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Teeny Tiny Cat

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

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Rixtero

If it means that you'll have more time finding scammers and banning them, then I'd say ease on the rule of banning traders that trade with them. Like many said, not everyone is aware they're trading for a scammed item.

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raZ

It needs to go. It's ineffective in how it can be enforced, so getting banned for it feels like luck of the draw and is probably extremely infuriating if you a. Didn't know (or couldn't know, a lot of scammers try to look as legit as possible), or b. know someone ewlse that has gotten away with it completely unscathed. I myself remember purchasing an unusual about a year or two ago off the SCM, and since Steam removed the ability to check seller profiles, I was unaware I purchased the unusual from a scammer, and when I tried to trade it on a community server, people consistently brought up the fact the previous owner was marked on bp.tf. I didn't get banned for this, but no one who could ban me for such a thing ever inquired. It makes absolutely no sense because its enforcement is limited, and in the end, as you mentioned, no other site does this and it has little to no impact on whether scammers can sell their items. If anything, if I know a user is a fence for a scammer, I'll know I can get better deals from them (that's not to say I have engaged with or sought out fencers, but the prospect is there) and negotiate a better price because their profit margin is most likely much higher if the scammer sold for dirt cheap, which is a common occurrence. 

 

TLD Limited enforcement, unjust balance in bans, little impact on scammers in the first place, thus it has no place.

 

Solution? Place an automatic "trust flag" across the header of a bp.tf profile for a steam account that doesn't meet the criteria of a standard user (hours, number of trades, relative inventory worth), and auto-mark inventories that are private until they remove private and appeal (outpost does this, had that happen to me when I was trying to stop scam accounts from adding me for my unusual, but it also meant I couldnt post on that site, so I appealed and reopened my inv). If some % of your trades within the past, say, 6 months, are with people that have a trust flag for not meeting standard criteria, You should have a "high risk" mark placed on your profile for regularly dealing with low quality accounts, indicating to others that you yourself may be a scammer. If some % of your trades are with already marked accounts in the last 6 months, you should get an automatic negative trust for fencing. The time limit of 6 months is arbitrary but by making it check the last 6 months in periods (so updating only every half year, not checking the last 6 months every month) means a high risk or negative trust ding would remain there until the next check. You may argue that fencers would try to abuse this by limiting their sketchy trades, but by not disclosing the % threshold or making it volatile each period, this can be avoided.

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saveriocello

first people pay less for dupes now they will pay less for scammed unus, if they rule was to be removed.

 

 

As an old trader I used opskins and much like SCM i’ve have slipups bc it’s very hard to check the histories of these items. that being said the hats aren’t at fault they didn’t asked to be scammed so getting them back on a clean market is a good thing. nevertheless buying from a scammer should not be allowed maybe not a perm ban but more of a -rep since you’d be a dishonest / dirty trader for wanting to buy and profit off of scammed items. if not a -rep the. definitely some sort of limbo status that is different from being banned ( at least for those who aren’t confirmed scammer fences ) idk how much sense this makes its 2 am and i’m exhausted but if you have any questions @ me thanks

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Ghost

The main problem is that nowadays for non super-expensive items, the most of trades are done by bots, a bot can check if who sent the offer is marked as a scammer but it really can't understand by watching his profile and inventory if there's something strange about him wich could make you think of a scammer. Im quite sure that bots trade with scammer alts all the time as they have no way to know if the person they are trading with is legit or not if he haven't been marked yet as such. The only ones who can recognize something being wrong with an user's profile/inventory are real users, so this rule really only affects people and not bots.
We know already how bots took over most of the economy for lower tier items and i personally have a trading bot too, bots are already giving unfair competition to people as they are online h24 and accept in seconds, giving also the best deals, what we really DON'T NEED is a rule that at the end of the day affects negatively only people and not bots giving them an even bigger disadvantage, this makes for people being in competition with bots even harder than it already is, so i really suggest to remove this rule completely.
Also keep in mind that a scammer can transfer the items to a non suspicious account and trade with it, so in most of the cases you don't even know if you've traded with a scammer and in those small situations where you understand by watching their profile that something's wrong with them, the only ones being affected are users as bots can't understand how legit someone is by only watching his profile or inventory.

