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Julia

Open discussion on rules for trading with scammers

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Torb
3 hours ago, Julia said:

I agree. Item values can be fuzzy and there should be clarification.

The rules definitely should be written more clearly ie : Whenever either side of the trade is greater or equal to 15 keys of value, then ................ ect

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Graatz

I’m not sure if ir has been answered yet but here’s my question: I’ve unknowingly traded my spelled items for an unpriced unusual with a scammer. The unusual is orbiting fire punk. I’ve only noticed that the trader was banned now, when i found a report. Does it count >15 or how does this work? Thanks in advance

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TextDynasty
On 7/24/2018 at 3:54 AM, Teeny Tiny Cat said:

And bots shouldn't be subject to different rules than users.

So what you are saying is that all bots should not TRADE with any marked scammer or alt? No matter how big the bot's backpack inventory value or purpose is?

 

As far as I'm concerned, Marketplace.tf bots trade with marked scammer and alt for quite some time. I am not saying the fake ones/impersonators, I am saying the top 3 inventory of backpack.tf backpack value (Marketplace.TF | Bot 96). Yes, I know it counts as a type of storage on the site, however, the whole purpose of putting on the site is getting it sold and I think depositing and buying items with their scammer alt is still a kind of trading? Isn't that help the scammer to get real-world cash more easily? I think as long as it happens in a steam trade offer window or steam client should be count as a trade technically. Such example is just to show how ineffective current policy is and it only makes more troubles to day-to-day traders than the actual scammer himself.

 

Items found in around 30 minutes : 

https://backpack.tf/item/6664920881

https://backpack.tf/item/7060456107

https://backpack.tf/item/7290316791

 

As a bot owner myself, I had been banned once for my bot trading with scammer alt unconsciously and received my first ban. While I agree that bot owner should take the responsibility to minimize accidentally trading with the scammer or their alt, I don't think a permaban is a great solution to stop scammers offloading their items to bots specifically. Most people use bots to maximize their trades as they can run 24/7 and accept trades automatically with a simple background check. Manual reviews for every offer above 15 keys is recommended but scammer/alt can easily sell their items to other bots that are not coded well enough and thus not helping the problem. I would like to say bots trading with scammer unconsciously is like using bank ATM to laundering thieves money. Both of these methods, the scammer/alt is using a legit automatic system to help the 'clean' their 'illegal money'. The only difference I would say is money laundering through ATM is usually on a much bigger scale compare to the Team Fortress 2 economy trading scene. According to the laws, banks should report such activities to authorities but still, they will not get charged as long as they are not intentionally doing that. In backpack.tf, however, it is said that trading wit scammer alt above 15 keys will get you a ban, conscious or not.

 

Therefore, I would suggest that backpack.tf could let the bot owner to report all other scammer alt instead of banning the bot.

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D.Alex

 

On 7/23/2018 at 3:54 PM, Teeny Tiny Cat said:

bots shouldn't be subject to different rules than users.

 

4 hours ago, TextDynasty said:

Marketplace.tf bots trade with marked scammer and alt for quite some time

 

This whole thread was about "bots creating listings on Backpack.tf". Other kinds of "bots" such as from Scrap.tf, StnTrading, Marketplace.tf, Bitskins, etc. are usually not banned because it wouldn't make much sense anyway. 

 

As for the items that you've found, first two are were in MP bot and then ended up in scammer's backpack. You don't know if they were sold directly or to an alt or if this account was BP-marked after the sale. The third item maybe was sold through MP some time after 31 Oct 2018 from an account that was SteamRep-marked  on Nov 7, 2018.

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Teeny Tiny Cat
4 hours ago, TextDynasty said:

So what you are saying is that all bots should not TRADE with any marked scammer or alt? No matter how big the bot's backpack inventory value or purpose is?

 

As far as I'm concerned, Marketplace.tf bots trade with marked scammer and alt for quite some time. I am not saying the fake ones/impersonators, I am saying the top 3 inventory of backpack.tf backpack value (Marketplace.TF | Bot 96). Yes, I know it counts as a type of storage on the site, however, the whole purpose of putting on the site is getting it sold and I think depositing and buying items with their scammer alt is still a kind of trading? Isn't that help the scammer to get real-world cash more easily? I think as long as it happens in a steam trade offer window or steam client should be count as a trade technically. Such example is just to show how ineffective current policy is and it only makes more troubles to day-to-day traders than the actual scammer himself.

