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Open discussion on rules for trading with scammers (Part 2)

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FeelZ

 

5 minutes ago, Nicklason said:

Your second point is already how it works on backpack.tf, only difference is that it is not automated. I think having an automated system would only make it more confusing.

 

Currently the issue is that the rules are onerous to comply with. People are lazy. I'm lazy. And the rules are not easy to find or reference when you need them. Here are the current rules:

 

 

Quote

 

Our Expectations for Our Users: 
We expect all users to check the following on all trades 15 keys or greater in value - you must check (1) the SteamRep status, (2) the steam community profile of the user, (3) backpack.tf profiles. You should NOT trade with someone who is marked on SteamRep or banned on backpack.tf as a scammer, scammer alt or scammer fence or someone who is an "obvious scammer alt."

 

We characterize an obvious alt as someone having some or all of these qualities:

 

(1) a steam level of 10 or less

(2) private backpack or profile

(3) minimal inventory except for high value items

(4) new account with high value items

(5) random backpack spikes - check history of items

(6) low hours in the game they are trading items for or private game history

 

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


 

 

By automating the process and clearly marking suspect items, you remove the one big factor that most people have for not being motivated in following the rules: laziness. Who wants to take the time to check item history?  If the process is easy and automated laziness in complying with easy to follow rules is honestly just as worthy of punishment as is deliberate non-compliance.

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Joeg

Maybe a different restriction could be put in place or something, but a bp.tf ban is pretty harsh for trading with scammers a few times. Makes you look pretty sketchy to a lot of people, even if you aren't actually a scammer

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Sprekt
2 minutes ago, Nicklason said:

The problem is that the rules are very vague and outdated, which is the reason to why this discussion was started in the first place. The background checks only make it more difficult for people to buy or sell their items, while scammers can just go to a different site and sell.

Well the statement from me you questioned above obviously only applies to the second suggestion...

"Secondly, this suggestion doesn't make any sense at all looking at your viewpoint on the situation(to clarify - this user still wants the old rules but wants this implemented). You want it to be okay to be rewarded for being lazy, you want it to be acceptable to trade with scammers as long as you won't have to do any research? Basically means that you do not have ANY problems trading with scammers as long as you can get away with it, but you still want a rule that punishes trades with scammers. Interesting."

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Nicklason
Just now, FeelZ said:

 

 

Currently the issue is that the rules are onerous to comply with. People are lazy. I'm lazy. And the rules are not easy to find or reference when you need them. Here are the current rules:

 

 

 

By automating the process and clearly marking suspect items, you remove the one big factor that most people have for not being motivated in following the rules: laziness. Who wants to take the time to check item history?  If the process is easy and automated laziness in complying with easy to follow rules is honestly just as worthy of punishment as is deliberate non-compliance.

I think the only problem is that you can't automate it reliably.

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FeelZ
15 minutes ago, Nicklason said:

I think the only problem is that you can't automate it reliably.

 

That's what an appeals system is for, to weed out the false positives.

 

And the meat of my proposal would be mostly focused on items, not accounts. Instead of "don't trade with scammers", it'll be "don't trade for scammed items". Given that the item ID can be put into the reports people make when their stuff is stolen, it should be relatively reliable.

 

While this would have the side effect of more or less locking stolen items into accounts for the duration of the stolen mark, I don't think too much of it, as that should already be a natural consequences of not having the due diligence needed to avoid trading for stolen items. And it wouldn't affect people that traded mainly to keep things. However, the mark should be allowed to go away automatically after, say, 6 months or so?

 

The point isn't to stop scamming or to punish scammers specifically. The point is to make fencing painful and slow enough so that only the most dedicated scammers persist, and the opportunists who are more likely to pursue crimes of convenience are deterred and seek lower hanging fruit.

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Nicklason
Just now, FeelZ said:

 

That's what an appeals system is for, to weed out the false positives.

 

And the meat of my proposal would be mostly focused on items, not accounts. Instead of "don't trade with scammers", it'll be "don't trade for scammed items". Given that the item ID can be put into the reports people make when their stuff is stolen, it should be relatively reliable.

Me, as a lazy person, would rather not be required to make appeals.

 

I do get your point, but having to rely on the original id adds another problem. Marking items is a good idea, but then what if the inventory fails to update on the site because the TF2 API is down?

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FeelZ
2 minutes ago, Nicklason said:

Me, as a lazy person, would rather not be required to make appeals.

