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Guide for Background Checks

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polar    3459
polar

Introduction:
Since there continues to be a confusion about what is and isn't required for background checks, I have decided to make a defined set of guidelines outlining our expectations for background checks. A few things before getting into the details. First, this is not a universal guide. I can only tell you what will and will not get you banned on BACKPACK.TF. This does not apply to other sites. The cutoff in item values for which we expect traders to complete a background check is based on new SteamRep guidelines - 15 keys. For trades under 15 keys in value, we do not require that you complete a background check. Feel free to post any questions or concerns below. 
 
Our Expectations for Our Users: 
We expect all users to check the following on all trades greater than 15 keys in value - you must check (1) the SteamRep status, (2) the steam community profile of the user, (3) backpack.tf profiles for bans marking them as a scammer or scammer alt. You should NOT trade with someone who is marked on SteamRep and someone who is an "obvious scammer alt." We characterize an obvious alt as someone having all of these three qualities: (1) a steam level of three or less, (2) under 500 hours in tf2, AND (3) three or fewer steam games. If a user meets these three criteria, you are responsible for verifying the history of all items they are offering. You must verify that they have not been hijacked, stolen, or scammed in any way before trading for them. There are some users who are new to tf2. As long as they have not acquired their items through scamming or through trades with another scammer alt, it is safe to trade with them. You also need to verify where the items have come from if trading with people with private backpacks. If you cannot verify the item's history, don't complete the trade. As always, if in doubt about where your items are coming from, ask for help here in the forums before making the trade. 

 

Occasionally a user who is buying high volumes of items from scammers to sell on will be banned as a scammer fence, and it is not acceptable to trade with these users. This will be identified in their ban reason, so read carefully.

 

Please note that gambling with scammers is treated as trading with scammers, that means you gamble at your own risk on sites that allow scammers to gamble as well. Gambling is also against the steam TOS so we don't recommend it - http://www.teamfortress.com/post.php?id=27111
 
Our Responsibility to the Community:
While we expect certain responsibilities from our users, we understand that we have certain responsibilities ourselves. Part of these responsibilities is to be transparent with our ban reasons. If a person is banned for scamming and is unsafe to trade with, we will mark it clearly in our ban reason. There are some people banned for other reasons such as spamming or rudeness, but it is still okay to trade with them. A second part of our responsibilities is that we will discourage scamming by banning people who trade with scammers. To this end, we will employ the following set of ban durations -
 
If a trader unknowingly fails to meet these expectations, bans will be issued as follows:
(1) First offense - 3 days to 1 week depending on the severity of the action
(2) Second offense - 2 weeks to 2 months depending on the severity of the action
(3) Third offense - permanent ban (may be appealed after 6 months)
 
If a trader knowingly fails to meet these expectations and is found to intentionally trade with scammers, the ban will instantly be a permanent one.

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Distinctively Vincent    294
Distinctively Vincent

So there'll be no punishment, guaranteed, if a user has pending report(s) on SteamRep but aren't marked or banned anywhere and are not an obvious alt? I've turned down trades with people before just because of pending reports, and I'd rather not do that if it's unnecessary.

yeah I have, too. I have reports that are "pending" that are well over a month old, that's a long time. I'm pretty sure creamy got banned from outpost for nothing more than pending reports? Might be wrong on that.

 

These are our personal guidelines for banning. We cannot guarantee that other sites will not take a harsher stance. If you don't have personal moral qualms on the matter and only care about not getting banned from bp.tf, feel free to turn a blind eye to pending reports. I wouldn't expect it to be fully consequence free though- if outpost bans you, you end up with a valid negative trust, or you end up with your own pending steamrep report as a result, it will still make trading harder for you.

 

To reiterate. These are our guidelines for how we'll handle banning regarding trades with scammers due to poor background checking. It is not a guide for how to do the bare minimum and expect to be consequence free across all trading sites. My personal recommendation would be to check all you can and use your personal judgement- every high value trade should be a trade you could justify if needed, where you can safely say you gave a reasonable background check and nothing you saw gave you concern about the user or the items you're trading for. I personally always take a look at pending steamrep reports for higher value trades to see if there's anything in them that worries me about who I'm trading with and would recommend others do the same.

