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Salt, CD-Keys and Pre-paid Cards

Discussion in 'SteamRep General Discussion' started by The Lobster Emperor, Aug 11, 2016.

  1. The Lobster Emperor

    The Lobster Emperor New User

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    Even if it gets ignored, I may as well say it so it is recorded in history FOREVER. This isn't a personal attack on any admins, or SteamRep or anything like that, but me hoping to clear up any confusion between the policy of CD-keys in hopes that me/others does not have to go through the same troubles again.

    I recently had declared a report for cash fraud, that involved a pre-paid card and the exchange of the code. The report was declared invalid because apparently "we do not accept reports dealing with cd keys, game codes, steam codes, Pin codes etc.. due to change of policy." and was linked to this announcement http://forums.steamrep.com/threads/notice-changes-to-investigation-policy.47952/ but this was when I felt like something was wrong. The announcement did cover CD-keys/Game codes, but did not mention pre-paid cards or of even Pin codes like had been mentioned. Additionally, the SteamRep Investigation Policy http://forums.steamrep.com/threads/read-before-posting-steamrep-investigative-policy.230/ does accept and investigate "Trades involving 1, 2, 3 and 4 with Paypal or other money transaction systems.".

    So this is when I thought of creating this thread, to see if anyone could clear up my confusion. So this is my question, are Pre-paid cards counted as CD-keys/game codes, and are they counted as a money transaction system? Once again, this is not an attack on any admins, or SteamRep, I have nothing but the highest respect for people who take time out of their day to help people who have been scammed or injustices. I just simply want clarification on this question, from an admin or even just another user who can show me something I might have missed.

    No one might ever see this thread, but it doesn't matter. It will be recorded in history (well, almost?) and may even help other people who might suffer from the same confusion that I have. Thank you all, and have a good day :D
    Roudydogg1 likes this.
  2. Clive

    Clive SteamRep Admin

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    We consider pre-paid cards as the same thing as CD-keys/games codes because they all involve codes. The issue with trading with codes is there is no way for us to verify if the code was properly traded or not. For example, if someone posts a code in steam chat, they could have already activated the code, and there is no way for us to tell who activated the code. Alternatively, they could send a valid code, the user could activate it, and then claim they didn't receive it and create a report here. Since there is no way for us to distinguish this, we simply cannot accept any type of code trading, and treat them all as invalid. As for the 'other money transaction systems', that is referring to systems such as Bitcoin, Skrill, etc., and not things such as codes. I hope that clears up any confusion, but if not feel free to ask for further clarification :).
  3. Lava

    Lava Public Relations SteamRep Admin

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    Just to add onto that, there are rare exceptions where enough evidence exists to accept a report for scamming codes such as CD keys. You may once in a blue moon find an accepted report for code scamming, or someone tagged for it. I won't get into specific details of when or why those exceptions happen, but we do still consider it scamming. It's just outside the scope of what we're usually able to investigate, and in the vast majority of cases we run into the problem as Clive described above.

    We strongly recommend you avoid anything involving codes. Not only are they impossible to investigate, but unless you're very experienced, pretty much anyone you run into offering one will be a scammer. And there are other account security concerns involved with trading codes, including risk of having your account suspended if it was purchased with a stolen credit card, or worse things happening. If you really want to deal with codes, against our recommendation, you should be familiar with pretty much all other trust-based trading including PayPal/bitcoin first.
  4. The Lobster Emperor

    The Lobster Emperor New User

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    Thank you for clarifying this, I now understand how things like this are handled. However, I feel as though I should suggest that this distinction be clarified in things such as your Investigation Policy. Since without you directly telling me that pre-paid cards are considered the same thing as CD-keys/game codes, there is no way of knowing this information. It would certainly save people like me and others quite a lot of time, and I am almost certain that something constructive that benefits everyone using SteamRep would definitely come from clarifying this information. But thank you very much for this information :D.


    Now this probably is not the time or place for it, but I feel as though I should mention this. In my particular case, this was the second report against this user for the same scam. The first report was declared invalid because I did not have the agreement (due to it taking place a while ago), the only bit of evidence I did have was when he re-added me to apologise for scamming me, I was told that unless I had the agreement, the apology on its own would not be good enough (they never mentioned not dealing with pre-paid cards, which would have been nice to know). I took a shot in the dark and re-added him to see if the mobile app of Steam had the logs, he accepted, Steam had them, so I re-reported using those logs as evidence (however I could not fit them all 20 of them in due to a 15 upload limit, and had requested that whoever handle the case give me a method that they agreed on to upload the rest). The same admin as before replied saying that pre-paid cards were not dealt with. I feel as though this apology that I had used in my first report might just be sufficient evidence for a scam and that perhaps a better view of the case could be provided using a conglomerate of the first and second report. I'm certainly not doubting whoever dealt with my report's skills as an admin, but I do believe that just as you said, this certainly could be a rare exception where enough evidence might be there, or I could just be wishfully thinking. Either way, I will respect your decision.