 

Items found in around 30 minutes : 

https://backpack.tf/item/6664920881

https://backpack.tf/item/7060456107

https://backpack.tf/item/7290316791

 

As a bot owner myself, I had been banned once for my bot trading with scammer alt unconsciously and received my first ban. While I agree that bot owner should take the responsibility to minimize accidentally trading with the scammer or their alt, I don't think a permaban is a great solution to stop scammers offloading their items to bots specifically. Most people use bots to maximize their trades as they can run 24/7 and accept trades automatically with a simple background check. Manual reviews for every offer above 15 keys is recommended but scammer/alt can easily sell their items to other bots that are not coded well enough and thus not helping the problem. I would like to say bots trading with scammer unconsciously is like using bank ATM to laundering thieves money. Both of these methods, the scammer/alt is using a legit automatic system to help the 'clean' their 'illegal money'. The only difference I would say is money laundering through ATM is usually on a much bigger scale compare to the Team Fortress 2 economy trading scene. According to the laws, banks should report such activities to authorities but still, they will not get charged as long as they are not intentionally doing that. In backpack.tf, however, it is said that trading wit scammer alt above 15 keys will get you a ban, conscious or not.

 

Therefore, I would suggest that backpack.tf could let the bot owner to report all other scammer alt instead of banning the bot.

 

- Marketplace bots don't trade with marked accounts. You linked two histories with accounts that are not marked and one with an account marked after the date of the trade. Regardless, we generally only ban bots who actually use our site since there's no point banning bots that don't - it won't make any difference to them.

- You won't get perm banned for making a mistake. You get 2 chances before that happens.

- If you're unable to manage a bot, don't have a bot.

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TextDynasty
3 hours ago, Teeny Tiny Cat said:

You linked two histories with accounts that are not marked

I am guessing you are saying the first two? How is that not marked? If you are saying they are not Steam Rep marked, it is because Steam rep updated their rule of trading with scammers. But, still, as it's now, people can still get a ban from backpack.tf, right?

 

3 hours ago, Daddy Alex said:

As for the items that you've found, first two are were in MP bot and then ended up in scammer's backpack. You don't know if they were sold directly or to an alt or if this account was BP-marked after the sale. 

As far as I am aware, the main was banned on May 26, 2018, and it is an obvious scammer alt (low hours in the game, new account with high-value items, a steam level of 10 or less etc). So Marketplace.tf bot 'should' know that if they are background checking every single trade above 15 keys, according to Teeny, right?

 

3 hours ago, Teeny Tiny Cat said:

Regardless, we generally only ban bots who actually use our site since there's no point banning bots that don't - it won't make any difference to them.

As far as the effectiveness goes, true it most probably won't do any difference to them because they are rich enough to host their site. But, doesn't that show the double standard of backpack.tf policy? I mean when backpack.tf is holding such a firm stand of banning people/bots to trade with scammers, it should be the same to everyone. Ironically, the owner of MP, Geel, himself is also an administrator on the backpack.tf, what would people think after seeing the admins themselves are one of the major rule-breaker and convenience the scammer to cash out their money through an unlimited amount of alt? It is not about the trades MP bots made, it is about the message backpack.tf wants to spread here. 

 

And again, I am not here to say that MP bots should be banned because they traded with scammer alt. In fact, I don't think it is possible for any human or bot to not make mistakes. Yes, there're 2 times before you are out. But when a bot is trading nearly 100 items every day, it becomes extremely difficult to check. It is easy for a scammer to make alt on Steam as they can do that unlimited times, they just need to put $5 on Steam and purchase an item from Mann Co. Store, but honest traders and bot owners would have to do all the background checking for them to prevent themselves getting banned, how is that for the trading community?

 

3 hours ago, Teeny Tiny Cat said:

If you're unable to manage a bot, don't have a bot.

Maybe Geel shouldn't have like that many bots as well?