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polar    3459
polar

Just wondering, how does backpack.tf handle sharking? Is there just not any rule for it at all? 

 

Stance on "Sharking"

 

My definition of sharking is that it is the use of deceitful tactics to coerce another user to commit a trade against their better judgment. It is akin to scams committed by con artists in the real world. The discrepancy in item value is much less important than the intent to defraud another user. We will ban users for committing this sort of fraud ONLY if there is definitive proof using screenshots of the conversation and trade agreement showing that the user in question has lied or misrepresented item values in a gratuitous way to deceive another user. In the absence of this proof, all -trusts or "shark" reports will be removed.

 

Rationale: It's a free market. People can choose to trade as they see fit. People cause more pain by being the sharking police and adding a person to tell them they just lost a thousand dollars by selling something for less than they should have. Buying a hat for less than its "supposed value" is not enough. If the two sides agree to a fair trade, then that's the agreement. HOWEVER, if there is clear evidence that one user lied, misrepresented item values in a gratuitous way, or deceived another user in order to convince or force them to commit a trade against their better judgment, then I see that as a scam, much the same way a con artist commits scams. If there is evidence of this with clear proof using screenshots of chat histories, then I will gladly ban them.

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sirploko    43
sirploko

Since we share a good portion of our userbase, I would like to add the criteria for trades that get you in trouble on Outpost as well:

 

I will only expand on trades with what we colloquially call scammers or scammer alts, other permabannable offenses like brokering for banned users, sharking, ban evasions and fake COs are (hopefully) easy to understand and known at this point.

 

Our rule regarding trades with scammers is rather short and concise on purpose, so it encompasses all possibilities:

 

"No trading with scammer alts. We do not encourage our users trading with scammers, and you should be careful to not trade with obvious alternate accounts of scammers. Please check the user's Steam profile and SteamRep status before trading with them."

 

A lot of people try to argue about the exact wording when they get banned, so let me clear up some common misconceptions. The rule does not exclude checking users Outpost profiles, to the contrary. This should be your first check to make, as you are submitting to Outposts rules when using it and therefore you should be aware of the Outpost status of your trading partners at all times.

 

We consider scammers (again, this is just a colloquial term, in lieu of a better one) to be:

 

  • Users that are marked on SR for any kind of offense, be it impersonation of an admin, quickswitching, fencing for scammers, etc.

 

  • Users that are banned on Outpost for scamming related offenses, these are mostly, but not limited to, giftwrap, Steam gift (games) and paypal scamming as well as friend impersonation and steam wallet scams (trade offers promising to pay x amount for your items). Sharking is not included in this list, as we consider it to be bad practice, but not scamming per se.

 

  • Users that are permabanned for trading with scammers repeatedly. Here we make a clear distinction. Usually, if the trade in question is not of very high value and includes a few items at most, then we will ban the user 2 weeks for the first offense. These users can be traded with. If they get caught again however, they will be permabanned and any trade with them can now considered to be a rule violation. This is a little bit of a grey area, since it depends on the case at hand. FOG (Fortress of Gamers) have been issuing SR tags for some users who traded with scammers repeatedly, so a person you know to be permabanned on OP for this, could be subject to a SR tag at any time.

 

  • Users that are banned on Outpost for having pending SR reports. When we ban users for this, we usually have seen sufficient evidence for fraudulent behaviour and ban them until the SR report is resolved in their favour, or if not, forever.

 

  • Users that are not banned yet on Outpost, but have pending SR reports that clearly indicate that something is wrong. That could mean they have half a dozen of reports for the same offense, or one particular one with overwhelming evidence. We can not always keep up with every user, so if you check somebody on SR that has pending reports, we urge you to take the 2 minutes it takes to evaluate the claims in said report.

 

  • Users whose Outpost profile says "Alt of X". In this case you need to follow the profile links until you get to the main account. If he is banned for anything that is not mentioned above, then you can trade with him. (Banned for private profile, NSFW avatar, sharking, brokering, etc.)

 

 

As for alts, we don't have a explicit set of numbers to identify an obvious scammer alt. We are trying to keep up with the profile spam of scammers, so if you check the persons Outpost profile, chances are he is already banned (that is of course only the case if he ever logged in to OP) for being an alt.

