Do you remember the Somalian man who sold his wife for Internet connection to play Counter-Strike? Or the legendary "Hey its me ur brother" line from someone you never heard of?
As funny as they may sound, it's no laughing matter once you lose your valuable items to more sophisticated scams. Therefore we will be going through the list of known methods and their modus operandi.
A list of all our available domains can be found here: 500Mirror
Fake Sponsorship & Impersonation
Someone reaches out to you with a seemingly trustworthy account (e.g. high-level Steam account or a website owner/ moderator) and promises a sponsorship on some gambling site you’re frequently on. Or a VALVE administrator/ moderator contacts you over some fraudulent actions from your account (e.g. duplicated items) and strict action will be taken against you if you do not comply.
Either way, you will be required to send items to them or log on a suspicious website that steals your credentials.
Session Hijacking/API Scam
Session hijacking happens when someone gains unauthorized access to your account while you are still logged in. While several scams employ this through malicious software or websites, a less common method is through social engineering.
A good example is that the scammer requests you to give him or her the cookie ID for a particular website (e.g. CSGO500). That way, he or she now has direct access to your account without your knowledge.
We already wrote a whole article about the API scam and how to protect yourself: The infamous API / Phishing Scam
When trading items, the scammer (either a buyer or seller) requests a trusted middleman or an escrow from your friends list on Steam. In reality however, the third-party is either the alternate account or another scammer that impersonates whoever you named (hey it’s me ur brother flashbacks).
Once you have send your items to the “middleman” both parties block you and run off.
Gift Cards/Rewards/Steam Wallet Scam
Primarily done through Steam trades, the scammer will attempt to send you a trade offer with a message composed to fool you into believing that whatever that was promised would be delivered after you accepted the offer:
“By accepting this trade, your account will be credited with $XXX in Steam credits/gift cards/rewards”
Remember, only items offered in the trade window are exchangeable. Steam will always warn you if the other party offers nothing in return.
While it happens less frequently after the debut of Steam Guard and email verification, one could still fall for it if the victim is not observant enough.
For example, if the scammer offers an AWP Asiimov (Field-Tested), it could be quickswitched to one of a lesser value, such as a Battle-Scarred condition. Basically you are getting less than what you paid for.
Therefore, always double or triple-check the items offered before you proceed.
Phishing Links/Steam API Scam
Whether you receive private messages on Steam or you notice links posted on your profile for trading or some other purpose, they could often be misspelled variants of websites, with the Steam Community domain being the most popular.
Along with the more recent Steam API scam, this has also opened doors for affected accounts to have their trade offers compromised to benefit the scammer.
Avoid clicking on links coming from unknown individuals, or disable your Steam profile comments. A word of caution, this can also happen through compromised accounts on your friends list.
Bonus Deposit Scam (gambling websites)
In line with the impersonation scam, the scammer claims that your account on a gambling site is eligible for additional privileges, such as extra multiplier or a deposit bonus and they are unlocked provided you send over the items to him or her.
Always check the site in question for any ongoing promotions, and on CSGO500, we only offer the Welcome Bonus to players on their first cryptocurrency deposit. When in doubt, contact the site’s Support for clarification.
Hidden Item in Trade Offer
When trading items on Steam, the scammer might seemingly offer an equal or a good trade but among the list of your items, a high-valued skin is cleverly hidden, such as a Dragon Lore or a Karambit Tiger Tooth.
Paypal Chargeback/Payment Reversal Scam
The scammer proposes to pay higher than market price of your items and to build your trust, pay first before you send the item. What could go wrong?
Unfortunately, PayPal has a chargeback option which allows the scammer to reverse the transaction under the pretense that he or she did not receive the item after paying you. In the end, you lose both the item and funds.
Exchange for BUX/ Trading outside the CSGO500 Peer-to-Peer platform
Rather than using the P2P trading platform, the scammer promises via site chat or by other communication channel to transfer the equivalent BUX to your account should you directly send the item over through Steam. After doing so, the scammer runs off and blocks you.
This applies to other gambling platforms, and is not limited to CSGO500.
Fake Item Trades
A twist of the good ol’ switcheroo (quickswitch), the scammer offers fake skins in trade that resemble their expensive counterparts when in reality, they are not. There are certain non-CSGO games that feature CSGO skins, such as knives to pass off as the real deal.
Fake Tournament/Lobby Matches
You receive an urgent message from someone on your friends list requesting to fill in a matchmaking slot. Once you agree to be the backup player, the scammer sends a link to download and setup some communications software (TeamSpeak, Skype, etc…). What really happens is that the URL is actually a phishing link that leads you to download malware.
Fake Gambling Site
A scammer in disguise of a moderator, influencer or admin sends you a message to introduce a recently-launched gambling website. Since he or she is apparently not allowed to play there, you are told that the all games can be manipulated in your favor, in exchange for sharing your winnings on a percent split.
Once you deposit your skins, they are not withdrawable. And the site eventually shuts down.
Fake Cryptocurrency Exchange
Another variant of the gambling site, except with some “free” cryptocurrency (e.g. Bitcoin, Ethereum) bonus offered, and you are required to make a deposit in order to verify your account before withdrawing.
Fake Browser Plugins/Scripts
Have you ever wanted to beat the house? That’s what scammers are hoping for the victims to think there are actually ways to defraud the casinos, by releasing malicious browser plugins or scripts that claim to correctly predict the next roll.
Once the malware is installed, your site balance is then transferred to some unknown account.
Social Media Giveaway Scam
Supposedly you won an item from a giveaway on Twitter, and it’s a valuable skin. Eventually you receive a direct message from the giveaway “owner/ representative” that it was an error and it should be of something else instead.
From there, there is a high chance of getting scammed through impersonation, phishing link or a fake gambling website.
Scams are a never ending game of cat-and-mouse. Therefore, we at CSGO500 always advise users to exercise caution against anything that seems unfamiliar or too good to be true. Stay safe and have fun!