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Teeny Tiny Cat
1 hour ago, TextDynasty said:

I am guessing you are saying the first two? How is that not marked? If you are saying they are not Steam Rep marked, it is because Steam rep updated their rule of trading with scammers. But, still, as it's now, people can still get a ban from backpack.tf, right?

 

As far as the effectiveness goes, true it most probably won't do any difference to them because they are rich enough to host their site. But, doesn't that show the double standard of backpack.tf policy? I mean when backpack.tf is holding such a firm stand of banning people/bots to trade with scammers, it should be the same to everyone. Ironically, the owner of MP, Geel, himself is also an administrator on the backpack.tf, what would people think after seeing the admins themselves are one of the major rule-breaker and convenience the scammer to cash out their money through an unlimited amount of alt? It is not about the trades MP bots made, it is about the message backpack.tf wants to spread here. 

 

And again, I am not here to say that MP bots should be banned because they traded with scammer alt. In fact, I don't think it is possible for any human or bot to not make mistakes. Yes, there're 2 times before you are out. But when a bot is trading nearly 100 items every day, it becomes extremely difficult to check. It is easy for a scammer to make alt on Steam as they can do that unlimited times, they just need to put $5 on Steam and purchase an item from Mann Co. Store, but honest traders and bot owners would have to do all the background checking for them to prevent themselves getting banned, how is that for the trading community?

 

Maybe Geel shouldn't have like that many bots as well?

 

A site ban is not a mark. 

 

It's not about being rich, it's about bots that are self-contained on another site literally having no interaction with this site in any way. In this case, a ban here is to prevent an account using the features of this site. That is fairly pointless on accounts that do not use the site at all. The same obviously does not apply to scammers, as that ban is about warning other users.

 

It's really not that hard to check. Background check trades above 15 keys manually. If you don't want to, then don't, and risk a ban. Your call.

 

They're not geel's personal bots. See the second sentence.

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TextDynasty
On 7/18/2018 at 3:06 PM, DanielDee said:

I have seen numerous very wealthy noobs get banned on here when there not even aware of this site. Hell about 3 years ago i started playing mvm with someone who had over 10K hours 800 tours who never even heard of THIS site. Who also dropped two pans and had a BP worth about 9K so assuming all players know this site is a bit far fetched to say the least. As i stated before though. If people arent aware of this site and trade with scammers on trade servers then the ban here will make very little difference at all. if they continue to trade on said servers. It only affects noobs when regular experienced traders go to trade with this noob who snapped up what was perceived to be a bargain after doing background checks. Penalising noobs gustapo style who trade with scammers will not solve anything. Noobs will go elsewhere regardless of ban status if they are not even aware of the third reich here.

 

3 hours ago, Teeny Tiny Cat said:

literally having no interaction with this site in any way. In this case, a ban here is to prevent an account using the features of this site. That is fairly pointless on accounts that do not use the site at all.

If your statement is true and equal to everyone, why is a guy that never heard of this site, unconsciously tarde with a scammer WITHOUT even acknowledging this site got banned? And again, isn't that the whole purpose of this rule is to make the scammer a harder time to resell their items. A site ban on backpack.tf is not only just about trades again, it is also about the ban message it gave everytime people click on one's profile. By site banning and putting a ban message on their profile would ruin their reputation and thus reduce the sales of their bots maybe?

 

3 hours ago, Teeny Tiny Cat said:

A site ban is not a mark. 

After the shut down of the Outpost.tf, there's only one competitive trading platform for Team Fortress 2 at this very moment, which is backpack.tf. A site ban here is just going to do the fewer, if not the same effect, as marked. They cannot use classified to advertise their trades and it would undoubtedly ruined their reputation in the whole TF2 trading community just for making few mistakes. 

 

3 hours ago, Teeny Tiny Cat said:

They're not geel's personal bots.

Aren't them? They are coded by Geel himself and they are all associated with Geel. Even they aren't, it gave the scammers a much more convenient way to cash out their items. Yes, they might not get as much as they sold to bots first for keys than selling directly at MP. But the fact that they are treated differently simply because they didn't put classified on backpack.tf shouldn't be an excuse for that. I am pretty sure the other guy who didn't knew the site before didn't put any listings here as well.