 

I do get your point, but having to rely on the original id adds another problem. Marking items is a good idea, but then what if the inventory fails to update on the site because the TF2 API is down?

 

Lazy people tend to not do things that feel optional. And checking the item's history and background of the trade is most definitely optional in practice, as most of the time nothing is unusual in the history and most of the time you aren't caught even if there is obvious fuckery going on.

 

Assuming that you would need to make an appeal or else be blocked from all trading functions unless you did so, most lazy people would find enough motivation to do what they feel is necessary for something essential. Even a lazy person gets up to eat. 

 

And if the API is down, then all I can say is caveat emptor. You take a risk, you take the consequences.

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Nicklason
1 minute ago, FeelZ said:

And if the API is down, then all I can say is caveat emptor. You take a risk, you take the consequences.

But that won't remove the problem about the current rules.

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NewMaxico

Imo trading with scammers should always be against the rules for the main reason of not making it too easy for scammers.

That being said, i think, the enforcement is unneccessarily strict.

You go easy on the background checks on some 20 key trade three times too many and you can say your trading goodbye for good.

That's too much.

I think, the minimum value for mandatory background checks should be raised from 15 to 20 keys (usually the same amount people start checking for dupes too) and the permaban should only be enforced if the user traded a scammer a number of times in a certain period of time. (say 3 times within 16 months or so )

This way people don't get permabanned for making a couple mistakes, and thats the only thing i think should be changed about this issue.

 

Thanks for your consideration and have a nice day or whatever.

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FeelZ
Just now, Nicklason said:

But that won't remove the problem about the current rules.

 

I would like automation to make following the rules easier to follow. Instead of "investigate multiple aspects of this account" you go to "if account is flagged by the filter system do not trade or trade at your own risk". In which case the ultimate responsibility for ensuring that the filter is accurate comes down to whoever is responsible for adjusting it, and the account owners themselves to correct false positives. Compliance on the part of traders will be much easier.

 

Depending however on how the filters are create, this may create more work for the mods when it comes to correcting false positives.

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●☢Eyelashes☢●

I believe that aspects of this rule should be removed. Mainly the permanent ban after three strikes. People are going to trade scammers regardless, and scammers are still going to sell their items through other websites. Temporary bans are another story. Temporary bans allow traders to weigh their options and think if the trade would be worth the temporary ban. This will still punish scammers, but also allow some nice items back into circulation. 

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JayTee
4 hours ago, Ashannabuda said:

If trading with scammers is allowed that wouldn't be very good, you'd be allowing people who scammed items to sell to someone else and make profit for their horrible actions

 

This is one side of the spectrum, the other is that at least that item (which some people might sought after) will be back on the market

 

Say..... Toughsox has this 800 key hat that you love and its 1/1 (or the only available one to get), Toughsox is a scammer who got it for free, but offers it to you for 400 keys as he's trying to move it quickly, you get your dream hat for half its price....

 

Now the problem is, the scammer benefits, how do we stop this yet make everyone happy? We can't...... So either mr Ash never gets his hat and he gets the big depression or the scammer will just fence it / sell it on marketplace.tf anyway as marketplace.tf (or even scrap.tf if they QS it) doesn't even enforce scammers using their website

 

So the scammer will probably just move on and profit anyway, so maybe trading with scammers is an outdated rule? I have no idea what side of the ruling I should go on here.... But this stuff happens in real life all the time, scammers steal items, then quickly sell them on craigslist and others for cheap-ish to move it quickly, they normally profit, while the buyer has no idea it was stolen and is happy they got it cheap. 

 

This shits too hard man xD

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LeGerbs

While I do agree that scamming should be a priority to minimize, I don't think that permanently banning players for trading with scammers should be a thing. There are so many websites scammers can access to sell items without an unsuspecting person knowing. I don't believe scamming is going to be stopped by simply perm banning players. I know multiple people who were banned permanently on here that have given up hope and discussed scamming people because they just don't care anymore. We have to look at the pros and cons of banning people for trading with scammers.

 

Pros:

* More hassle for scammers, and less likelihood that players will trade with them.

* Creates a feeling of security for people who don't trade with them.

 

Cons:

* Influences long time traders who have been permanently banned to start scamming people.

* Influences long time traders to give up on trading entirely which means less people to circulate in our markets

* Influences long time traders to start trading with scammers MORE than they had beforehand

* Newer traders that don't know the rules may be banned and give up entirely. Or again start scamming to make money.

