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Tips on how to avoid receiving hijacked/stolen items

Discussion in 'SteamRep Guides' started by HelenAngel, Mar 27, 2013.

  1. HelenAngel

    HelenAngel Retired Staff

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    It seems there have been several people complaining that their accounts were trade locked/trade banned after receiving stolen or hijacked items. This guide gives some tips on how to avoid this. Like any guide, it is just meant to be a suggestion.

    1. If it looks like the deal is too good to be true, it probably is. In real-life, would you buy a stereo easily worth $600 for the low low price of $50 out of the back of some guy's van? Of course not- that's just common sense. Apply that same sense to trading. If someone is "quick-selling" promos/unusuals/keys for well below their market value and needs to sell them fast, it may be because the account is hijacked or it is someone unloading stolen items.

    2. Don't buy backpacks. When a person gets hijacked, what does the hijacker usually do? If you said move all or most of the items out of the person's backpack into another, you would be correct! So when you buy backpacks, especially for Paypal, you are putting yourself at risk two-fold:
    a) You look like a hijacker​
    b) You become a magnet for a hijacker looking to unload stolen goods quickly.​

    3. Do not do Paypal trades with unverified Paypal accounts. This is trading 101. Hijackers will often use unverified Paypal accounts. Chargeback scammers often use them as well. So that's two good reasons to not do Paypal trades with them.

    4. Avoid "quick-sells". Ask yourself why a person is trying to sell an item for much lower than its current value as quickly as possible. Consider the motivations of why the person is quick-selling these items.

    5. Check the number of scammers on a person's friends list and when those scammers were added as friends. If you see the person has 4 marked scammers as friends and they were all added in the last day or two, this is a pretty good hint that the account may be compromised.

    6. Check the user's comments on trade sites. Sometimes when a user is hijacked and they lose access to their account, they may create a trade that may gain a lot of people's attention (like selling an unusual for a scrap) and make the notes say something such as "THIS ACCOUNT IS HIJACKED DO NOT TRADE!" (An example can be found here). A lot of people don't see this, and it sometimes leads to them unknowingly buying stolen goods. While it won't happen all of the time, there isn't any harm in checking the person's recent trades.

    7. When in doubt, ask... or just don't do the trade. If you even have the slightest inkling that an account might be hijacked, ask a community admin. We are here to help! We may not be able to tell you definitively, but we have seem enough of these cases that we usually have a pretty good idea of the signs of a compromised account. Also, if you have a gut feeling that there is something amiss about the trade, there may be very well be. NEVER do a trade if you get a bad feeling about it!

    Yes, you may need to change your trading habits to prevent this. However, a little slice of prevention is always worth it in the end. :)

    Special thanks to A Filthy Streetrat for help with this guide!
    Roudydogg1, Sari and VenGanZa like this.
  2. Sari

    Sari Helpful Member

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    Not sure if this helps, but I think I have another way to avoid trading with hijackers:

    7. Check the user's comments on trade sites. Sometimes when a user is hijacked and they lose access to their account, they may create a trade that may gain a lot of people's attention (like selling an unusual for a scrap) and make the notes say something such as "THIS ACCOUNT IS HIJACKED DO NOT TRADE!" (An example can be found here). A lot of people don't see this, and it sometimes leads to them unknowingly buying stolen goods. While it won't happen all of the time, I don't see any harm done in checking their recent trades.
  3. HelenAngel

    HelenAngel Retired Staff

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  4. |LZ| 300 Angry Kittens

    |LZ| 300 Angry Kittens Donator - Tier V

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    A tip that has helped me immeasurably is insist the person waits x days before you buy their backpack.

    I always leave at least 5 days between when a seller has made initial contact or created a selling thread on a forum and actually buying their backpack. I've had at least 3 people who have been on my friends list waiting to sell me their packs send me messages that their account was hi-jacked and they had their backpacks stolen; had I not insisted that they waited then I would have been the one who bought it, because everything else seemed to check out. Hi-jackers want to move quickly because they don't know when the account will be restored to the rightful owner, they sure as hell don't want to wait 5 days.

    Another good tip, which is a variation on the "if it seems too good to be true" is try dropping your buying price dramatically, like a half. Make something up and point out, "oh I don't like that item", or "they are hard to sell, so I can offer you x instead". If they agree to your new drastically low price then walk away there and then, hi-jackers have nothing to lose because this is free money for them, and they are desperate to sell quick before the account is restored to the previous owner. If you are treated with the expected disdain then ye, it's probably the real owner.