 

I am not some sort of administrative type of people, but I know if you want to have such a firm policy, you should keep the standard policy to everyone to make it effective, even to the administrators. They should be the one that are most familiar with the rules and thus should not violate the rules at the first place. How can you ensure the users follow the rules if the administrators didn't followed it?

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Mrs TS
5 minutes ago, TextDynasty said:

After the shut down of the Outpost.tf, there's only one competitive trading platform for Team Fortress 2 at this very moment, which is backpack.tf. A site ban here is just going to do the fewer, if not the same effect, as marked. They cannot use classified to advertise their trades and it would undoubtedly ruined their reputation in the whole TF2 trading community just for making few mistakes. 

 

If they are members of this site and want to use the classifieds, then they must be aware of, and abide by the rules here. Its not rocket science.  Making a mistake and they get a short ban..... if their whole reputation is ruined then, it most likely wasn't their first ban and they should have learned from their mistakes.

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TextDynasty
7 minutes ago, Mrs TS said:

if their whole reputation is ruined then, it most likely wasn't their first ban and they should have learned from their mistakes.

 

15 minutes ago, TextDynasty said:

 just for making few mistakes

As I said, few mistakes. There are millions of scammer alt and ways to disguise itself as legit as possible, yet a user only has 3 chances of unconsciously trading with them before getting permanently banned. I know trading with scammer or alt is bannable offense and it should be, but it should only be intentional trading with them (ie. Repeatedly trading with the same group of scammer, cooperation between the trader and scammer). 

 

Like I said, I am primarily focusing on bot aspect here as I am a bot owner myself. We won't charge the bank or the ATM that was used by scammer for money laundering IRL unconsciously, and why is it the case here? I know every community should have their set of rules, but I think the rules should also be modified or updated from time to time. As bots are becoming more and more popular and nearly dominant the low tier trading (<50 keys, ie hats, weapons, and australiums), I think backpack.tf could either release an api for background check for bot owners and coders or update its current stands of such policy.

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Mrs TS

It sounds more like you are looking for a loophole to get around the rules by using a bot. If backpack.tf made an API, then it would be their responsibility if you traded with someone you shouldn't. That's not their job. If you can code a bot on your own, I'm sure you can somehow get it to cross reference the bp.tf site and not allow it to trade with people marked in red, must have a specific set of time in game, specific time in Steam, etc. Either that, or make sure you manually confirm any trade over whatever amount would trigger a ban.

Would it make your trades go a little slower, absolutely. But, it would assure you were trading with only people you should be trading with.

 

As for a few mistakes, correct me if Im wrong. You trade with scammers here and you get 2 temp bans, then a final chance 6 months later. If you haven't learned your lesson by then, then you dont deserve to use the site and all its features.

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TextDynasty
4 hours ago, Teeny Tiny Cat said:

A site ban is not a mark. 

 

4 hours ago, Teeny Tiny Cat said:

If you are saying they are not Steam Rep marked, it is because Steam rep updated their rule of trading with scammers. But, still, as it's now, people can still get a ban from backpack.tf, right?

What I mean here is that MP bot can still get banned because it traded with a scammer alt and that apparently violated the global rule #2. "We maintain a zero-tolerance policy on performing trades with scammers. Scammers are not welcome at backpack.tf, and we synchronise bans from the SteamRep scammer database." It is listed on the "Global Rule" section and not "Classifieds" which means all users, using classifieds or not, should follow, right?

 

 

27 minutes ago, Mrs TS said:

If you can code a bot on your own, I'm sure you can somehow get it to cross reference the bp.tf site and not allow it to trade with people marked in red, must have a specific set of time in game, specific time in Steam, etc.

On 7/23/2018 at 5:07 AM, Geel said:
  • It is impossible to detect fraudsters with perfect accuracy before they've attacked you. If you have a system that is worth exploiting, and which requires inherently trusting people at some point in the process, it will be exploited. 
  • Filters that attempt to analyze a Steam account to determine if they're legitimate are extremely weak, due to the lack of data available.
 

As Geel said, Steam API always fail and the data of users is very limited for bot owners to program itself. 

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TextDynasty
7 hours ago, Teeny Tiny Cat said:

It's not about being rich, it's about bots that are self-contained on another site literally having no interaction with this site in any way.