* Bot.tf Owners are officially scared of their bots being banned for trading with scammers. (There is a prevention but it makes the trading very much a hassle IE people who expect to have their keys for their unusual instantly, but are required to wait for the owner to manually check the items history, and the seller)

*Players in the market will consistently drop with each player banned. Word spreads around very quickly, and the less players to trade with, the less likelihood of our unusuals being sold.

 

I do believe that scammers are going to sell their unusuals regardless of this rule in place. We have to accept the fact that there will ALWAYS be crooks out there. What we need to do instead of punishing people who trade with them is spread word about scamming. Create a huge warning at the top of backpack.tf that includes the most popular scam methods. We can fight back with knowledge instead of getting rid of long time traders. Teaching newer and older traders alike to avoid scam methods is our best shot at getting rid of mass scamming. If we do this instead of banning people, we can eliminate scammers. We can only let scammers scam us if we click the trade accept button. 

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Eased_Is_Swag

The BP.TF ban is an ineffective deterrent to fences, or scammers for a number of reasons. The ban is independent to the arguably largest trading platforms (STN & Scrap.tf) which are utilised daily to offload unusuals/lower tier items. Albeit this, new sites like tradeit.gg, swap.gg and manncotrade make BP.tf irrelevant, since items can still be filtered back into the community as fences cash out keys. The rule is, and should be present to deter scammers and fences alike, but lacks serious enforcement and is FAR too easy to make a quick buck. The ideal solution would be to interconnect community bans with scrap.tf & marketplace.tf to ban the individual on all communities, although this may seem too severe. Just some thoughts off the top of my head, don't read too much into it. 

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ѕιи

There are a lot of replies to this thread that make me believe a lot of you guys don't understand why this is even a topic of discussion, so I just want to reiterate why I and others believe the "trading with scammers" rule is outdated.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The purpose of the rule

> The purpose of the rule was to make it harder for scammers to offload their scammed items and make a profit off of them, and as we all know, when this rule was created (which predates a lot of us), there were never *nearly* the amount of options there were to offload a scammed item than there are now.

 

> Scam an unusual off a new trader but having a hard time selling it to a trader on Backpack.tf or any other trading website? Dump it on Scrap.tf! Marketplace.tf! Mannco.trade! Bitskins! SCM! STN! Tradeit.gg! Swap.gg! Dump it on a bot from the classifieds, where it's less likely for the bot to perform background checks! The point I'm trying to make is that even if we ban people for trading with scammers, *this doesn't affect their ability to sell scammed items anymore.

5 hours ago, Teeny Tiny Cat said:

I don't believe that nowadays it really impacts scammers ability to sell their items that much. And, while this is a private site and we are not the police, the law doesn't even prohibit buying stolen items unless you're aware that you're doing so to a reasonable doubt.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Common Misconceptions about certain topics in this thread

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"The rule still makes it difficult (even a little bit) for scammers to offload their scammed items"

 

38 minutes ago, NewMaxico said:

Imo trading with scammers should always be against the rules for the main reason of not making it too easy for scammers.

 

4 hours ago, Scott Bakula said:

We won't ever truly win the war against scammers until Valve themselves starts stepping in (and only if they actually fight the problem, unlike how they handled CS:GO trading). But what we can still do is keep making things as inconvenient as possible for scammers, so keeping rules in place is for the best.

 

4 hours ago, TheGlenCoco said:

I don't think the rule should be removed, scammers don't have it that easy to sell stolen goods and letting people make big profit of them without punishment wouldn't just be right. Although I do think it should be modified the way Julia suggested.

 

And other people who still hold this opinion, this is just simply untrue guys. It's really, REALLY easy for scammers to make a profit off of scammed items now. Use any automated trading website like the ones I listed above or pick a bot from the main site classifieds and you have a big window of opportunity to offload all of your items before an issue is even created on the issue tracker. *Scammers do not need to sell any of their items for even remotely close to market price in order for them to profit, seeing as they basically get these items for free. That is why automated trading websites are a point of discussion here.* 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Different ways to change the rule for it to still be effective"

2 hours ago, Hhanuska said:

Possible solutions:

  • Increase the threshold for trading with obvious scammer alts (keep it at 15 for marked scammers). I'd say anything under 100 keys is incredibly easy for a scammer to get rid of on other trading sites / scm for quite a reasonable price, so that could be the threshold.
  • Remove the need for background checks completely if they aren't banned.
  • Clearly define what an obvious scammer alt is. This would obviously allow more scammer alts to get through, because the rules couldn't be so vague anymore, but it would make it possible to automate the checks reliably.

