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Extent of Liability in Scamming or Trading with Scammers


ℕ Hilbert-WARing Theorem™

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This question is likely asked quite often, although perhaps only in terms of a specific case.

 

More generally, to what extent is a trading party liable in relationship to:

a] An act of scamming and

b] An act of trading with a scammer?

 

In a] we consider the fraudulent exchange of items where one party, through whatever means, deliberately takes items without reasonable compensation. In b], we assume that the scammer successfully offloads their stolen or otherwise fraudulently obtained "cargo" to another trading party.

 

Assume that:

 

A is the seller

B is the scammer

C is the scammer alt

D is an unknowing or knowing party who buys the items from C or B

Now, assume that D is banned on Outpost or perhaps more absolutely marked on Steamrep.

E is furthermore a trading party that buys the scammed items from D, who is banned or marked, but not directly implicated in the scam.

Now, we may choose to continue this process of trading indefinitely, although with further removal from B scamming A.

 

At what point down this road does the original scam cease to have an influence (at point E, F etc.)? What determines whether a trading party is guilty of association with the original scam?

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If D is marked on Steamrep, E will get marked if anybody actually takes the time to report. (Or caution tag) That's the flaw most people see with Steamrep, because the prerequisites to get marked are so generalized that its almost impossible to trade high-value items with a marked person without any repurcussions.

 

Unless its like a market transaction, then you don't know who the hell you're buying from.

 

Same argument stands, that if you trade knowingly with a marked person, you will be marked too.

 

If someone DOES manage to avoid a marking attempt, though, then they can trade as easily as if they weren't marked, unless someone finds out and starts a report because of that.

 

Btw outpost =\= steamrep, so if you trade with someone banned on outpost, but not for being a legit scammer alt or marked on steamrep (ban reasons are there peeps) then there should not be repurcussions. That person would just essentially be "serving time" for their actions.

 

Also, about at this point is where things start getting hella murky with rep and everything.

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As stated above, the problem is with trading with people who are marked, not necessarily people who are just banned on outpost. In general, the people who are marked for trading with scammers were knowingly fencing for scammers. I would put them in the same category as B and C. It may be hard to technically prove that they were "knowingly" fencing. But when a person has the scammer + 3 of the scammer alts + 3 of the scammer's accomplices on their friends list.... well, it's hard to believe they did NOT know what they were doing. You'd be surprised at how many people fall under this category thinking they won't get into trouble for only a few trades here or there.

 

There are indeed a few other cases of people receiving tags for 3+ separate instances of trading with scammers or 2+ separate instances of very high value trades with scammers. But there actually aren't too many of these cases where the person in question received a formal banned tag on SR. Most of them are just banned on outpost.

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Btw outpost =\= steamrep, so if you trade with someone banned on outpost, but not for being a legit scammer alt or marked on steamrep (ban reasons are there peeps) then there should not be repurcussions. That person would just essentially be "serving time" for their actions.

Also, about at this point is where things start getting hella murky with rep and everything.

There's been a lot of people that have been marked because the other trader was marked on outpost but not SR. These where special cars so to speak though. They whee high tier/ well known traders who were told " you knife you are supposed to check everywhere not just steam rep"
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There's been a lot of people that have been marked because the other trader was marked on outpost but not SR.

 

Just want to make sure I understand this correctly.

 

By marked you mean, received a BANNED tag on SR?

 

And by the "other trader was marked on outpost" you mean banned on outpost for trading with scammers?

 

Obviously if someone is banned as a scammer alt on outpost, it's a completely different story. But I know of only the people involved in the duped burning tc trading history who received an SR mark for trading with someone banned on outpost for trading with scammers.

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Just want to make sure I understand this correctly.

 

By marked you mean, received a BANNED tag on SR?

 

And by the "other trader was marked on outpost" you mean banned on outpost for trading with scammers?

 

Obviously if someone is banned as a scammer alt on outpost, it's a completely different story. But I know of only the people involved in the duped burning tc trading history who received an SR mark for trading with someone banned on outpost for trading with scammers.

Outpost can and will ban you for trading with certain people they have banned from their site. I have seen outpost ban notes that said "DO NOT TRADE WITH THIS USER" and people have been banned from OP for trading with users with notes like that. However, most of those cases are not people marked on steamrep, as far as I am aware. 

 

 

As far as steamrep goes, it doesn't matter how far 'down the line' you get, if you trade with a marked user, you can be marked. If D was marked and traded with E, and E traded with F, all the way to Z, Z could get marked (assuming that each person  in the process was marked in a timely manner.)

 

It is best to use rep.tf, and a profile scan, as well as checking steamrep if you are going to trade with someone. Rep.tf will alert you to any current bans, steamrep to pending reports, and profile so you can tell if they're an alt or not. 

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Outpost can and will ban you for trading with certain people they have banned from their site. I have seen outpost ban notes that said "DO NOT TRADE WITH THIS USER" and people have been banned from OP for trading with users with notes like that. However, most of those cases are not people marked on steamrep, as far as I am aware. 

 

 

As far as steamrep goes, it doesn't matter how far 'down the line' you get, if you trade with a marked user, you can be marked. If D was marked and traded with E, and E traded with F, all the way to Z, Z could get marked (assuming that each person  in the process was marked in a timely manner.)

 

It is best to use rep.tf, and a profile scan, as well as checking steamrep if you are going to trade with someone. Rep.tf will alert you to any current bans, steamrep to pending reports, and profile so you can tell if they're an alt or not. 

 

 

The point I'm trying to make is a different one though. I think people get that you can't trade with a person who is marked. The widespread concern and the one raised in the op is that this is leading to a dynamo effect resulting countless people getting banned for trading with people who are banned for trading with scammers, etc.

 

The point I'm trying to make is that the people who actually have the banned tag on SR and the people with whom you can't trade are generally people who "deserve" the tag. The op raises the question about whether that's "fair." But the majority of people who receive the banned tag are people who are knowingly fencing for profit. In general, the people who trade a few times with scammers just get banned on outpost or get a caution on FoG. They will rarely (it happens occasionally) actually receive a banned tag.

 

And regarding being able to trade with people banned on outpost. As I said in my previous post, you can't trade with someone who is an obvious alt of a hijacker or an SR marked user. But there is no rule that you can't trade with someone who is banned on outpost (and not SR) for trading with scammers. I have done this multiple times myself. As long as you verify where the items are coming from to make sure they aren't coming from scammers, there is no rule against that.

 

 

 

My posts keep being longer than I am intending. Right now there is widespread fear about getting marked and the background checks you have to make. I'm trying to assuage these fears a bit by emphasizing that only the people gratuitously trading with scammers (as much as they try to deny it) are the ones actually getting banned tags. (This isn't always true but most of the time)

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