How about this https://backpack.tf/u/76561198828381453. His bots are all for the keys-store.com he created and trading with scammers on their site get him banned?

His banned reason is "Trading with obvious scammer alts via site bots"

 

8 hours ago, Teeny Tiny Cat said:

That is fairly pointless on accounts that do not use the site at all.

And also isn't that also the ban is pointless on him?

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Teeny Tiny Cat
3 hours ago, TextDynasty said:

How about this https://backpack.tf/u/76561198828381453. His bots are all for the keys-store.com he created and trading with scammers on their site get him banned?

His banned reason is "Trading with obvious scammer alts via site bots"

 

And also isn't that also the ban is pointless on him?

 

He was using his used bots as a cover to personally trade with bots. No other site owner I am aware of does that.

 

And, no... he used backpack.tf regularly?

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TextDynasty
12 hours ago, Teeny Tiny Cat said:

it's about bots that are self-contained on another site literally having no interaction with this site in any way.

What do you mean by no interaction between MP and backpack.tf in any way? There's literally a page for Marketplace.tf inventory and users can create listings about their items deposited on MP here on backpack.tf as well. It violated global rule #2. "We maintain a zero-tolerance policy on performing trades with scammers. Scammers are not welcome at backpack.tf, and we synchronise bans from the SteamRep scammer database." It is listed on the "Global Rule" section and not "Classifieds" which means all users, using classifieds or not, should follow, right?

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Teeny Tiny Cat
39 minutes ago, TextDynasty said:

What do you mean by no interaction between MP and backpack.tf in any way? There's literally a page for Marketplace.tf inventory and users can create listings about their items deposited on MP here on backpack.tf as well. It violated global rule #2. "We maintain a zero-tolerance policy on performing trades with scammers. Scammers are not welcome at backpack.tf, and we synchronise bans from the SteamRep scammer database." It is listed on the "Global Rule" section and not "Classifieds" which means all users, using classifieds or not, should follow, right?

 

The bots are not users and they serve no user in particular. They do not interact with this site. I can go ban them now and it would have no effect on anything besides wasting a bit of my time. The fact that marketplace and backpack.tf have integrations has nothing to do with the bot accounts. This isn't that complex.

 

Bans have a purpose. The rules apply to users and user-run bots.

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TextDynasty
31 minutes ago, Teeny Tiny Cat said:

I can go ban them now

According to the current rule you stated, you should and probably even ban Geel for being the one in charge of MP. Effective or not, a rule is a rule, right?  But I know you won't as you said it is a waste of time of actually following what the rule stated so clearly and the fact that Geel is the owner of this site.

 

38 minutes ago, Teeny Tiny Cat said:

They do not interact with this site.

Sure they do. Interact, according to Cambridge Dictionary, means 'to communicate with or react to'. In this case, backpack.tf marketplace listings communicate and react to what users deposit in MP bots inventory and backpack.tf listings extract data from MP bots and allow users to list their items even they are deposit onto MP bots.

 

44 minutes ago, Teeny Tiny Cat said:

Bans have a purpose.

Yes, they do. It will show the community that backpack.tf administrators are both the one setting up rules and breaking them.

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Teeny Tiny Cat

The rules were made before Geel bought the site. They're in effect because it's a waste of mod time handling reports on accounts that do not interact with the site in any way when we have 100s of reports a day already.

 

Backpack.tf marketplace listings are not bot listings. They are users listing their own items on the site.

 

I don't trade and I don't own any sites. I made the rules. If you dislike them, feel free to go use a different website.

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« SɱokEy »

@TextDynasty
If you coded your own bot then just add some extra features to it, 

If the trade value is over 15 keys then check 

(these are checks I personally do) 

~If the steam level is less than 10.
~if they have less than 500 hours in tf2/
~hidden tf2 hours.
~Account created less than 6 months ago
~Private Profile/Inventory.
~They are marked scammer/bp.
tf banned for any reason.

~Random spikes in inventory ( low to high) 
~Minimal inventory except for high-value items

 

I run a bot myself which is custom made and it does all these checks. If any one of these checks doesn't pass then the trade is skipped and held for manual review. Simple as that.