 

Solution #1: I don't see the point of increasing the threshold at all?? If we increase the threshold to x number, all we're really doing is punishing richer traders, and that would completely eliminate the reason of why this rule was implemented to begin with.  If you want to make it harder for scammers to dump their scammed items, understand that scammers target newer, and less experienced traders. We all know that newer and less experienced traders *MOST LIKELY* don't own 100+ key unusuals (I understand unboxes etc.), so what would we gain by punishing *ONLY* people who trade higher tier hats? *THIS IS ALL MAKING THE ASSUMPTION THAT THIS RULE PROVIDES SOME PRACTICAL USE BY THE WAY.*

 

Solution #2: I don't understand this thought process of removing the need for background checks. Going by the same assumption I bolded above, why is there a difference between a marked and unmarked scammer alt? Obviously it's a lot harder for the average trader to identify "obvious scammer alts", I understand that quite well. Still though, GOING BY THE SAME ASSUMPTION ABOVE, implementing this solution would give scammers even MORE of an incentive to create new steam profiles and offload their items that way. Hell, this would mean the only reason a scammer would need to buy an old steam account would be the initial scam attempt itself.

 

Solution #3: We already have defined what an obvious scammer alt is, but in all fairness considering this thread is on the forums (which doesn't receive much traffic at all anymore) it definitely isn't as visible as I'd like it to be.

 

 

1 hour ago, ●☢Eyelashes☢● said:

I believe that aspects of this rule should be removed. Mainly the permanent ban after three strikes. People are going to trade scammers regardless, and scammers are still going to sell their items through other websites. Temporary bans are another story. Temporary bans allow traders to weigh their options and think if the trade would be worth the temporary ban. This will still punish scammers, but also allow some nice items back into circulation.

 

3 hours ago, mastikhor said:

nope im good with the current rules. i would just swap the perma ban with a 3 month ban instead. abolishing the rule would just result a crazy hike in scammer numbers /activity because imo the majority of scammers still have trouble selling their scammed items for a decent price 

 

5 hours ago, Sakamoto said:

I think the only change in the rules is that knowingly trading with scammers should no longer result in a permanent ban. It should have the same punishment for trading with scammers regardless of whether the trader knew or not. But other than that, the rules should probably remain in place. backpack.tf shouldn't become a haven for cooperating with scammers (like some websites).

 

And others who agree with sentiments like this, what would be the point in no longer permanently banning people for trading with scammers, knowingly or not? If you all still believe that banning people who trade with scammers still provides a practical benefit, AND THIS IS THE ASSUMPTION I WILL CONTINUE TO STICK WITH, what weight does a ban from our site carry if it isn't permanent? 1) We as mods would have to continue wasting time temporarily banning people who refuse to check who they trade with and 2) knowing that these bans wouldn't be permanent would mean that you as a user would have no reason to abide by them. GOING BY THE ABOVE ASSUMPTION, that would mean we as the staff here, if anything, would be enabling our users to trade with scammers.

 

These are just the main concerns I've had going through these replies, and finally I want to address a question I've also read a lot.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

What would be the benefits of completely getting rid of this rule?

6 hours ago, gilga said:

What are the BENEFITS of removing this rule...? That's all I have to ask.

 

5 hours ago, Pixxi0us said:

Hello. 

 

I dont think the rule should be removed at all, I mean, what would we benefit if the rule gets removed? etc.

 

3 hours ago, MSL said:

The largest benefit (in my view, but if this isn't true, someone please correct me) is that this would open a large amount of time up for mods to deal with things like scam reports, as the current system takes up a lot of time, when in reality, a bp ban does little-to-nothing in the way of preventing scammers from selling items. They can sell on the community market, mptf, scrap, or any other site from an alt account, or just sell directly to users from an alt account. I see it as a rule that consumes a lot of moderator time with minimal benefit at most to the community, as selling items is not hard whatsoever for scammers who are marked. It's really just treading water.

 

The way I view this issue now, we've been approaching the problem of scammers wrong for a long time.

ZE8fLJW.png

 

Above is the flow of scammed items; this is the process a scammed item goes through. A trader gets scammed by a scammer, and the scammer offloads the item to somebody who buys their hat, whether it be a normal trader, bot owner, or website owner. We have been allocating our time and resources into the end of the chain; punishing the person who trades with the scammer, but this ideology is ineffective for the reasons I highlighted in the beginning of this post.

