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.

The easiest way to stop scams is to educate the community

Discussion in 'SteamRep General Discussion' started by Salmon, Jun 30, 2015.

  1. Salmon

    Salmon Caution on SteamRep

    This proposal starts with a basic tenet of scamming - scammers will exist as long as they are successful.

    Scammers need naive, inexperienced or otherwise stupid targets to hit. Steamrep is currently largely focused on tagging scammers after they have completed a scam. This tactic worked fine three years ago, when scammers weren’t really that common and the community was just TF2 and small.

    The first step to stopping scammers is to educate the average trader. Nearly all trading goes through CSGOLounge, Dota2Lounge or TF2 trading post/outpost. Even if someone isn’t trading there, they’ve heard of one of those sites and have likely used it at some point. This is where the education starts. Use a “tip of the day” system to make sure all traders know how to avoid the basic scams. Messages such as “Invoices aren’t a payment!”, “Profile +reps don’t mean anything!” and “The only way to check an impersonator is with steamid64 & SteamRep!” (with links to more detailed information) would immensely cut down on the number of users falling for these scams.

    To really increase user education, small freebies can be given when users show they are knowledgeable enough to not fall prey. For example, give users an extra active trade to post if they pass a quiz on scam techniques. Sites could even use it to increase donations - give users a small amount of free donator status (eg lounge coins) if they successfully complete a quiz each week. As all those free smartphone apps have shown, users are more likely to buy perks once they’ve experienced them.

    Some people are probably now saying, “But there are all these guides out there! Valve themselves even recently put out a guide!” The issue with that is the length. Your average user will open such a guide, glance at it and go back to jacking off to their inventory. We need users to actually read and understand this stuff.

    Some people are probably now asking, “But what do the trading sites get out of this?” Well, a cleaner community is always beneficial to them. They don’t really need to put in much effort to accomplish this task, and in return their users are safer and more likely to use the site long term.

    Tips can also be added which make sure users know to keep the chat & full proof of any scam, allowing reports made to be more complete. I'd be glad to put in the time to write up a set of tips to start with.
    {MN} Jesus Christ likes this.