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_inu
16 hours ago, raZ said:

Solution? Place an automatic "trust flag" across the header of a bp.tf profile for a steam account that doesn't meet the criteria of a standard user (hours, number of trades, relative inventory worth), and auto-mark inventories that are private until they remove private and appeal (outpost does this, had that happen to me when I was trying to stop scam accounts from adding me for my unusual, but it also meant I couldnt post on that site, so I appealed and reopened my inv). If some % of your trades within the past, say, 6 months, are with people that have a trust flag for not meeting standard criteria, You should have a "high risk" mark placed on your profile for regularly dealing with low quality accounts, indicating to others that you yourself may be a scammer. If some % of your trades are with already marked accounts in the last 6 months, you should get an automatic negative trust for fencing. The time limit of 6 months is arbitrary but by making it check the last 6 months in periods (so updating only every half year, not checking the last 6 months every month) means a high risk or negative trust ding would remain there until the next check. You may argue that fencers would try to abuse this by limiting their sketchy trades, but by not disclosing the % threshold or making it volatile each period, this can be avoided.

As already stated multiple times, we don't have an active dev so any solutions requiring code changes are not available at the moment.

 

8 hours ago, saveriocello said:

first people pay less for dupes now they will pay less for scammed unus, if they rule was to be removed.

We don't regulate the market. Whatever a free market decides to adapt is absolutely beyond control of any individual or organization. I highly doubt us removing the rule would affect pricing in any way.

 

21 minutes ago, Ghost said:

only ones being affected are users as bots can't understand how legit someone is by only watching his profile or inventory.

There are multiple bots that check enough parameters to avoid such trades. Those who can't purchase or modify a bot to fit that need were always recommended to manually approve trades above 14 keys in value, since 15 keys is the threshold for trading with scammers. I'd say if anything, high volume bot traders had the least problems with the bans because background checking was second nature to them.

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Findiculous

I am both for removing this rule, and also for keeping this rule enforced.

 

Trading with a known scammer can have risks. You could just be scammed again during the trade. So in that sense, an insta-locked ban, makes some newer traders less likely to humour that course of action. Thus it can, in some cases, stop other potential scams from happening.

 

One reason I would be inclined to see it removed however, is to bring some of the 1:1 hats back into the market to circulate among the non-scammer community. There had been times when I considered searching for a scammer for something I really wanted. Even cases where I read of some stories which had me considering searching for the scammer to buy back the hat which was scammed and returning it to the original owner. 

 

Removing this ban could have the unfortunate outcome of scammers coming out of the woodwork to scam again. Since it would then be easier to flip with non-scammers if there is no enforced rule. 

But at the same time, this might not happen. And as pointed out above, it could bring some old gems back into circulation.

 

I feel both have merits. At the end of the day, if the rule were to stay enforced, if I came across a 1:1 that I had a real passion for, I would make the trade and accept the ban. 

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Teeny Tiny Cat

I don't really know why people seem to think that the trading with scammers rules "locks" any items in scammer backpacks. It doesn't. Not remotely. There are so many ways they can launder their shit. What you're thinking of is trade bans, and we aren't Valve; we can't change those.

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Ghost
6 hours ago, _inu said:

There are multiple bots that check enough parameters to avoid such trades. Those who can't purchase or modify a bot to fit that need were always recommended to manually approve trades above 14 keys in value, since 15 keys is the threshold for trading with scammers. I'd say if anything, high volume bot traders had the least problems with the bans because background checking was second nature to them.

Sadly there's no parameter to check if someone is a scammer apart from steamrep/rep.tf wich are checked by all bots that im aware of, mine too. Other parameters just aren't enough, let's list some of them:

  • Previous names: You can, as a person, see that something is wrong if an account had previous names of known youtubers/traders, he could be impersonating people and that could have been the way he managed to steal items based on trust, a person can see these names and understand that something is wrong, a bot can't have a complete list of all youtubers and known traders and keep track when they change name, is not that it can't technically be done, is just a pain to keep updating that list and a mispelled name on the scammer's side would show no impersonation anyway.
  • TF2 hours: Low hours doesn't mean automatically a scammer, what if a new player wants to trade away his timed drop items? Well, check the item history and see if he's the first owner or not. Sadly sometimes for reasons unknown to me, some items aren't updated in the history in different situations, someone could have an item traded 10 times and still show him as first owner. What then if a new player got gifted an high value item by someone and decided to sell it right away? What if its a smurf account to pub stomp and the guy passed high value or any value items from his main to his smurf account and decides to sell them on this other account? Hours can't be used to determine if someone is a scammer, only human judgement can, a bot can't judge if something seems wrong about a person or not based on tf2 hours.
  • Items amount: If someone is selling his entire backpack usually goes around forums and trade servers saying: "Selling my backpack for keys/cash/whatever", and that's how you find them most of the time, a guy adding you out of the blue and sending you a trade offer for his entire backpack in any context without reading him a single time talking about selling his whole backpack can make you think of a scammer trying to sell his loot, a bot isn't in any context, is just there idle looking at his own received trade offers and if they match accepts right away, items amount and their total price can't be used by a bot to determine if he's a scammer or not as the bot is unable to check if the person is spamming everywhere that he's selling his own backpack.
  • Negotiation: A person, usually, if dealing with big amounts of items, uses to negotiate, even when someone is offering the buyout is very rare for a seller to have EXACTLY only items that the buyer is looking for and to pick a calculator and send a trade offer for the correct price, usually there's some negotiation between seller and buyer to get both the best deal they can get from the other, this is just not possible with a bot and you'll find pretty much a bot buying any item you may want to sell, skipping entirely the negotiation part, in wich a person can understand by the way the seller talks and what he says if he's a scammer trying to sell his loot or if he's legit, a bot can't do that.
  • Collections: Some people use to collect items, a collector wich decides to sell his own collection of "all levels vintage sandwiches" for example, won't just send you a trade offer with 100 sandwiches or add you and say "hey i got this items for sale, are you interested?", he will, instead, talk about his collection why he started it and stuff like that as real collectors usually care a lot about their collections and there must be some reason if they are trading it away, they talk you about it because of the connection they feel to those items and to show you how "important" such collection is, to increase the selling price as much as they can, again, this is not possible with a bot, the bot will just check if the price is right and if so accept right away without asking questions.

I could go on forever with the list but you get the point, a bot CANNOT and NEVER WILL BE able to determine if someone is a scammer if he's not reported as such on steamrep/rep.tf, no parameter can tell you if someone is a scammer trying to sell his loot, only human judgement can because of infinite possibilities and little things that give away a scammer that would be impossible to code one by one.
Being technically impossible or close to it, making a rule that is impossible to follow isn't the way to go, banning someone for not doing an impossible thing is just plain wrong.

The only ones that can easily determine if they are trading with a scammer are humans and in that case would make perfect sense that "you knew you were trading with a scammer but you decided to do it anyways, now enjoy your ban" but if so is it right to have a rule that can't be enforced on bots as its technically almost impossible and instead enforce it on humans wich are already having an hard time competing with bots in first place?
To me it seems like the situation with the Micorosft Twitter's AI chatbot wich became arrogant and racist in less than 24 hours from his deployment, MS promptly removed the bot but there was no backlash at all as everyone understood that it was a bot and didn't know what it was doing/saying, instead if a users would have the same behaviour he would get banned and receive HUGE backlash, obviously.
This Microsoft chatbot situation created a situation where a bot could easily get away with things that an user would never get away with just becase "it was a bot and didn't know what it was doing", to me the scammer trading ban here seems very similar, a bot will never be able to recognize scammers if they use alt accounts so that rule really can't be enforced on bots and they will get away with doing so, unless you want to enforce an impossible to follow rule, an human instead can easily recognize it and can't really get away with doing something he knew very well was wrong in first place, now surely there's no competition on being arrogant and racist on twitter, luckly, but surely there's a lot of competition on trading between bots and humans on backpack.tf and having a rule that technically can't be enforced on bots and instead can be enforced on users seems very unfair.
Of course this is my opinion and i could be wrong but i see it as a big unfair advantage for bots as "hey the bot couldn't know in any way it was a scammer, a ban would be incorrect" and im a bot-trader so im not really into the argument "bots vs humans in trading" and if i am then i'm on the side of my interests wich are bots, but this to me seems really unfair towards human traders.

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D.Alex
On 4/22/2019 at 6:00 AM, _inu said:

We are wasting a ton of time on handing out bans that prevent absolutely nothing that we could have been using on educating people in order to prevent more items being scammed to begin with.


I admit I don't know how many such bans are issued weekly so below is strictly my personal opinion from looking at all public user reports.

 

"Trading with scammers" reports: relatively few, usually well-prepared by experienced users (should not require a lot of time), have significant impact (debatable of course).

 

"Scammers" reports (phishing, "festivized/uncraftable", "accidentially reported", etc.): a lot of them  (bulk of all reports), usually sub-par and require a lot of time to get the evidence out of users.

Impact is practically zero as:

  • these are throwaway scammer accounts 
  • potential victims usually do not know about rep.tf or how to find real backpack.tf profile anyway.

I also do not see much "education" going on in these reports or anywhere else.