 

Once a scammer has successfully scammed a new trader, there are too many outlets for a scammer to dump their scammed items for profit, and it has gotten to the point where we can't even regulate a lot of these outlets anymore (marketplace, scrap, tradeit, mannco.store, etc.). We are the ONLY major trading website even enforcing this rule anymore, and this takes up too much of our time from handling actual scammer reports.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

So, what do I believe is the best way to address this issue?

 

1) Abolish this rule completely. The way I see it, this rule only harms our users now, and it's a complete waste of mod time to handle these types of reports now.

     - Quick note, this does *NOT* apply when it comes to fencing (buying scammed items en masse).

 

2) Once this rule is abolished, we, not just staff, but as a community, should devote more of our time to educating our average users on how to avoid common scam methods. If we all address this issue at the beginning of the chain, I believe there will be a longer lasting impact and more beneficial outcome to our problem.

ZE8fLJW.png

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Well this was a long post 😅 I hope I got all of my points across as quickly and efficiently as possible. If you guys want to address ANY of the points I made in this uber long post, PLEASE DO SO BY QUOTING ONLY THE SECTION YOU WANT TO ADDRESS. It makes it a lot easier for everyone to read.

 

If you made it this far and didn't cheat, kudos to you, and thanks for hearing me out. I look forward to this discussion :)

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Mrs TS
9 minutes ago, ѕιи said:

2) Once this rule is abolished, we, not just staff, but as a community, should devote more of our time to educating our average users on how to avoid common scam methods. If we all address this issue at the beginning of the chain, I believe there will be a longer lasting impact and more beneficial outcome to our problem.

Educating the average users should be done NOW, not after any rule changes.  

 

I have read all this and think removing the current rules is a mistake.   Do the current rules stop scamming, absolutely not, and no rules will ever stop scamming. But I agree as others have said, removing the rule will definitely increase the amount of trading with scammers since there wont be any reason not to.  But what the current rules DO accomplish is it does make the scammers jump through hoops to use this site, either by making more alts or changing IPs or buying older accounts.   If these rules makes it 1 minute harder on scammers then, why is that a bad thing.

 

One possible way to combat it though........which MANY people that want this rule to be abolished will hate is really quite simple.  When a user buys an item from a scammer for what we KNOW will be a dirt cheap price, especially for some of the high tier, hidden away items, then that items price SHOULD be reflected in a price suggestion.....instead of the bullshit reason that 'that's an outlining price"   That's total crap. If its a legit sale, then change the price accordingly. 

 

So, buy a 100 key item for 50 keys, guess what....that's a valid sale and change the price to 50 keys. You wont be in such a rush to buy something knowing you aren't going to make your precious profit any more.

 

And for those stating the current rule is hurting the new players, Im calling BS on that too.  New traders aren't making 100 key trades with 75 hours in game.  They are trading craft hats and low key items.    When they do get 'caught' making a trade over 15 keys, they get their first ban.  Its a short ban and they get clear instructions on what to look for to check who they trade with.  From that point on, ANY trading they do is their choice.   They are given the tools to make sure they are trading cleanly and they either choose to take the extra 2 minutes to see if they should make that trade.....or they ignore everything and make that trade anyway. So if they get caught again, its no one fault but their own.

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Buck Rampant

The current system sounds good, but in practice has been iffy, looks like ѕιи talks about that some.

 

One downside of the current system is that Backpack.tf just can't afford to permanently ban too many of the most active traders. It would be a real problem for the site's relevance. I expect you have serious discussions when the big guns get accused, like Julia talks about in the linked post.

 

I think there is definitely merit to punishing users for trading with known scammers, and the point about fencing is big, but a lot of information is not available to users. Admins could make the process a LOT more transparent.

 

Two suggestions:

  1. Keep temporary "trading with scammers" bans, but make those temporary bans permanently visible. Right now, temporary bans are invisible once they end. We can't tell if someone has gotten in trouble in the past. Let them come back (at least until it hits "fencing" territory), but also let us see their ban history.
  2. Put a warning on hats that have been with a banned user in the past couple weeks. This would save users a TON of time avoiding trading with scammers.

The benefit of banning scammers is that it makes their life harder, but a longer temporary ban is almost as inconvenient for a scammer as a full ban. They're just going to switch to a new account, move the old account's items through as many other accounts as possible, and start back up again, like they do now. It still provides non-scammers with a big incentive to check their trades, but doesn't give them a life sentence if they screw up.

