A list of scam attempts and impersonating attempts that I have come across and how to avoid them
Part 1: The usual attempts
This section is for the usual scam attempts and tricks. They have been explained better before but I have to do it anyways.
First off, if someone you don’t know or have ever seen before adds you, check their profile. It might not help that much but it can be useful. If when they added you, they had no profile picture but then when you check the invites section, they have a profile picture, it is very likely they are impersonaters. If they really were a trader or admin (I’ll go over that in a bit), they would already have their profile picture up there for a while. Also, dont click the links they provide because that can be a link to malware so be careful.
Next, if you choose to accept (which is not always a good idea), they will tell you their story. This can range from asking if some of your items are up for trading to they are checking duped items. Never believe their stories, you can pretend to go along with it but again, not always a good idea. What I suggest is that, when they are telling their story, check if they are the real person. Go onto the friends tab and add friends. Go through search by name and then put in the persons name. Usually, if the real person is a trader, you will find the real guy. Another way to check is if they put their backpack.tf link on their profile. Go through that link and make sure the ips match. If they dont, its an impersonater.
The final bit is how you end the conversation. You can shut them down by telling them outright that you know, you can go along with it then reveal your information or you can just report and never respond. Either way, they will unfriend and move on the next unfortunate soul. Sadly, even if you report them, they have other accounts ready to continue scamming.
Ok that seems like the basics done. Time to move onto the attempts.
Part 2: The Steam Admin/Steam Support Scam
This particular scam has been gaining some popularity. Here is an example from my archive (sorry, i dont screenshot them):
Hello Mr. Owl, I have contacted you for a very important information regarding your account.
Did you change something in your account earlier?
why are you asking?
Because there is a random user that filed a ticket in your account for having a duplicated item.
I added you to notify you about this issue regarding your steam account being suspended
As you can see, your account has a pending ban for suspected item/s duplication. Do not worry for we can report to lift the pending ban or issue a permanent one depending on the result of this verification.
Are you aware that if you cant prove yourself here that your item is in good condition your account will be banned permanently?
Note this is not a duplicated or bugged items in the community market or in a trading website but there is a random user that reported you that’s why I am here to check and clarify if the said issue is true or false accusation is that clear?
You don’t have to worry here if you really are not involved in the said issue. I will remove the pending ban understood?
All you need to do here is to make an appeal and prove that your item is in a good condition and it was a false accusation so that Valve Report Assistance Team will cancel the pending ban in your account is that clear?
I have taken out the rest of the conversation but you can see what has already happened. The scammer/impersonater pretends to be a Steam admin that needs to check if your items have been duped or not. If its was a real steam admin or steam support, they would contact you via email, not adding through steam. Also, the link they guy sent is fine, its just a gif of “my” account being put under a pending ban. They usually show this to make themselves seem more realistic. I don’t know how they make the account look like its under a pending ban but it doesn’t matter.
Anyways, later on in the conversation I called him out. He denied then asked if I was ok getting banned and I said yes. And this was done a few days ago.
Oh and with this scam, its not limited to people who say they are Steam Admin/Support. Scammers can do it without saying they are a Admin but to convince you, they take a screenshot of steamrep, and that can easily be checked.
Part 3: The Impersonating Scam
This scam has been around for a while but it helps to go over it. Here is also an example of the scam in work:
TheGamingsOwl: why the add?
are ypu busy bro?
TheGamingsOwl: not really
CeeJaey: can i ask you something?
CeeJaey:i just wondering if you are open for an exchange?
what type of exchange
CeeJaey: cause i want to trade some of my unusual and australium items for your
Unusual Taunt: Surgeon’s Squeezebox and Collector’s Professional Killstreak Solemn Vow
only if that was open for an exchange?
is that open?
TheGamingsOwl: it is
CeeJaey: maybe you can choose from my tf2 backpacks on what do you want for it so that i can
prupose you an offer.
youve got a lot of unusuals
CeeJaey: just tell me what do you want from my tf2 backpacks so that i can prupose you an decision offer
TheGamingsOwl: but something isnt addin up
CeeJaey: its okay
TheGamingsOwl: the fact that on your profile it says youve been on steam for a year,
while backpack.tf says you have been on steam since 2005
thats not addin up
CeeJaey: and hope you read and understand my info 🙁
TheGamingsOwl: yea ive read it
CeeJaey: oh okay
why do you have a pending bann report from steam support? OMG!!
CeeJaey: theres been a report for your account for having a unsafe items. OMG
CeeJaey: and it can cause you a permanent ban.
im serious bro.
TheGamingsOwl: dude, i know this is a scam attempt
CeeJaey: and im so concern for you/
TheGamingsOwl: ive seen it before
The ending was the second time I have ever heard of the unsafe item scam (another name for the Steam Support/Admin scam). I now know that CeeJaey is a TF2 YouTuber but back then, I didn’t know. When I said the whole bit about the dates not adding up, I had already looked at his profile and saw that was his main badge. Sometimes it helps to check the profile but not always.
Part 4: Avoiding Scammers/Impersonaters
Anyways, hopes this helps you in any shape or form.
This was written by Mr. Owl