    Yes, I think I learned not to deal with codes from my experience with them. I certainly will not be dealing with codes again. So at least something good has come from this.
  5. SilentReaper(SR)

    SilentReaper(SR) Retired Staff

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    For more attachments you can use a new reply to the report, you can then upload again 15 screenshots on that. We had to set a limit somewhere. Also, we really only need to see the agreement, not the 10 hour negotiation tactics before it, and anything else being discussed. We require the chat log from a little before the agreement, till the conclusion.

    As for your case, I've not looked at it. But as Lava said above, there is a very, very small window when this is can be worked with, which is so small we don't find it a working method, and traders cannot set their trading for such up such that those special conditions are being met to protect themselves. Its more bout luck in what form the scam happened or how its exactly said then any else. As that only covers like 0.0x % of such reports.... its not really worth our time investing in such to find those special circumstances for such small returns. That, along with the security issues those codes are giving, is why we are discouraging and advising against such trading.
  6. The Lobster Emperor

    The Lobster Emperor New User

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    Thank you very much for telling me that. The problem is that this agreement was really made over such a long period of chat, due to other random conversations in between, and the agreement was really discussed all through said chat, and even then, the only reason I don't have more than 20 files of agreement is because Steam's Mobile app erased some of the old chat (the agreements were really that long.

    Well, as I promised before, I respect that decision. It certainly is wishful thinking of me to hope that the case be re-examined, but I understand that Admins are probably far more buisy handling other reports than to conduct such an in depth investigation as I am sure it would take for this kind of scam. If I was in your position as an Admin, I would probably agree that it is not worth spending so much time on a single report. And yes, I certainly will not be dealing with things like codes every again. Thank you very much :D
  7. SilentReaper(SR)

    SilentReaper(SR) Retired Staff

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  8. ianmccleery1987

    ianmccleery1987 New User

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    I have a question regarding this as my application was rejected as well. In my scenario the scammer offered me numerous payment options, the original agreed upon option was western union. He also offers bitcoin and paypal. Once the item is received the scammer says he is having issues sending the paypal. Once this happens the option of the code is presented again and the codes are fake. What would this be considered because the original agreement was for western union and in the chat he writes that he is having issues with sending the western union transaction. The scammer has a steam level of 60, 518 trades made, 1,289 market transactions, 38 pages spanning over 2 years of good reviews dealing with trades, his game play, and character, has 171 games of which 138 have been played, has written 138 reviews, 123 pieces of artwork, 106 friends, and over 5,000 hours on csgo (achieved all of the badges earned in game, I also looked on an independent site that lists a persons game stats and he plays quite often), another 5,000 on cs, and nearly 1500 on cs source. This is probably the most dangerous type of scammer out there. The one that comes off as completely legitimate. I just want some guidance in the matter because I lost the only items I had that were good (albeit only 75-80$ worth of stuff), and I feel like it's getting overlooked because a code was involved, but only because the original form of payment suddenly became unavailable after I sent the items. It also got rejected because the chat was choppy (I was writing some on steam mobile and some on the computer, I have now transferred those pictures of the convo from the steam mobile app and can provide a complete conversation). Can I re-apply for this scenario to be looked at? Or is the fact that a gift card was involved (because the agreed upon payment option was removed by the scammer once I sent the items).
  9. SilentReaper(SR)

    SilentReaper(SR) Retired Staff

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    if you have in agreement a payment system, then that's what should be used. Western Union... no experience with, but afaik it requires either going to one of their affiliate offices sprawled around, or having a internet account on them (which I believe you have to ID for) to use to send money.

    You say you agreed to Western Union, and the scammer then starts about paypal.... which is not what was agreed. If you have that as evidence that that is the agreed payment system, that should have been kept up. With such slow-transactions like WU is, its often better to arrange payment first before transacting items.

    But this also depends on the chat convo a bit. Better to put it to screenshots. As for your chances on a successful report... state that the agreement was for WU transacted money. Just an advice: never deal in codes. Way too messy.
  10. Horse

    Horse Administrator SteamRep Admin

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    SilentReaper(SR) likes this.
  11. SilentReaper(SR)

    SilentReaper(SR) Retired Staff

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    @ Horse, the push to codes and all that may be enough to get it together. But that stands or falls with the agreement being there and how the conversation went. EVERYBODY can use WU... PP problems is not a valid "reason" for WU not used. PP and WU have no relation whatsoever.
  12. ianmccleery1987

    ianmccleery1987 New User

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    The guy has now been banned, I guess someone else got scammed after me and was able to provide "more proof", it sucks that 2 reports on this guy were deemed "invalid" before the third one was finally enough. I know this is an independent site and you guys do a great job, I'm just venting a bit.
  13. Enstage

    Enstage SteamRep Admin Partner Community Donator - Tier V

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    They wouldn't be doing a very good job if they were to randomly tag people without sufficient evidence, though.