 

Visible temporary bans should probably happen anyway. I've got one myself, from a time I didn't double check a user who was already on my friends list, and I'm fine with that being public. I screwed up, took the temporary ban, and have been more careful.

Quick added reply to the last one: Including dump-off sales in listed prices is a huge punishment to everyone who isn't scamming.

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ѕιи
12 minutes ago, Mrs TS said:

Educating the average users should be done NOW, not after any rule changes.  

 

Oh I totally agree, poor choice of words on my part. Apologies :P 

 

13 minutes ago, Mrs TS said:

I have read all this and think removing the current rules is a mistake.   Do the current rules stop scamming, absolutely not, and no rules will ever stop scamming. But I agree as others have said, removing the rule will definitely increase the amount of trading with scammers since there wont be any reason not to.  But what the current rules DO accomplish is it does make the scammers jump through hoops to use this site, either by making more alts or changing IPs or buying older accounts.   If these rules makes it 1 minute harder on scammers then, why is that a bad thing.

 

1) It's not about if the rules prevent scamming, it's about if these rules make it harder for scammers to offload their scammed items (which I believe they don't anymore).

2) No scammer has to jump through any significant hoops to use this site. Like I said before, in the time it would take for a scammer to create a new steam account and offload their items using a bot on the classifieds a user report would not even be created, and this is also assuming scammers HAVE TO use this site to offload their items. There are way more outlets than just Backpack.tf for scammers to offload their items now, some of them listed in my OP.

3) These rules make it 1 minute harder for scammers to offload their items (assuming they have to use our site), but the reports for issues like these take a much more significant amount of time away from our other reports. If we put more of our time into educating average users instead of handling these reports, I believe there would be a much more significant impact we could create on this issue.

 

19 minutes ago, Mrs TS said:

One possible way to combat it though........which MANY people that want this rule to be abolished will hate is really quite simple.  When a user buys an item from a scammer for what we KNOW will be a dirt cheap price, especially for some of the high tier, hidden away items, then that items price SHOULD be reflected in a price suggestion.....instead of the bullshit reason that 'that's an outlining price"   That's total crap. If its a legit sale, then change the price accordingly.

 

I absolutely do not agree with jeopardizing the accuracy of pricing on the website for the sake of this. Reflecting scammer sales in price suggestions (assuming they are dirt cheap, which assumes low, which assumes inaccurate) would not only force us to display inaccurate values of items on the site, but on TOP OF THAT would do NOTHING to combat this issue. The types of scammers we're talking about do not care about backpack.tf prices. Doing something like this would hurt even MORE users than help them.

 

25 minutes ago, Mrs TS said:

And for those stating the current rule is hurting the new players, Im calling BS on that too.  New traders aren't making 100 key trades with 75 hours in game.  They are trading craft hats and low key items.    When they do get 'caught' making a trade over 15 keys, they get their first ban.  Its a short ban and they get clear instructions on what to look for to check who they trade with.  From that point on, ANY trading they do is their choice.   They are given the tools to make sure they are trading cleanly and they either choose to take the extra 2 minutes to see if they should make that trade.....or they ignore everything and make that trade anyway. So if they get caught again, its no one fault but their own.

 

I don't think anyone has said the current rule is hurting any new players? I said this rule hurts more legitimate traders than scammers themselves.

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ѕιи
9 minutes ago, Buck Rampant said:

Two suggestions:

  1. Keep temporary "trading with scammers" bans, but make those temporary bans permanently visible. Right now, temporary bans are invisible once they end. We can't tell if someone has gotten in trouble in the past. Let them come back (at least until it hits "fencing" territory), but also let us see their ban history.
  2. Put a warning on hats that have been with a banned user in the past couple weeks. This would save users a TON of time avoiding trading with scammers.

 

1) Every ban reason is visible, and I think for the sake of transparency it's better they stay visible :P I don't see how this would solve the problem though; the visibility of ban reasons is not an issue, nor what we're discussing here.

 

2) I'm also not sure how this would be a solution to the issue we're discussing. If people truly care enough to avoid trading with scammers they will perform a background check of the user they are trading with, and that is something we've required our users to do for a long time now. What we're discussing is if this requirement is even necessary anymore, seeing as how it's a lot easier for scammers to offload their items without even having to deal with human interaction anymore.

