com/5Q4vMFTc

    From what I know he found a pastebin using google that had the email the user gave me to pay him through paypal. The pastebin did not directly link the email to a user. This is my knowledge on this. I was not told everything. I think that already checking the user out and finding nothing suspicious other then the account being newish, and agreeing on the terms of the trade, it's unreasonable to go back and search his email in google to find an unverified chatlog that does not specifically link to any account. I find it beyond what is necessary for checking to make sure that the user is not a scammer alt. No other trader would be held to that high of a standard of checking. I understand that I should not have done the trade regardless as admins should be held to a higher standard, I did suspect it was somewhat fishy due to the account being new, this does NOT fall under "KNOWINGLY trading with scammer alts" as per SR policy.

    After I received my caution tag and the account I bought from was marked as a scammer the account then told me who he was. When I told Mattie he was going to tell me who it was, Mattie gave me 3 possibilities of who he could have been. Keep in mind this is hours after I received the caution tag and Mattie still was not sure who it was. If Mattie could not figure out who he was at this point in time, how did he expect me to? And thus why I believe this does not fall under knowingly trading with scammer alts when not even he knew who it was hours after already tagging me.

    This conversation with Mattie was not pleasurable. Assuming I was knowingly dealing with a scammer from the start. I realize this can be used as a tactic for establishing a baseline truth in investigations.

    4:18 PM - ☣T-Virus: i have a dentist appointment
    4:18 PM - Mattie!: You were in Mumble with Butane?
    4:18 PM - ☣T-Virus: for my wisdom teeth
    4:18 PM - Mattie!: Sounds good, we can discuss this when you're back and in a lot of pain
    Full chat here - http://pastebin.com/5Q4vMFTc

    The third time I was given a scammer tag without warning. No one added me to inform me I was going to be tagged and the admins did such little research before they tagged me it's embarrassing. I did more research on the previous user that I was caution tagged over than these admins did before I was given a scammer tag (Talk about a double standard). Wasted two hours of Bluedemon's, JJJJ's and my time. I very much appreciate the help they gave.

    I was marked for trading with scammers "again".

    http://oi50.tinypic.com/28vvji1.jpg

    The tag then went on to say I have done this multiple times and I have received multiple warnings. Keep in mind I have never traded with a marked account or knowingly traded with a scammer alt, I do my best to make sure the people I trade with are not scammers or associated with scammers. There was no public thread made. I went on TF2TP and it said I was banned for trading with scammers, "Moon Liquidators Lid this time".

    http://i48.tinypic.com/or81ew.png
    http://i49.tinypic.com/1hb1mr.png

    I thought to my self, "s✿✿✿ did I not check who I traded with?" I got the history on the item off of TF2items.com.

    http://oi48.tinypic.com/6f7a5t.jpg

    I checked the account I traded with and the account I traded to on SteamRep, both had "No special reputation".

    http://i49.tinypic.com/359y97b.png
    http://i46.tinypic.com/16advlc.png

    Van | http://steamrep.com/profiles/76561198056885194 | is now marked because he has had previous warnings of trading with scammers. To my knowledge the admin(s) saw that the last owner of the hat on TF2TP was a marked scammer and now it was in my hands. They marked me without taking the time to even check the history of the hat.

    After being Bamboozled over and over as cited above, I can only conclude that I am a high priority to mark in the eyes of some. As people have said to me; "If it wasn't apparent the last time they tried to mark you, it is now." I realize I come off as immature, irresponsible, and an a✿✿✿✿✿✿. I will not deny that, partly because I am young compared to other admins. But I do my best to keep this community running and keep it safe from scammers and hijackers trying to unload items. I am writing this thread to inform people and hope that a higher admin would take the time to review these incidents and change procedures as needed and especially before marking me from now on as it seems to me, I am being singled out.


    Thank you for your time and sorry for the long thread,
    Eric F.