 

A few pointers to consider are detailed in the SR FAQ:

 

nis3g4.png

 

You should also check for the amount of paid games they own, the Steam level and overall playtime of games. Most scammer alts have less than 100 hours in TF2 and 3 to 5 games at most. Basically, if something seems fishy to you, it probably is better to avoid trading with them alltogether. It certainly helps to look up the item history on bp.tf as well, since quite a few scammers will show up just before the alt that is trying to sell it to you, which is another red flag.

 

Private profiles are worth mentioning on their own. We do have a rule that says:

 

"You are accountable for any trades you make with users that have a private profile. You should be taking as many measures as possible to prevent hijackers and scammers from profiting from their bad deeds, and private profiles are usually a red flag."

 

We do not allow private BPs or profiles on Outpost for this very reason and almost no legitimate trader will have a private profile. There might be a few exceptions for certain collectors or high profile users that just want to be left alone, but these people usually are not very active traders and will almost never be eager to quicksell high value items to you.

 

To sum it up:

 

The better the deal you are being offered, the more suspicious you should be.

 

If you have any questions, please go ahead and ask here.

 

*Disclaimer:

 

I am not speaking officially on behalf of Outpost. The above statements are what I learned in my ~8 months of being a moderator there and can be subject to change at any time.

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polar    3459
polar

Making a few changes here.

 

In accordance with SR's change in policy mentioned here http://forums.backpack.tf/index.php?/topic/44460-ask-a-steamrep-admin/page-5?p=471411&do=findComment&comment=471411, we are changing a few rules under the category of "trading with scammers."

 

(1) We won't ban anyone for unknowingly trading with scammers on items under 15 keys in value.

(2) Originally we had different standards for checking low (<50 key items) and high (>50 key) value items. I have removed that distinction. The same rules apply to all items >15 keys in value.

(3) While we will continue to issue a permanent ban on ban #3, users may now appeal their ban after 6 months provided that they have had no trades with scammers in that duration. Screenshots of their complete trading history during their ban duration will need to be provided. This is particularly targeted at the high volume traders.

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Ironman    7
Ironman

http://imgur.com/a/qXlV3

 

Hello, hopefully you can answer some of the questions regarding buying items that have a history of scammers or have been duped. Due to the recent drops on earbuds, I searched for classifieds selling earbuds and found one being sold by Puddilicious. I checked the history and then i noticed something that current owner is not the seller, why does this happen?  

 

Now, the marked scammer was last seen December 2014. Is it ok to buy this earbuds if they were scammed a year ago? what if they were scammed 3 months ago?

What if the item wasnt earbuds but a 10 key unusual? 25 key?

 

Is it possible to sell items with scammers in their history on the steam market? What if instead of being scammed it was duped, will I be able to sell a duped unusual on the steam market? 

 

How safe is to buy earbuds or unusuals from the steam market?  Is it better to do it off the market since you can check the histories, profiles and backpacks?

 

Look at this item..several scammers and it is duped, still being advertised in outpost for 2 keys 6 ref. When can you be safe?

 

http://backpack.tf/item/2810543816

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Jacobmeister    418
Jacobmeister

-snip-

 

I'll answer these one by one (to the best of my ability, these questions seem rather simple):

 

- Backpack.tf has been very slow in updating the histories on certain items recently. I don't know what it is, but recent user changes in a fair few items haven't really shown up. Puddilicious does own those buds, and he is selling them - he just recently bought them from (most likely) the last person in that history and the item history hasn't updated.

 

- As long as you are not buying the item in question from a marked person, you should be fine. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong here, but I believe SteamRep changed some rules, meaning that unknowingly trading with a marked person with <$30 in value will initially be ignored. I just wouldn't do it more than once. Backpack.tf's ruling is any trades >15 keys. Again, unknowingly is the big part. TL;DR: don't do it.

 

- Yes. Pretty simple stuff.

 

- Yes - this is pretty much answered above. Again, anyone can feel free to correct me on this if I'm wrong.

 

- That item is safe to buy, as long as you're not trading with a marked person for it. That's pretty much it. Use rep.tf and do a background check on the seller if you're totally unsure.

