Valve Adds Scam Protection To Steam Trades Following Wave Of Counterfeit Items
A wave of games have been pulled from the Steam store this week after it was revealed that they were using the built-in trading system to scam users with fake items. Luckily Valve has already wised up to the matter, introducing new trade protections.
A GitHub archive of the Steam Database (spotted by Reddit user wickedplayer494) shows two warnings which now appear during “suspicious” trades. The first warns players if “one or more of the items you’re receiving in this trade come from new games on Steam,” which will help filter out slapped-together cash-grabs. However, it’s unclear what the cutoff point is for “new games,” and in the case of games like Climber, which was on Steam for two months before it was used for item scamming, this warning alone may not be enough.
Fortunately, the second one covers bases pretty well, notifying players if items in the trade “come from games that you have never played.” Again, there’s nothing stopping underhanded developers, particularly repeat offenders such as the minds behind Climber, updating their game at a later date, but it could have protected a lot of people if it was introduced sooner.
Valve engineer Tony “Drunken_F00l” Paloma offered more information on Reddit. “We also started requiring approval for app name changes, and have more planned to address this sort of problem that we couldn’t get done in one day,” Paloma said. “We are hopeful that having to dismiss two warning dialogs will be sufficient to make people think twice about trades containing forged items, but this is not the end of our response, and we’ll continue to monitor, of course.”
Paloma also said Valve intends to restore or recover items “for anyone who was tricked by this scam prior to the warnings being in place.” The Steam Community Market FAQ explicitly states that “you will not have any right to a refund or a reversal of any Community Market transaction once it is completed,” so the prospect of scam victims getting their items back was looking grim. It’s nice to know that returns will be offered after all.