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Mrs TS
7 minutes ago, ѕιи said:

 

I absolutely do not agree with jeopardizing the accuracy of pricing on the website for the sake of this. Reflecting scammer sales in price suggestions (assuming they are dirt cheap, which assumes low, which assumes inaccurate) would not only force us to display inaccurate values of items on the site, but on TOP OF THAT would do NOTHING to combat this issue. The types of scammers we're talking about do not care about backpack.tf prices. Doing something like this would hurt even MORE users than help them.

 

 So, who exactly are you hurting by lowering the price?  The people that are buying stolen items for half price?  Sorry but you wont find any sympathy from me on that one. In essence, the current higher value will only encourage more people to trade with scammers.    You have to admit, it will encourage some people to willingly go out of their way to get those bargain basement items if the rule is totally abolished knowing there are absolutely zero repercussions. 

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FeelZ
13 minutes ago, OverduePixels said:

No. Rule is not there to shame people. Not sure why people think we ban to PUNISH users, Rule has been in place to LIMIT Scammers,  which I don't believe work much anymore. There is a reason most sites don't show ban history. We already have people targeting users constantly, don't want people to witch hunt based on ban history.

Shaming people has purpose. One of those purposes, quite frankly, is to act as an example to others.

 

4 minutes ago, ѕιи said:

2) I'm also not sure how this would be a solution to the issue we're discussing. If people truly care enough to avoid trading with scammers they will perform a background check of the user they are trading with, and that is something we've required our users to do for a long time now. What we're discussing is if this requirement is even necessary anymore, seeing as how it's a lot easier for scammers to offload their items without even having to deal with human interaction anymore.

I would highly disagree that marking items as having been stolen does nothing. There are many people who would prefer to do the right thing, but only if it's convenient. For example, I would become a vegetarian, if salads tasted better. The true believers will do the right thing regardless of explicit rules, so the rules have to be crafted to appeal to those on the fence.

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humann

I think that the rule is necessary, nowdays the scammers have to sell their stolen hats for ridiculously low prices, most of the times under the buy order prices, if we allow trading with scammers, they're gonna get a lot of more money. I think that the rule should be more strict because there's a ton of ways in which you can buy items of scammers, practically being a scammer fence without getting banned, for example: add a scammer with an alt negotiate about the price of one item and ask him to list it on Bitskins, then you say that you don't know that the item was coming from a scammer, same for the SCM, I'm pretty sure that many traders do this, to get ridiculous deals on many items that for the scammers in the current state are almost impossible to sell. just an example https://marketplace.tf/shop/76561198112281935

https://backpack.tf/item/7577103476
https://backpack.tf/item/7360317680
https://backpack.tf/item/6583986796
https://backpack.tf/item/4233977606
https://backpack.tf/item/7049928227
https://backpack.tf/item/7657729728
https://backpack.tf/item/4605881347
https://backpack.tf/item/7503121907

 

If you're able to buy items for stupidly low prices from scammers  you're being able to undercut anyone, and cmon is pretty obvious that he knows where the items comes from lmao. He sold a shitton ammount of items from scammers, those are some of the items that he have rn on his shop

 

We should punish the people for trading stolen goods and if you don't know who is the seller you should not be able to do the trade. But this rule should apply ONLY for active traders, because there's a lot of people who doesnt even know about that rule. Because: 1-You help the scammer, and incentive him to continue scamming. 2-Is a completely unfair position for the traders who choose not to promote the scammers.

 

btw I would have a couple thousand more on my bp if I would trade with scammers, and I can easily trick the current system (with the rule "whoops, sorry I didint know), but I didin't.

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LeGerbs

I would like to reiterate my point here. We have way more cons having this rule in place. For the one where long time traders might start scamming people, it will be SUPER easy for them to take very expensive unusuals from others since they have built up a reputation. We've seen banned traders turn down this road a lot in the past.

 

Pros:

* More hassle for scammers, and less likelihood that players will trade with them.

* Creates a feeling of security for people who don't trade with them.

 

Cons:

* Influences long time traders who have been permanently banned to start scamming people.

* Influences long time traders to give up on trading entirely which means less people to circulate in our markets

* Influences long time traders to start trading with scammers MORE than they had beforehand

* Newer traders that don't know the rules may be banned and give up entirely. Or again start scamming to make money.

* Bot.tf Owners are officially scared of their bots being banned for trading with scammers. (There is a prevention but it makes the trading very much a hassle IE people who expect to have their keys for their unusual instantly, but are required to wait for the owner to manually check the items history, and the seller)

*Players in the market will consistently drop with each player banned. Word spreads around very quickly, and the less players to trade with, the less likelihood of our unusuals being sold.