    *Link edited as per OP's request by HelenAngel.
  2. HelenAngel

    HelenAngel Retired Staff

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    Just to clarify, the scammer tags applied were NOT SR TAGS. They were from MCT (Mann Co Trading) & TF2TP (TF2 Trading Post). Just to repeat, they were NOT STEAMREP TAGS. They were applied by those communities. Therefore if you feel you are being targeted, you need to take it up with those two separate Associate sites.

    I'm not sure how a review of our policies would have changed anything since these are not SteamRep tags. If anything, your tags were resolved because of the policies that SteamRep currently has in place. I am all for reviewing and changing SteamRep's policies when needed, but SteamRep's policies had nothing to do with your tags since they came from community sites and NOT SteamRep.
  3. Mattie!

    Mattie! SteamRep Admin

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    Hey T-Virus---

    If you wish to appeal your SR CAUTION tag, you are welcome to do so. The appeal forum is here and a different SR ADMIN will review your tag and you can make your case to them.

    I've not paid much attention to the other tags as those were reports by other communities and they had their own reasons. They weren't from SR itself.

    I stand 100% by the SR CAUTION.

    Given the following facts:
    • You're a server admin: You claim to be an admin of a trading server, establishing a community
    • Well-versed in the scene: You have reported many "shady dealings" of people you don't like to community admins, making it clear you know how to identify those situations.
    • Knowing the deal was suspicious: You knew yourself the hat was dirty right away.
    • Full cash deal: You paid $900 PayPal in a transaction involving...
    • Scammer alt clue: ... with a two-month-old Steam account,
    • Scammer alt clue: ... without a public backpack,
    • Scammer alt clue: ... quick-selling a god-tier unusual,
    • Scammer alt clue: ... with deep knowledge of TF2 rare collectibles.
    You can try to push the blame on Butane or myself or all of the different community admins who suspect you of encouraging scammers through shady deals. In the end, I'm shocked that you would get yourself into situations like this when you know better.

    I wasn't gentle with you because we have no tolerance for admins that knowingly deal with item dupers or hijackers-- and I needed to get to the bottom of whether you were one of those admins. It's SteamRep's goal to quickly put a stop to that kind of behavior.

    All the evidence pointed to you buying from an obvious scammer alt. In the end, though, I think you weren't purposely trying to help a scammer profit (hence a CAUTION rather than SCAMMER), but you didn't care much about the history, as evidenced by your chat log bidding right away on the shady item that you couldn't research (due to it being a hidden backpack).

    It was no surprise that it was a scammer alt, which you only discovered after you purchased and not in all your "research" before dropping nearly a thousand dollars:

    [​IMG]

    I can't comment on your other run-ins with other admins. I wasn't involved in those. In theory you've cleared your name for those counts with other admins since the tags are no longer there.

    This forum is not the appeals forum, if you want to appeal an SR-related "false tagging", you have another subforum for that.
    Melkor, Dronefly and HelenAngel like this.
  4. ForteSP

    ForteSP New User

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    With all do respect, it does not seem like communities are separate. A lot of SR admins are also admins of other SR associate communities.

    I have a lot to say on this topic but many things are unrelated to each other and I really don't feel like writing a mega long essay like T-Virus. If you guys want to hear a few things I have to say, add me on Steam/PM me, I'd gladly share what i have to say.

    Finally, I'd like to mention I was given an MCT Caution tag for trading with an SR Scammer/TF2OP scammer NOT an MCT scammer. If these communities are separate Associate sites. They Should NOT have the ability to mark me based on what I did with someone who isn't even tagged on their community.
  5. VenGanZa

    VenGanZa User

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    I agree that in a perfect world, SR Admins would have no formal role on associated sites or communities, however such a perfect world does not exist, and there are not enough players with the integrity and skills to populate all the places that need such staff :)

    Certainly I do believe SR strive to ensure the closest possible oversight or communities which can originate tags, and from what I understand that happens.

