Seam is considered the best place for gamers by many. For this reason, many people flock to it. With so many users, the platform has become a target for various types of fraudsters. Each of the cybercriminals has a specialty: some extort money on social media, others spread viruses via e-mails, and others have found ways to convert players’ items and accounts into real money.
Scammers usually target newbies who have just registered their accounts on Steam. Since online games are booming, there are hundreds of them, and therefore there is a large crowd of potential victims. Read on and find out more about the most common scams on the Steam platform, so you’ll never fall for them.
Types of Scams and How to Protect Yourself Against Them
1. Phishing is a very popular scam on the Steam platform. Cybercriminals can even clone the account of a user’s friend to build trust and try to con that person. They will then send their victim a private message asking for help or a free gaming guide. Their purpose is to make the user click on a link that will take them to a fake page where their data can be stolen. The site may look just like Steam and victims may lose their Steam account if they log in there.
What safety measures does Steam implement to fight this? It provides the so-called Steam Guard feature that enables two-factor authentication via applications or email. In addition, players are asked to always pay attention to the domain’s URL address and see whether it coincides with Steam’s primary domain or not.
2. Sometimes, scammers look for victims outside of Steam. For this purpose, they publish blog articles or videos on YouTube that allegedly show how to get some game items for free or claim to reveal secret game codes.
Through such materials, scammers recommend you download some software or plug-in that will allow them to be much better at a given game. By downloading and installing such software, victims may lose their Steam accounts or enable cybercriminals to access their sensitive data such as personal or online banking details. The best way to protect yourself against this type of scam is to use a good anti-virus program and carefully check everything you download.
3. Sometimes, people want to pay for in-game items via third-party payment methods such as PayPal. However, the Steam platform does not monitor external payment systems. Scammers can pay for an in-game item and then message the payment operator that the item has not been received and request a refund. For this purpose, they even use fake screenshots to make their victims look like fraudsters.
If the payment operator considers the proof and the request valid, people who get conned in this scam are left with no money and no item sold. The best protection method, in this case, is to make all the payments inside the Steam platform.
4. Scammers may pretend to be Steam employees and accuse players of scams. They then request specific data or items from the players for verification. You can rest assured that these people are not working for Steam. Real Steam employees will never ask users to share any purchased items or personal information. If you come across someone like this, report them to the platform’s support department right away.
5. Another extremely popular scam is to use hacked Steam accounts to contact potential victims. The scammers message their victims and say that they’ve accidentally reported their accounts instead of another scammer’s account.
To recover a mistakenly reported account, the scammer recommends writing to the would-be administrator to verify and unblock their accounts. The latter will ask for the user’s account login details and a one-time password (OTP).
Victims are also asked to make game-related purchases on external sites as part of the verification process. Finally, the administrator claims that the person would receive a refund once the account is verified. Obviously, this never happens.
The bottom line is that you should never disclose your sensitive information such as your Steam account login details to any person. When indulging in your favorite games on Steam, be wary if anyone approaches you with shady requests or unfounded complaints. You should also report unauthorized transactions related to your Steam account if you discover any. If you believe you may have been the victim of a Steam scam, contact the platform’s support team immediately.
Courtesy of Clearwater Management