Bot.tf and tf2automatic have the most bots running on the site and all of them do these checks and maybe more. Majority for the community is fine by these rules, so fix your bot instead of blaming others. 

A site ban is just something that will restrict the access to use the site features. What's the point in banning bots that do not use the site? 
If you see a scammer is trying to cash out via an alt account on mp.tf report that account on marketplace,tf  I myself have gotten few alts banned on that site. 

Quoting Geel.
https://scrap.tf/blog/posts/16
"Backpack's administrators and moderators have done a phenomenal job managing the backpack.tf community, and we're excited to work with them moving forward. We won't be making any changes to the staff or structure, and their input is of the highest value to us."

These rules were made before the site was acquired and noting regarding the rules have changed from then other than us adding new stuff to it.
All of these have already been mentioned by teeny above. Summing it all up.

Just re-code your bot and fix this issue from your end. 

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TextDynasty
5 hours ago, « SɱokEy » said:

Bot.tf and tf2automatic have the most bots running on the site and all of them do these checks and maybe more.

 

Do they? I don't think I can find that many if they really do.

Bot.tf Bot: 

-76561198334598690 ( Traded with a scammer alt with steam level 1 and 63 hrs on record on TF2) => Got Banned (https://backpack.tf/issue/5c19efbe44325a1e977b740dhttps://backpack.tf/issue/5bc069c844325a1297747e95)

-76561198324473963 ( Traded with a scammer alt with steam level 1, hidden TF2 hours, minimal inventory except for high-value items) => Got Banned (https://backpack.tf/issue/5c23d1fd44325a2df579145b)

-76561198382654640 ( Traded with a scammer alt with steam level 0, hidden TF2 hours) => Got Banned (https://backpack.tf/issue/5bf8daf944325a2b966221c4)

-76561198830746068 ( Traded with a scammer alt with random spikes in inventory and 0 hr on recond on TF2) => Got Banned (https://backpack.tf/issue/5beae16044325a49d30b7536)

-76561198315588518 ( Traded with a scammer alt with literally nothing in this steam profile) => Got Banned (https://backpack.tf/issue/5baf77c844325a2c4050e6b9)

 

TF2Automatic Bot:

-76561198802465612 ( Traded with a scammer alt with steam level 8, hidden TF2 hours) => Got Banned (https://backpack.tf/issue/5bff7a79cf6c755d1246cf2a)

6 hours ago, « SɱokEy » said:

Just re-code your bot and fix this issue from your end. 

As for now, my bot would decline all trade offer from the marked scammers and those who are banned on backpack.tf and I've updated my bot that any offers above 14 keys would be held for manual review. I kinda wonder how you can code your bot to check random spikes in inventory and minimal inventory except for high-value items though, as there are pretty subjective and even the mods cannot give a solid definition on them.

 

9 hours ago, Teeny Tiny Cat said:

They're in effect because it's a waste of mod time

Again, a rule is a rule. According to the Cambridge Dictionary, the rule means an accepted principle or instruction that states the way things are or should be done and tells you what you are allowed or are not allowed to do. Effective or not, it should be executed and enforced to all human and bot. I do think it is worrying to see that mods are selectively enforcing the rules based on its effectiveness. 

 

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ѕιи
2 hours ago, TextDynasty said:

Again, a rule is a rule. According to the Cambridge Dictionary, the rule means an accepted principle or instruction that states the way things are or should be done and tells you what you are allowed or are not allowed to do. Effective or not, it should be executed and enforced to all human and bot. I do think it is worrying to see that mods are selectively enforcing the rules based on its effectiveness. 

 

Ok, sure we can ban bots such as scrap.tf and marketplace.tf bots that trade with obvious scammer/alts that are within our guidelines.

 

But can you then explain what benefit that will provide to the rest of the community? Our time investigating whether a bot like that has traded with a scammer or not could be better used on other reports. Scrap.tf bots, for example, don't use backpack.tf. The point of a ban is to restrict their usage of the site's features. If they don't even use the site, what point is there banning them.

 

Quote dictionary definitions all you want, but common sense points to the fact that banning bots like these has 0 benefit for the rest of the community and is a waste of time. We could be doing better, more useful things.

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