    I most certainly do not believe SR imposes any frivolous tags, and as far as I am aware communities who tag themselves take great care also. The fact that people like T-Virus, Longfellow and other higher profile people have had tags which have been quickly removed on appeal is a testament to the fact that cases are investigated, reviewed and judged on merit. To suggest there are any witch hunts or that certain individuals are targeted flies in the face of evidence.
  6. AcesGamer

    AcesGamer User

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    That makes no sense. A scammer is a scammer, no matter which community tagged them. If the deal happened on their server, and they did the investigation, they have the full right to caution you.
    Dronefly, Pretender and HelenAngel like this.
  7. ForteSP

    ForteSP New User

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    I absolutely, disagree. I am not trying to argue my caution tag. What I'm saying is this issue belongs to the community who initially tagged the scammer. MCT should not have been the one to give the tag. What should have been done is MCT takes their evidence and hands it to the community who tagged the guy I traded with. Homeyhomedawg (who I traded with) I believe is SR and Tf2OP tagged. THOSE are the communities who should have decided to give me a caution or not, not MCT. If MCT is allowed to tag based on a transaction that had nothing to do with anyone tagged on MCT. How can you or anyone else say that these communities are separate.

    The way things should be (in my opinion) are as follows:

    (1)Steam Rep acts as basically an end all. They tag everybody who is a scammer period end of discussion. Any scam related events can and should be looked at by SR.

    (2) Communities look at scams or events within and involving their OWN community. If I scam on MCT I can receive both an MCT and an SR scammer tag... NOT a TF2OP tag, they had nothing to do with it. If I trade with a scammer who has a RAWR or SR scammer tag, why can MCT be the one to tag me for doing so. They need to take their proof to the relevant communities who made the guy I traded with a scammer

    I brought these ideas to Mattie, who gave the follow real life senario, if I commit a crime in MO and run to TN, I am still able to be by law captured by TN (SR = MO and MCT = TN in his analogy). In response to this I said something along the lines of "That's correct, but if I murder someone and run from MO to TN... TN will, given the evidence, bring me back to MO where I will be put on trial." This is called extradition. But SR isn't really a state if you think about it this way. It would be the USA government, not a state. They show the tags, they create all the rules. They are the ones we turn to in seeing who is or isn't a scammer.


    I just want to say this again I am Not trying to argue that i don't deserve a caution tag. I am just bring up a point in which MCT took actions that speak to how SR and it's affiliated communities are not at all different as a response to T-Virus' initial message.

    Ultimately, I am trying to show that while you guys say SR and it's affiliates are entirely different things, many, many people think and see it otherwise. I am just using my own situation as an example as it's the first one to come to my mind (since obviously, I know my own case better than I know other cases).
  8. Eoj Nawoh

    Eoj Nawoh Retired Staff Partner Community

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    While I understand your concerns about those communities. I would also say you have to consider the way it may have been done. If someone was marked by a community, for instance HomeyHomedawg marked by TF2OP, that doesn't mean he's not a scammer in MCT's eyes. Perhaps they too were to mark him but already saw he had a mark. So in that situation you traded with someone who was guilty.

    SR is a catalog of scammers, they mark, and as do the affiliate communities. If I were to use the metaphor which you established. Whereas SR is the Federal government and the states are the respective affiliate communities. Then each community sets its own rules/laws, each community punishes those who break them and if you are a felon in one state, you can be treated like on in another. It matters less where you were caught, but more what you did.
  9. DataStorm

    DataStorm Retired Staff

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    @ForteSP:
    The Community tag for Scammer/Caution is merit to THEIR investigation.

    If MCT researches somebody, and they find that person trading with a SOP scammer. That person gets a MCT Caution/Scammer tag. For they did the research, and have all the relevant data. Which is all relevant in:
    - Reporting & Tagging
    - Appeal
    - administration.
    It doesn't m

    To require that a research is thrown over to another community isn't handy while those may not have the resources the originating community had, operating under different rules, and maybe even not interested to pursue somebody else's research etc.
    So thats not going to fly.