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FeelZ
13 minutes ago, humann said:

I think that the rule is necessary, nowdays the scammers have to sell their stolen hats for ridiculously low prices, most of the times under the buy order prices, if we allow trading with scammers, they're gonna get a lot of more money. I think that the rule should be more strict because there's a ton of ways in which you can buy items of scammers, practically being a scammer fence without getting banned, for example: add a scammer with an alt negotiate about the price of one item and ask him to list it on Bitskins, then you say that you don't know that the item was coming from a scammer, same for the SCM, I'm pretty sure that many traders do this, to get ridiculous deals on many items that for the scammers in the current state are almost impossible to sell. just an example https://marketplace.tf/shop/76561198112281935

https://backpack.tf/item/7577103476
https://backpack.tf/item/7360317680
https://backpack.tf/item/6583986796
https://backpack.tf/item/4233977606
https://backpack.tf/item/7049928227
https://backpack.tf/item/7657729728
https://backpack.tf/item/4605881347
https://backpack.tf/item/7503121907

 

If you're able to buy items for stupidly low prices from scammers  you're being able to undercut anyone, and cmon is pretty obvious that he knows where the items comes from lmao. He sold a shitton ammount of items from scammers, those are some of the items that he have rn on his shop

 

We should punish the people for trading stolen goods and if you don't know who is the seller you should not be able to do the trade. But this rule should apply ONLY for active traders, because there's a lot of people who doesnt even know about that rule. Because: 1-You help the scammer, and incentive him to continue scamming. 2-Is a completely unfair position for the traders who choose not to promote the scammers.

 

btw I would have a couple thousand more on my bp if I would trade with scammers, and I can easily trick the current system (with the rule "whoops, sorry I didint know), but I didin't.

 

On that note, I would argue that completely removing the rule would be interpreted as bp.tf declaring open season with regards to trading with fences. No repercussions ultimately means that people don't have to hesitant or discrete about approaching fences for deals. It'll be sort of in the same boat as sharking: kinda scummy, but without consequences nobody really cares.

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ѕιи
22 minutes ago, Mrs TS said:

 So, who exactly are you hurting by lowering the price?  The people that are buying stolen items for half price?  Sorry but you wont find any sympathy from me on that one. In essence, the current higher value will only encourage more people to trade with scammers.    You have to admit, it will encourage some people to willingly go out of their way to get those bargain basement items if the rule is totally abolished knowing there are absolutely zero repercussions. 

 

Displaying inaccurate values of items priced on the site hurts anyone who looks towards the site for relatively accurate prices, would it not? If somebody obtains an item from a scammer for "dirt cheap", I would not want that item's price to be displayed at its "dirt cheap" value.

 

"One truth" is a concept I learned in my Information Technology for Business class at Uni. It's basically "consistency of the quality of the information being processed, stored, etc."

 

So for example, if the inventory system at my car dealership shows I have 3 Toyotas in stock, but I check the warehouse and don't see any Toyotas, not only does that mean there is an issue with the inventory system in regards to Toyotas, it also means I can't verify the quality and accuracy of the information that is being processed in my system about any of the other types of cares I "have in stock."

 

Obviously in the case of Backpack.tf and price suggestions, our pricing system is very heavily reliant on the community and isn't always up-to-date, but if we implement something like this into how we handle price suggestions in the future, no one will be able to verify the accuracy of items priced on this site, and that just isn't something I'm willing to sacrifice, especially if it only creates more problems rather than solving any of them.

 

19 minutes ago, FeelZ said:

I would highly disagree that marking items as having been stolen does nothing. There are many people who would prefer to do the right thing, but only if it's convenient. For example, I would become a vegetarian, if salads tasted better. The true believers will do the right thing regardless of explicit rules, so the rules have to be crafted to appeal to those on the fence.

 

Marking items as "being stolen" would require even more time and resources that we don't even have. Like I said before, if people want to do the right thing for the sake of doing the right thing, performing background checks like we've required for years and years should not be an issue, and like I said in my OP, spending our time and resources into educating the average user would prove to be more effective than any solution aimed at people who trade with scammers.

 

If we are to continue the route of convenience:

Trading scammers en masse will always be the most convenient option. You get your items cheaper and you have an easy time flipping them for profit. That isn't even up for discussion.

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