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polar    3459
polar

http://imgur.com/a/qXlV3

 

Hello, hopefully you can answer some of the questions regarding buying items that have a history of scammers or have been duped. Due to the recent drops on earbuds, I searched for classifieds selling earbuds and found one being sold by Puddilicious. I checked the history and then i noticed something that current owner is not the seller, why does this happen?  

 

Now, the marked scammer was last seen December 2014. Is it ok to buy this earbuds if they were scammed a year ago? what if they were scammed 3 months ago?

What if the item wasnt earbuds but a 10 key unusual? 25 key?

 

Is it possible to sell items with scammers in their history on the steam market? What if instead of being scammed it was duped, will I be able to sell a duped unusual on the steam market? 

 

How safe is to buy earbuds or unusuals from the steam market?  Is it better to do it off the market since you can check the histories, profiles and backpacks?

 

Look at this item..several scammers and it is duped, still being advertised in outpost for 2 keys 6 ref. When can you be safe?

 

http://backpack.tf/item/2810543816

 

As indicated above, stats.tf is getting a complete overhaul and item histories aren't going to be reliable probably for the next few weeks.

 

So the main point I want to drive here is that you shouldn't be trading directly with scammers. "Scammers" are either people marked on SR, outpost, or bp.tf as such. Sometimes scammers make alts that aren't banned yet when they offer their stuff to you. Warning signs of this are someone who has 1000 dollars worth of unusuals in their bp while they have a steam level 1 and 10 hours in TF2. I have listed warning signs of scammer alts in the original post. If you suspect someone is a scammer alt, you should look at the history of their items to see if they got it themselves from a marked scammer.

 

If you aren't buying directly from scammers, you won't be banned. It doesn't matter if there are scammers further down in the history.

 

Other things:

 

Keep in mind, if the item is under 15 keys in value, you won't get banned here. On items under 2 keys in value, I don't even check where they are coming from. Also, we don't require background checks on SCM because they de-identified sellers there.

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Antosheek    3
Antosheek

Hello. I'd like to ask, how does bp.tf cope with new steamrep "allowing non perpetual trades with scammers except fencing" policy of steamrep.com change since 2016, working retrospectively? 
http://forums.steamrep.com/threads/steamrep-policy-changes-for-2016.119548/ 

Will bp.tf join this  stance? 

 

nvm I only checked that the first post wasn't edited and noticed the latter one added only later, 

 

Just to clarify:
- Steamrep - you won't get banned on steamrep for one-time trade with marked scammers/obv alts, unless you do it with purpose to help the scammer or to help him (= fencing, collaboraiton, partnership) no matter. One-time trades shouldn't get you banned at all. (= more lenient and making scammer's life easier)
- Backpack.tf - you won't get banned on bp.tf with trades with value =<15 but you will on any higher than 15 keys with (outpost for scamming marked/ bp.tf scammer marked/ steamrep marked person for any reason) marked person. You gotta do your bg checks, as before. 

(= being pretty much the same as before) 

- TF2 Outpost - so far no changes noticed, pending clarification. 

 

So bp.tf keeps it's "stricter" rules for baning than sr.com got now. Right? 

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Ironman    7
Ironman

The new rule from steamrep is reasonable. I guess, there were many people that had no idea or just didn't want learn how to check if the person they were trading with was a scammer. One time is forgivable and they should have learned from that.

Bp.tf is more strict now indeed. If you know how to check someone in bp.tf it should be really easy to know if he is a scammer. 

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polar    3459
polar

- Backpack.tf - you won't get banned on bp.tf with trades with value =<15 but you will on any higher than 15 keys with (outpost for scamming marked/ bp.tf scammer marked/ steamrep marked person for any reason) marked person. You gotta do your bg checks, as before. 

(= being pretty much the same as before) 

- TF2 Outpost - so far no changes noticed, pending clarification. 

 

So bp.tf keeps it's "stricter" rules for baning than sr.com got now. Right? 

 

I have made one change - we don't require you to check outpost on your background checks. For any trade >15 keys in value, we do expect you to check the person's bp.tf and steam profiles. All the information you need you should be able to get there.

 

Everything else you have said is accurate.