    Also, SR RECOGNIZES certain communities tags, like SKIAL, SOP, MCT etc. and displays those. For SR to recognize those a procedure has been deviced to add communities and making sure that their investigations, evidence gathering/recording etc are sound. And that those are tagging based on evidence. If not, a appeal should lift a tag.

    @T-Virus:
    I'm not familiar enough with the cases to look into those.
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  10. Redline

    Redline New User

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    I don't really wanta get in this mess, but there are two things I would like to say, SR marked you for a reason, and everyone knows what and who you mess with, there's no hiding what is out in the open.
  11. Scooty Puff Jr.

    Scooty Puff Jr. New User

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    Just one question, if according to your tf2items history, your hat is non duped right? And its a 1 of 1 (according to many search sites), then how did it end up with this guy who made quite a few trades on TP trying to sell them fast. We found out of it through the report system on TP, and was also shown your trade with the same lid and level, which is how the bans were made. The marked user with the lid does not appear on tf2items as he has had a private profile since Feb. 2012 (the last known backpack it can find on him) as we had that problem aswell with that burning hazmat. It was a TP tag because I was willing to take the appeal personally.
  12. Dronefly

    Dronefly Caution on SteamRep

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    I just want to start with the fact that I agree with datastorm that any community is allowed to conduct an investigation that takes place in the community as a whole and if they have sufficient evidence to convict someone (if they are wrong there ARE appeal sections on every single community) then they should have the right to pass judgement. I DO however have a concern with the tags being passed to SR. I encourage this to happen but I think it is important that EVERY SINGLE community that has such power to pass on the tag do so ONLY with the approval of a uniform system that both SR and the trying community have set in place. Let me clarify. When SR allows a community such as MCT to pass on tags because MCTs standards have been reviewed and approved by SR to be sound and trustworthy, I think it is important that any new admins or people who are allowed to conduct such investigations and pass these types of judgements be properly trained. Sometimes different level admins have different levels of training. I notice this as a problem often in outpost. The senior admins conduct fair and honest investigations when closing trades or day banning anyone for minor offences. However many of the newer admins seem to have more of a "trigger" finger and close trades which have already been reviewed in the past and approved as being "passable offenses or not". I worry that this same type of training (although helen and data and mattie work VERY hard to give people access to hand down tags on here and I am not refering to here as an example) happens on these other sites were more junior admins who are excited to get involved in their new roles can create an improper or hasted decision which then gets passed down to a site such as SR which holds VERY heavy weight on the community. I can see it already. Trigger happy admins on a satellite site cause a community wide ban on a user without being properly trained to hand down such convictions.

    Again, my point in all this (And I am not pointing any fingers as I do not know enough to say this happened in this case or not) is that anyone given the right power has to be properly trained. So if SR is to "relay" scammer tags from other communities there has to be a very select few people who are able to push over these tags to SR, not just any newly trained admin on the satellite site.
  13. VenGanZa

    VenGanZa User

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    Dronefly hi

    All your points are valid, and I know from my private conversations with many SR staff and Community Admins, that the importance of properly adhering to rules/guidelines, the need for ongoing training and oversight is very much paramount in the scheme of things.

    I am not associated with SR directly, so I believe my take on how things work is free of most bias, and while nothing is perfect, I do believe that the way tags are handled community wide, and the various checks and balances involved are as good as they can be and constantly improving.