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Captainfluffy
On 4/16/2019 at 10:13 PM, Wrein said:

 

 

 

SR MARKED - PERM (you're fault for not checking at all)

I am sorry for getting A single point of your entire text wall, but dat is the most dumbest plan i've ever heard off.. first off how is this plan gonna executed with like the million trades going on everyday, second off all what about the people like me dat have a sight slipup, is it just the end? You fucked up and didnt check the steamrep cause you were, tired, didnt pay attention, just forgot about checking, ect, ect, ect. We are humans which means our brains sometimes slipup and forget about stuff we should not..

 

Point is, this would ruin somewhat of a chunk in the trading community cause of the slipups. Now i do agree if its with same person again then something can be done about not just the one time and one time only trades!

 

 

 

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ѕιи
16 hours ago, Captainfluffy said:

I am sorry for getting A single point of your entire text wall, but dat is the most dumbest plan i've ever heard off.. first off how is this plan gonna executed with like the million trades going on everyday, second off all what about the people like me dat have a sight slipup, is it just the end? You fucked up and didnt check the steamrep cause you were, tired, didnt pay attention, just forgot about checking, ect, ect, ect. We are humans which means our brains sometimes slipup and forget about stuff we should not..

 

Point is, this would ruin somewhat of a chunk in the trading community cause of the slipups. Now i do agree if its with same person again then something can be done about not just the one time and one time only trades!

 

 

 

 

I would not recommend trading while tired/not paying attention :P 

 

Regardless of how many trades are conducted in a day though, the way it is now is how this plan has been executed. It's based on reports, which is part of the reason why this discussion exists; are we wasting our time handling reports about people who trade with scammers.

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S T E W

I still stand by my argument. People should quit trying to take the moral high ground just because it's been the status quo. I don't think people are considering that if trading scammers is normalized, there will actually be less profit to be made in the long run from trading them. When there is zero risk, scammers will feel no need to discount them so heavily.

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Spyromancer

I'm all for trading with scammers, as long as they sell for what they paid.

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Captainfluffy
7 hours ago, ѕιи said:

 

I would not recommend trading while tired/not paying attention :P 

 

Regardless of how many trades are conducted in a day though, the way it is now is how this plan has been executed. It's based on reports, which is part of the reason why this discussion exists; are we wasting our time handling reports about people who trade with scammers.

Ahhh okay

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Zaid Malik

Well, for people who do not know me, I'm MK again an unusual trader like others. Consider me the experienced player who has recieved multiple bans for trading with scammers. I would like to share my experience on this topic why according to me there should be a change.

 

As far as I remember I have had recieved bans 2 times years ago for cheap stuff that I got from scammer by trading with him I think but still it was breaking of rule, I respected thier decision.

 

It's not like I knew if I was trading with a scammer. On the first couple times I didn't even know how can I check if they are scammers or thier alternatives. After my second temporary ban I was explained by admin, I still appreciate Wolfilicious for that. I didn't even know stuff about forums and all the rules of backpack.

 

 Though years after that I made that same mistake again but it was matter of urgency, right before confirming the trade all I checked was that guy's backpack profile and it wasn't marked as far as I still remember so I confirmed and went in for my medical treatment right away as I had an appointment it couldn't wait. 

 

But I still blame myself for accepting the offer right away which was my mistake and I know that. I should have taken time like I had been doing before ban but if it wasn't matter of urgency that trade would have never taken place. I have been banned for roughly an year now. And there is not a single day when I do not blame myself for what I did that day.

 

 Last but not least, I understand how important are the bans to maintain safe trading and keep people safe from scammers but as teeny tiny cat and few others mentioned there should be some kind of modification not completely removal of ban system.  People shouldn't be just able to walk away immediately. There should be bans but in more systematic and better ways.

Thank you all for reading this. 

 

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Teeny Tiny Cat
9 hours ago, Zaid Malik said:

as teeny tiny cat and few others mentioned there should be some kind of modification not completely removal of ban system.  People shouldn't be just able to walk away immediately. There should be bans but in more systematic and better ways.

Thank you all for reading this. 

 

I have not said this. I initiated this thread because I am considering complete removal, but I haven't made a decision one way or the other.

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thedirtierthebetter

 

4 hours ago, Teeny Tiny Cat said:

 

I have not said this. I initiated this thread because I am considering complete removal, but I haven't made a decision one way or the other.

 

Hopefully youre talking bout unknowingly trading with scammers... - i still dont understand how you could make out accidental and intentional trades with scammers?

Sry if this is obviously or answered already, but ive read the whole thread at least, the other one too, and its not just one post that makes me really angry.

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Teeny Tiny Cat
9 minutes ago, thedirtierthebetter said:

 

Hopefully youre talking bout unknowingly trading with scammers... - i still dont understand how you could make out accidental and intentional trades with scammers?