(1) First offense - 3 days to 1 week depending on the severity of the action

(2) Second offense - 2 weeks to 2 months depending on the severity of the action

(3) Third offense - permanent ban (may be appealed after 6 months)

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K4l    0
K4l

Just a few questions- It says that i have been suspened by a moderator for "trading with a scamers alt"

 

1) How do i know that the person who is marked on bp.tf is a scammer? if he/she has a red line through it, he/she has been banned on bp.tf. But how do i know if he is a scammer or not? i know pple get banned for things other then scamming.

 

2) how do i know that the person i am trading with is a scammer using his alt?

 

3)Why am i being suspended for trading with a scammer when i didnt even know that he/she was a scammer?

 

4)Will my red line through my name will go away after the 3 days?

 

Sorry if these are dumb questions, i am just trying to help clear things up so i dont run into this issue in the future!

 

Thanks in advance

 

 

P.S. Heres my dumb argument:

Bp.tf is not the bible, its prices are guidlines, not set. So how do you know that the item i am trading is over/under 15 keys?? (This is a dumb argument, but i think you should change your rules to say "valued at 15 keys by BP.tf."

again, dumb argument...

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Woifilicious    1803
Woifilicious

Just a few questions- It says that i have been suspened by a moderator for "trading with a scamers alt"

 

1) How do i know that the person who is marked on bp.tf is a scammer? if he/she has a red line through it, he/she has been banned on bp.tf. But how do i know if he is a scammer or not? i know pple get banned for things other then scamming.

 

2) how do i know that the person i am trading with is a scammer using his alt?

 

3)Why am i being suspended for trading with a scammer when i didnt even know that he/she was a scammer?

 

4)Will my red line through my name will go away after the 3 days?

 

Sorry if these are dumb questions, i am just trying to help clear things up so i dont run into this issue in the future!

 

Thanks in advance

1.) It says so in the ban reason on their profile: https://backpack.tf/u/76561198198301511There is a link to his main account. You click on that to see what his main account is. It leads you here: https://backpack.tf/u/76561198169076064 Which is a scammer marked on steamrep, so a scammer and forbidden to trade with.

 

2.) The scammer alt was banned on bp.tf since 10 months already: https://backpack.tf/u/76561198198301511. So when you trade with someone you open his bp.tf profile and steamrep profile and check his status.

 

3.) Unknowingly trading with a scammer like you did results in a short suspension, if you would have traded with a scammer knowingly then you would be permanently suspended. Unless we have evidence that suggests otherwise we always asume it was unknowingly.

 

4.) Yes it will go away together with your ban.

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K4l    0
K4l

Another question.....

 

I recently got scammed out of 20 keys, i was in a rush to get an amazon gift card and forgot to check his steam rep and bp.tf status. My question is, will i get suspended since it kinda looks like i just gave free keys to a scammer?

 

here is the link, it also includes a copy of the chat:

 

 http://backpack.tf/trust/76561198146534672

 

Again sorry if i am asking too many questions

 

Thanks again for answering my other ones, i just want to be informed so this doesnt happen again....

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Woifilicious    1803
Woifilicious

Another question.....

 

I recently got scammed out of 20 keys, i was in a rush to get an amazon gift card and forgot to check his steam rep and bp.tf status. My question is, will i get suspended since it kinda looks like i just gave free keys to a scammer?

 

here is the link, it also includes a copy of the chat:

 

 http://backpack.tf/trust/76561198146534672

 

Again sorry if i am asking too many questions

 

Thanks again for answering my other ones, i just want to be informed so this doesnt happen again....

No you wont for that trade.

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K4l    0
K4l

No you wont for that trade.

But i got suspended for trading with another scammer? Im just a little confused which trades you report and so on...Like if i do a 30ish key trade with a legit trade with a scammer, will i get reported? Or only when the scammer has alts? Sorry for so many questions, im just trying to get a clear answer

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Woifilicious    1803
Woifilicious

But i got suspended for trading with another scammer? Im just a little confused which trades you report and so on...Like if i do a 30ish key trade with a legit trade with a scammer, will i get reported? Or only when the scammer has alts? Sorry for so many questions, im just trying to get a clear answer

Because you got scammed. If it was a succesful transaction you probably would have.

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Jessica    49
Jessica

I am here literally begging, I don't often go out of my way to get someone to listen to me, but I'm hoping you will give me a listen and take my word for it. I am not a liar and I am a very honest person I would not make up things for no reason at all.