    There will always be "conspiracy theorists" who only hear what they want to hear, but in all my dealings with anyone who is involved in originating tags, I can honestly say I am satisfied everyone strives to do the work without fear or favor and of course evidence based. In other words, I believe we the larger community, can have full confidence in SR and those associated with it :)
  14. Dronefly

    Dronefly Caution on SteamRep

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    I agree and I believe that these tags are done diligently, I am just wondering if the associate communities that have "power" to pass on tags are always doing their due diligence in properly training people. For example, here we have different levels of admins and moderators, while in many communities I know that moderators are given full privilages even though initially the owner of the community intended them to only "moderate". Just want to make sure there are no open loop holes being ignored, hence why I brought this to the spotlight. The reason everyone puts their trust in this community is due to the hard work and structure and all the detail that goes into every action taken here. Is this true of all the communities out there? no. Just because a good person runs a cool site that is popular, is it right for them to have one of their noob moderators pass hasty judgement without properly evaluating a situation. Also, many communities have had very "angry" admins which eventually got weeded out for making poor judegement calls. I just want to make sure that SR isnt inadvertently losing that structured and "fair" judging system helen and the others have worked so hard to maintain because of lack of control in smaller communities. Do ALL communities get the right to report bans that pass on to SR? I once had this conversation and never got a clear answer so I never felt comfortable about the tags being passed on from other communities. I asked that all other community tags be treated as cautions because of this but I don't know if that is true. Does someone who has a scammer tag from MCT automatically get a red tag here or do they get the "CAUTION: Marked scammer on MCT community" with a link to the report? This is what I was getting at with my rantings earlier today.
  15. VenGanZa

    VenGanZa User

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    Dronefly, I could respond here, but I believe that is above my station and Datastorm or Helen or someone should reply to you :)
  16. Dronefly

    Dronefly Caution on SteamRep

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    thanks venganza, I would love to hear a response to this as i imagine many other people in the community might want to hear it. If anything, only to stop these random posts on here where people accuse SR of being an unfair tagging community.
  17. Scooty Puff Jr.

    Scooty Puff Jr. New User

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    you just did. :p
    Backseatsman and Dronefly like this.
  18. DataStorm

    DataStorm Retired Staff

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    Well, the Community themselves is responsible to train their own admins, by either guides, or vetting by more senior admins, etc. All comm's endorsed by SR have the power to mark people based on reports for full Scammer tag or Caution, and can handle them. Just most comm's don't very often, for the bulk of reports are on SR (the downside of having our own forums, in the past the reports where way more spread around the comm's, and therefore also the workload.)

    As for passing "tags", that is normally done by a select few of admins of a community. Of course we will give new admins the access here to read and reply in the admin subforums, but when a new one replies there, we do have the habit of checking the reports out. Its mostly the senior admins of a comm that report such here. There is a new access system we've been working on, but thats for high usage/high trust of access based only, and linked to specific admins.
  19. Horse

    Horse Administrator SteamRep Admin

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    Its 2013 and many of the groups here have passed on a bunch of tags with very little information or none at all.

    I'm calling for an audit of all group tags starting today. There is no reason each main admin can't get a full list of SteamID's of each scammer they have tagged scam or caution and have each one checked off and then the list passed right back to SR here within a certain time frame say 30days. IMO if you can't be responsible enough to show you can keep up with them then you shouldn't be able to toss them around like pennies in a fountain. Thirty days to return the full list all checked off and verified by said admin or your group gets pulled - plain and simple.

    I'm ready for my list... is everyone else?
  20. HelenAngel

    HelenAngel Retired Staff

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    I've already audited several of the group tags personally.
    The following community tags have already been audited within the last 6 months:
    TF2TP
    TF2OP
    TF2R
    RAWR Cautions
    CVG
    BBG

    Some groups have tagged over 1000 people and those audits take longer. MCT and UTC/UHC are next up for auditing but have to work out some internal issues first. DGN & JAG are brand-new and therefore have few tags. In the past, I have been doing tag audits solo but I assure you that they are done periodically for community tags- as you can see by that list. I also have a spreadsheet template for any Associate community that would like to assist me in auditing their community's tags.

    Also, many reports come in directly from trade servers and those reports are contained within the community's Sourcebans, which why you can use the search in quick links. However, I would love for every single profile to have something on it and if you ever run across one that doesn't, let me know so I can fix it. :)
    JJJJ, Mattie! and VenGanZa like this.
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