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How I tracked down my TF2 Scammer and got a refund.


Knifey

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Disclaimer: I don't want anyone harassing this individual, it has all been settled now. And there is no need for him to receive any further backlash, he's learnt his lesson big time.  Doing so really makes you worse than what he did.

 

If you can't be fucked reading the whole story I recommend you scroll down to the blue text part.

 

 

Shortening the story here and there Yep. I got scammed about $100 AUD after trying to sell 40 keys. I've been a trader for many years now, but this scammer was different. He had alot of rep too. Way more rep than me, also was a donator to backpack.tf...So I trusted him when he asked me (the seller) to go first. despite it being a unusual request. But yeah... soon after he blocked me, and I got him labeled a scammer. Most people would of felt powerless after that and just accept the money they lost was gone forever.

 

But I wasn't done there.

 

I added every, single, one of his 120 something steam friends. And told all that added me that "Radical memes" is a scammer, and how they should never trade or trust him. The campaign was so successful he had all but 16 steam friends left after that. Mostly because he removed every single person that enquired him about what I said. It was also great because I had alot of people he knew personally pressure him to refund the money, but even that wasn't enough to make him change his mind. (He later admitted that my little campaign had a fair bit of damage on his online social life)

 

But this little message here motivated me to keep going on my quest for justice..

 

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That would piss anyone off, especially me since I'm pretty broke!

 

So my next attempt was take it to the police. Sounds like a crazy waste of my time, but thing is. I got his IP and his steam account says He is a New Zealand citizen too. And since I'm a Australian Citizen It might be worth a shot as AU and NZ have a good relationship going, especially the police departments. Before you think there was no real proof. He publicly admitted to stealing my items on a forum, that was linked to his steam account. All the authorities need is an IP, as they can contact the ISP to get all the remaining personal info they need. And that might also be the case for them asking Valve for evidence of a online scam itself. but I'd imagine they would only do that for much bigger scams. Like $2000 csgo knives. (depends on the police department I guess)

 

 

But knowing I could get that info myself, I bet I could save a whole lot of police time and money finding out his personal info myself, and contacting his family. Which I did. 

 

Now for the next step I'm not going to actually say how specifically I got his personal information, just so I can protect as I gave them my word I wouldn't share such info. But here is a few ways I approached it.

 

#1  Asked for personal info on forums he registered on.

 

Something which I actually requested to backpack.tf's owner. To his credit he only wanted to give such information if the police themselves contacted him, which is understandable. But annoyingly the Police Org I had to deal with has a policy on not searching for personal information, even though they could do it at a drop of a hat in this case.

 

However, I may of asked other forum communities that had his Email, full name and address since he registered on multiple steam linked forums over the years. All website owners have such info on a database, it's only a matter of time for one that see's him as a labeled scammer on his steamrep and steam profile to believe me.

 

 

#2 Asked for personal info from all of his steam friends

 

I asked every single person that I added if they knew him personally, and if they said yes and seemed to care enough on what I said I may of successfully gotten all of the personal information I needed to go to the next step.

 

 

I got his personal info, found his facebook page and then I added all of his family on Facebook. 

 

This. This was a glorious, glorious moment. I added all of his family on Facebook, and his older sister asked me what's up. I told her what happened, told her about the police report and sent her a link to it. (where it had all the evidence she needed). She believed it, among other things she said  "I am incredibly disappointed and ashamed in his actions towards you." She contacted him, and his parents on how to get this sorted. He added me on steam and said...

 

"Sorry for being a fucking cunt"

"I am only (x age) and this was a big wake up call".

"I thought I was invincible on steam, that you would never find me"

"but I was wrong"

 

:') 

 

that was the cherry on the cake for me.   :D

 

So none-the-less he paid the $98 AUD he owed me. And is in the process of refunding someone else I know reported him as a scammer. As I got him involved too.

 

 

Nothing better than the feeling of justice, And boy it truly was worth the effort. I feel like I've made TF2 history here. I hope this inspires scam victims to get justice of their own!

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that is a nice story and congrats on getting your money back,

but i feel like, most of the scammers are a little bit more professional then this boy, they use alt accounts and they don't register in any forums. I think it is nearly impossimble to find the facebook page or the family of a professional scammer with alot of experience. I think you had a good ammount of luck, that this guy was not careful because he thought he is invulnerable in the internet

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Any scammer worth their salt would've used alt accounts instead of their main, then again, you don't encounter people this persistent and determined every day. So yeah, congrats on getting your stuff back!

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I am very impressed. I myself probably would have accepted that i got screwed and left it at that.  But you have used the internet to your advantage and it paid off. Something that escrow and trading restrictions cant do for you c;

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There was an NPR piece about this type of stuff - amateurs doing what professionals can't/won't do . And it only works because both sides are amateurs.

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I am very impressed. I myself probably would have accepted that i got screwed and left it at that.  But you have used the internet to your advantage and it paid off. Something that escrow and trading restrictions cant do for you c;

i got PayPal to local guys account that has 200$ or so on it. I proved to them he was breaking their ToS, and the 20$ he took from me was dwarfed by the 200$ je lost.
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This brought such a smile to my face god damn man, this was glorious.

 

 

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ffb.jpg

 

Important question, was she hot ;)

asking the real questions here

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Congrats on getting your money back!  Like someone above me said, it doesn't sound like this guy was a professional scammer.  Although unlike what he said I do believe that most scammers aren't professionals.  I hope this inspires other people to take more courses of action when they get scammed.  All steam rep do is put a little red tag on their name.

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