    Of course non of these methods are foolproof, but I feel safe buying backpacks when employing these methods.
  5. DataStorm

    DataStorm Retired Staff

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    I quite like your approach.
  6. |LZ| 300 Angry Kittens

    |LZ| 300 Angry Kittens Donator - Tier V

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    Thanks ;)
  7. Vintage™_

    Vintage™_ New User

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    Great tips for not receiving stolen goods. I will make sure to use it in the future.
    A friend of mine once bought stolen goods and as generous as he was. Gave them back to the person who got scammed.
  8. HissTheHeavy

    HissTheHeavy New User

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    I'd like to add something else.
    You should check out their backpack first, because it may be you're trading with a scammer alt or alt which is storing stolen goods. For example, I nearly sold my unusual to some guy once, then checked their backpack. They had 1 bud and about 16 keys, but the account was clearly an alt, as it had halloween items that would have expired ages ago. In fact, it may well have been a hijacked account, as the hours on tf2 were fairly long.
  9. TheCommieDuck

    TheCommieDuck New User

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    My checklist for checking:

    Ask them to wait. I do 2 days now; I might move to 3 or 4.

    Ask for their name, location, and paypal. Usually you can tie the name+location to their profile and the name to their paypal. Very useful if, for example, they give you a small town in some state that a hijacker isn't going to know.

    (I think Teeird thought this up) Ask them to play a game from their games list (not DOTA2 or TF2 or anything F2P); if it says they've played Some Random Obscure Game recently, then they'll probably have it installed. Some hijacker isn't going to have (from previous examples) Bastion or Alan Wake installed.

    If you want to be extra sure, especially for high-value trades, try making contact on Facebook. You can tie this up to their details. I tend to avoid this one except when I need to be incredibly certain as it's a bit intrusive, but when people want to cash out large amounts of items they don't have a problem.

    If they've got likes that you share or are otherwise not general knowledge, ask them about it. For example, I bought a backpack from someone who had an anime avatar; some random person wouldn't have been able to tell me where said character was from.
    Sari likes this.
  10. DontFeedTheGaben

    DontFeedTheGaben New User

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    Excellent guide Helen!

    Thanks for the help :)
  11. iDiiAmOnD

    iDiiAmOnD New User

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    Good Tips!

    Thanks :)
  12. Fraidz Buying Unusuals!

    Fraidz Buying Unusuals! New User

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    Hi

    I have bought 17 keys but the trade bot hasn't added me to steam yet and iv'e been waiting a really log time for my keys. Please can you reply and help me out.
  13. SilentReaper(SR)

    SilentReaper(SR) Retired Staff

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    bought 17 keys from who/what???
  14. Knucklejoe

    Knucklejoe New User

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    I get the feeling you are posting about something from another site. I don't think this is the place to ask about this...
  15. SilentReaper(SR)

    SilentReaper(SR) Retired Staff

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    suspicions doesn't get us any. Unless he is going to answer where he "bought" the keys, we cannot help 'm.
  16. Knucklejoe

    Knucklejoe New User

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    Yeah, I know that. Guess now we wait until the OP comes back.
  17. SilentReaper(SR)

    SilentReaper(SR) Retired Staff

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    Wait on Helen to come back???
    Clive likes this.
  18. Knucklejoe

    Knucklejoe New User

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    Oops. I meant the guy that asked the question. Gotta be more careful with that...
  19. Mr Flibble

    Mr Flibble New User

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    I just saw this and since I deal with this kind of thing on regular basis, here's some of my observations, you might want to consider adding them, but that's up to you, my points are really clumsy, so they might need rephrasing:

    1. PayPal verification doesn't matter at all.

    I've traded with probably over hundred traders via PayPal and I am quite sure there aren't any definitive corelations between scammers/shady people and unverified accounts. It's just my experience as a trader, some of my regular customers are/were unverified and when you sell someone items, you can still buy items via the internet and Unverified account, making it a legit way of cashing out and nothing suspicious, but even if you want to keep it there, I think that this should be added: You can easily check if email's vefired via this adress https://www.paypal.com/us/verified/pal=xxx , just replace xxx with the user's e-mail adress. e.g. https://www.paypal.com/us/verified/[email protected] for someone with email adress of [email protected]

    2. You should check person's backpack/inventory history/trade history when trading TF2 items, there are few services that track those. http://backpack.tf/ or http://www.tf2outpost.com/ if you trade there. If that person recently acquired huge amount of items and he has no inventory history, it's quite likely hijacked. Hijackers also often just quicksells unusuals, it's easily track if they were quicksold with a bit of research. If that person acquired unusuals/promos recently, you might want to check that item's trade history and check previous owner's backpack history, if that person lost most of his valuable items, they are most likely hijacked and items as well. Also, if targeted person doesn't have almost any previous cache on steamrep/backpack.tf , it's very suspicious and should be probably avoided to trade with.

    3. Don't also forget that Outpost often BANs accounts that are hijacked, so even if you don't use that site it might be worth checking out. (you can easily access person's outpost page through steamrep.com page, there are plenty of links to other trading site profiles too).

    4. Also check that person's profile. It's sometimes easy to spot obvious alternate/hijacked accounts, when they have really valuable items, it's quite supicious. Indicators like - no games, no friend, no items (apart from the ones you are asked to buy), no badges, no playtime, no achievements, often stock avatar, no joined groups, no videos/screeshots/reviews etc. Those are just few indicators of alternate account.
  20. im a cookie

    im a cookie New User

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    great tips I did some of these things when I scammed .... So great tips for the community