 

A user gubbs52 is scamming left, right and centre with skins that he puts normal KS on and -rep reports about it just get removed.

 

How am I supposed to protect people from these type of scammers? he buys a ton of normal skins then puts a normal killstreak on them and he trades them ASAP so they cannot be tracked in his bp. And the amount of profit he's making from doing these type of scams is just sickening and something seriously needs to be done about it, I am a really caring person and it angers me so much that these horrible scammers just get away with it.

 

He has done it to like 5-6 people. He actually did it on the Vatican City unusual server (where I am admin) I had multiple people telling me he attempted to scam them and he managed to scam one of the kids with the red roscoe he had with a normal killstreak. How many times does someone need to do these awful scamming methods before someone bans them? I had even warned him in the past for trying to do this type of scam to someone.

 

sorry if I seem mad cause atm while I am typing this I am very angry. Even Toughsox had something to say about it when I was complaining about gubbs52 on the forums the other day

 

please stop allowing these scammers to get away with this stuff, I am trying to protect new traders (the people this person is scamming)!

 

This is not the first time I've had this problem with a -rep it seems ANYTIME someone reports a -rep I put for a GOOD reason it gets removed. Sorry but I would not lie on these situations I only leave +rep and -rep when it is needed I do not abuse the system at all and it sickens me that a scammer can just go ahead and report it and get the -rep removed.

 

Also this guy is perm banned from Outpost for constantly trading with scammers too. 

 

Like how many people does a person have to scam or shark someone before a -rep can actually stick? Sick of these scum getting away with the skin scams and living freely to sell their scammed items on backpack.tf

 

Please

please 

please

please

DO SOMETHING.

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Krallzy    3
Krallzy

hey

i got a 3 days ban for sell an aussie for pure to a tagged scammer, of course i didnt checked his rep, he was paying full pure for my item, he was not offering an unusual or any kind of expensive item. http://imgur.com/1Yt9HIW

do i really need to check someone's rep even when they're paying pure for my items? its really needed?

i always check their rep when they're offering unusuals/expensive items and he was not offering items, but full pure, do i really need to check their rep when i'm selling my item for pure to someone?and if answer be "yes", i can sell my items for pure to a tagged scammer only items below 15 keys?

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ѕιи    236
ѕιи

do i really need to check someone's rep even when they're paying pure for my items? its really needed?

 

Yes

 

 

and if answer be "yes", i can sell my items for pure to a tagged scammer only items below 15 keys?

 

If you trade with a scammer there will be a penalty. Just don't do it.

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Krallzy    3
Krallzy

Yes

 

 

 

If you trade with a scammer there will be a penalty. Just don't do it.

i can't even sell a 1.33 ref hat to a scammer? so most of the bots should get bans on backpack.tf...

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Woifilicious    1803
Woifilicious

i can't even sell a 1.33 ref hat to a scammer? so most of the bots should get bans on backpack.tf...

You dont need to do a background check on items <15 keys.

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Krallzy    3
Krallzy

You dont need to do a background check on items <15 keys.

ok, ty

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Wolf#Peace    13
Wolf#Peace

May I just clarify, if a person is banned on backpack.tf and outpost for knowingly trading with scammers/scammers alt for like the 3rd time(thats why the user got permanent banned on backpack.tf and outpost), and if I would to trade with the user, I will get banned on outpost and backpack.tf too? And yes, the item is more than 15 keys in value.

 

P.s: Does it also means that if that user has a inventory full of items that is worth more than >15 keys , he wouldn’t be able to sell it since hes banned on outpost and backpack.tf?

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Teeny Tiny Cat    2121
Teeny Tiny Cat
37 minutes ago, Wolf#Peace said:

May I just clarify, if a person is banned on backpack.tf and outpost for knowingly trading with scammers/scammers alt for like the 3rd time(thats why the user got permanent banned on backpack.tf and outpost), and if I would to trade with the user, I will get banned on outpost and backpack.tf too? And yes, the item is more than 15 keys in value.

 

P.s: Does it also means that if that user has a inventory full of items that is worth more than >15 keys , he wouldn’t be able to sell it since hes banned on outpost and backpack.tf?

 

You can trade with users who are banned for trading with scammers, yes. You will not be banned.

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