Sry if this is obviously or answered already, but ive read the whole thread at least, the other one too, and its not just one post that makes me really angry.

 

I don't really understand what you're unsure of here.

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thedirtierthebetter
26 minutes ago, Teeny Tiny Cat said:

 

I don't really understand what you're unsure of here.

are you considering the removal of banning/marking users for trading UNKNOWINGLY with scammers (A) or a complete removal of bans for unknowingly and KNOWINGLY trading with scammers (B)? i thought julias point was all about A, but yeah, im unsure now tbh...

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Teeny Tiny Cat
1 minute ago, thedirtierthebetter said:

are you considering the removal of banning/marking users for trading UNKNOWINGLY with scammers (A) or a complete removal of bans for unknowingly and KNOWINGLY trading with scammers (B)? i thought julias point was all about A, but yeah, im unsure now tbh...

 

Both/either. It's a discussion thread.

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thedirtierthebetter
3 hours ago, Teeny Tiny Cat said:

 

Both/either. It's a discussion thread.

thanks for the reply, but this scares me a lot, thought some things here aint discussable.

imo completely removing the rule leads to way more survival of the fittest/rewards for the most ruthless in the future. scammed items would sell faster and/or for better prices, so scamming becomes more attractive and more people will do or at least try to, simple as it is.

chances for experienced traders of getting scammed wont increase, they usually know the common tricks, but we are talking about new or dumb users that will fall more often and will perhaps quit trading frustrated or move on to other games.

dont get me wrong, i hope that the majority of users here still wont trade knowingly with scammers even if its allowed and even more wouldnt scam others i bet, but anyway there will be an increase if theres less punishment, cause you wont be able to reduce chances of getting sucessfully scammed with education only imo.

we are warning for and explaining how scams work for years now and guess that prevented many users from being scammed, i call this some sort of education, anyway im pretty sure that there are more attempts than a few years ago and im afraid of a dam break if you completely remove the rule.

i also know that bp.tf is just one out of a few sites, anyway the most important one and i would be very pleased if this important site stays a safer place with a bit higher moral standards for trading purposes

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S T E W
36 minutes ago, thedirtierthebetter said:

thanks for the reply, but this scares me a lot, thought some things here aint discussable.

imo completely removing the rule leads to way more survival of the fittest/rewards for the most ruthless in the future. scammed items would sell faster and/or for better prices, so scamming becomes more attractive and more people will do or at least try to, simple as it is.

chances for experienced traders of getting scammed wont increase, they usually know the common tricks, but we are talking about new or dumb users that will fall more often and will perhaps quit trading frustrated or move on to other games.

dont get me wrong, i hope that the majority of users here still wont trade knowingly with scammers even if its allowed and even more wouldnt scam others i bet, but anyway there will be an increase if theres less punishment, cause you wont be able to reduce chances of getting sucessfully scammed with education only imo.

we are warning for and explaining how scams work for years now and guess that prevented many users from being scammed, i call this some sort of education, anyway im pretty sure that there are more attempts than a few years ago and im afraid of a dam break if you completely remove the rule.

i also know that bp.tf is just one out of a few sites, anyway the most important one and i would be very pleased if this important site stays a safer place with a bit higher moral standards for trading purposes

The flip side is, if someone is retarded enough to think "Hey, scamming looks cool now", they will still get a ban for actually scamming. I'm sure you're well aware that people who get scammed once will typically continue to get scammed, regardless of the rules that are enforced on "legit" traders like us.

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Teeny Tiny Cat
1 hour ago, thedirtierthebetter said:

you wont be able to reduce chances of getting sucessfully scammed with education only imo.

 

Banning people for trading with scammers, knowingly or not, does not reduce the chance of anyone getting scammed.

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thedirtierthebetter
23 minutes ago, Teeny Tiny Cat said:

 

Banning people for trading with scammers, knowingly or not, does not reduce the chance of anyone getting scammed.

sure, it does in the long run imo... - without consequences for trades with scammers you increase the amount of trades with scammers, that means more or faster profit for scammers and this business becomes more attractive, so more users are tempted to turn into scammers and chances are getting higher to get scammed, not for me or you, but for new or dumb users

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thedirtierthebetter
1 hour ago, S T E W said:

I'm sure you're well aware that people who get scammed once will typically continue to get scammed, regardless of the rules that are enforced on "legit" traders like us.

tbh i totally disagree, if people wont be able to learn theres no need for information, warnings, education... - you usually wont fall for the same trick twice

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