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Trading in games. How to avoid getting fooled?


Nowadays, you might find yourself spending more money on digital items than on real-life expenses, and that’s great! But you should also be careful. There’s always a risk of getting scammed online when dealing with real cash, so let’s take a look at some of the ways in which we can protect ourselves in order to trade safely and securely.

The fundams of avoiding scams

Any online transaction you might find yourself engaged in will most likely occur within the context of a marketplace created by a website or platform, such as Steam. It’s a good idea to stick to such online marketplaces, as they usually offer much better protection against fraud than you would get if you would decide to trade on your own via a medium not designed for digital trading.

Online scams can be explained as situations where one user convinces another to make a trade under false pretenses. A trade that might seem like a good deal, but in reality, is fundamentally unfair to one party at the expense of the other. Here is some general advice that should help you avoid being fooled in most trading scenarios.

  • Remember to thoroughly check the contents of any trade offer you might receive – there’s no need to rush.
  • A certain level of skepticism towards other users is healthy when trading online, especially regarding those you haven’t traded with before. If you feel pressured by another user to trust them, it may be a sign of a possible scam.
  • Keep in mind that spending some time to check every item in the transaction and the profile of the person you’re planning to trade with is a good habit that might save you an unnecessary headache later on.
  • Always try to complete any and all trade in a single transaction. If the user you’re trading with is pressuring you to do multiple trades or promising to trade with you in the future for a trade now, you could be getting scammed.

Additionally, it is always a good idea to check if the marketplace you’re trading through has any guidelines or recommended trading practices that might warn you of possible scams on their platform. Especially when dealing with costly digital items, such as CS:GO skins, you might lose a lot of money if you’re not careful.

Oftentimes it is easier to trade through a safe intermediary. Websites such as Skinwallet allow you to sell your skins securely, saving you the trouble of looking out for scams yourself. Be sure to check it out, especially if you’re looking for a quick and safe way to sell CSGO skins for Paypal or other financial services.

Widespread types of scams

Always be on the lookout for these trading practices. Regardless of the platform you’re trading on, they’re common ways for grifters to try to cheat you out of your items.

  • Item switch scam. This type of scam often happens when, after discussing a trade with a user, the item they want to trade looks exactly or very similar to the item discussed, but in reality has a lower value.
  • Hidden item scam. The person you’re trading with wants to buy or sell a lot of low-value items, but they hide a high-value item in between them so you won’t notice
  • Quality switch scam. Very popular in CS:GO, but can also apply in other situations. A user offers you an item of a specific quality, but in reality offers the same item with a lower quality.
  • Begging. Often simply called “spamming”. An unfair trade offer is sent to you repeatedly in hopes that you mistakenly accept it.
  • CD keys/Money for items scam. A user offers to send you a CD-key or money for an item. After the item is sent, you’ll most likely get either a fake CD or a fake payment confirmation, or a real payment confirmation which will be canceled later.

Remember to always report any users you might suspect of scamming, as you might save other users from suffering the same fate you might have suffered, had you not been prepared. If the platform you’re trading through finds evidence of a scam taking place, they’ll take appropriate action and make the marketplace a safer and friendlier environment for everyone.

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