The Counter Strike: Global Offensive skins market is one of the biggest markets for virtual items. With billions of dollars transacted every year a massive amount gambling, betting and virtual casinos survive on this economy using these weapons, knives and keys as form of alternative currency.
However in this world of trading there is the large number of people trying to part you from your stuff. In this guide I will be detailing the ways and tricks these folks are using when you try to sell CS:GO skins and include ways you can safeguard yourself from these ways.
One of the biggest drawbacks of using services like Pay-Pal, which to protect buyers on their site has implemented the system of “chargebacks”. What this means is cash transferred via Pay-Pal can be “reversed”, the service will mark the dealing as a void transaction and return the money from the receivers balance to the balance from which money was sent.
This can be done as much as six months later since date of the transfer. Fraudsters malicious utilize this facility by doing normally authorized cash trades post that charging back their funds so that the conman ends up with every from the money to the dealt goods.
To reduce the chance of being damaged by this trick (on the utilization of Pay-Pal you cannot be 100% sure, the risk can only be mitigated to a certain extent), keep a lookout whether the buyer purchasing from you has a long history of successful valid cash trades without any such chargebacks. Reputation threads on places like Backpack, SourceOP, and CSGOREports tend to be generally creditworthy.
To find someone’s reputation thread search for their Steam-Rep profile and select the “S O P” URL under the “Search-Engine Query” subsection. Replies on an individual’s profile page should be taken with a grain of salt as they can be easily falsified and any non-positive replies will be removed by the owner of the page.
As a rule of thumb make sure (for the purpose of reducing the peril of getting defrauded even more) the PayPal purchaser’s money reputation (registered at reputed and trusted forum) must be way-way longer than 12 weeks. Ideal scenario one should avoid selling to a buyer with a large reputation page that isn’t 12 weeks or less old due to the fact that this is still chargebackable period based on PayPal’s terms.
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies make it impossible to charge so consider them over a centralized payment system like PayPal.
Steam Fund Payment
A defrauding modus operandi that heavily functions on the conman convincing innocent Counter Strike users that money can be straight up transferred through the form of VALVE cash from one steam account to another in exchange for varies items tradable by the trading window. This scam heavily relies on the ignorance of users not knowing that such a transfer of steam funds between accounts is not permitted.
The movement of funds between two accounts on Steam is only possible by using the Community Market as a broker for said cash and it is not possible via the trading screen. Always note that VALVE has a list of safety guidelines in their FAQ section, which outlines what is possible and what is not. It is clearly stated that steam funds cannot be sent.
Bitcoin Double Spends
Can be considered one of the few possible methods of being defrauded while selling CS:GO or other steam items for cash. As the name suggests double spends are conducted by spending the bitcoin twice. Every BTC transaction needs to be confirmed on the blockchain by a miner. For such a confirmation one needs to pay a fee known as the transaction fees. This is a variable fee, which can be set by the sender and naturally a transaction with a higher fee is more probable to receive a confirmation by miner than a transaction with sub-par fees.
In this conning modus operandi, the fraudster relies on this weakness of the Bitcoin blockchain. The conman will quite often agree to send the funds first and send the money with extremely low fees, often tending towards the 0 satoshi per byte range which means that said transaction will never be confirmed.
Meanwhile, he will also send the same bitcoin to an address owned by him this time the difference being he will pay fees which will confirm his transaction pretty quickly before the legitimate transaction is confirmed. If this double spent transaction is confirmed, then the bitcoins will vanish from the address he sent you the BTC and if the legit transaction is processed (if it is ever processed) then the bitcoins which were sent will already be in a different wallet and transaction can’t be confirmed and will be dropped.
While this is happening behind the scenes the fraudster will demand you hand him over the items as he has sent the money quite often threatening to report you if you don’t. A simple way to avoid all this mess is to wait for a confirmation (or even as many as 6 confirmations for the more paranoid). Most block explorers will often report you low fees and possible double spends so always make sure to check the TXID on a blockexplorer.
Purchases via hacked Credit Cards
This is a scam mainly used to launder money after ones credit cards details have been compromised. Usually, the fraudster will contact you and strike up a deal for the skins in VALVE funds. Unlike the previously mentioned scam, the conman would advise using the steam market to send the cash over. However, he will throw the catch that he wants said item to be tradable at the time of purchase. As a result, he will suggest that he will buy a much cheaper skin of your via the market and once you get the funds you can send him a trade offer with the rest.
The fraudster may then buy off your say 10 cent item for $100. And then you fork over the item promised in the deal. To make this sound more enticing the fraudster might even overpay a lot more over what the item you are selling is really worth. Always note there is no free lunch in this world. Massive overpay should ring a bell and raise some red flags in your mind.
What the catch in this modus operandi is that the funds the fraudster uses to pay you were bought using the stolen CC. The money will be taken away by Steam and you, unfortunately, get slapped with a ban from being able to trade for being a possible aide and abettor of the thief and helping him cashout, while the fraudster gets away with your items.
With that I conclude part two of Counter Strike: Global Offensive Skin scams, always remember: If it sounds too good to be true, then it’s a scam.