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Valve adds safeguards to Steam to address concerns over fake item scams

Valve adds safeguards to Steam to address concerns over fake item scams

July 31, 2018 | By Alissa McAloon

July 31, 2018 | By Alissa McAloon
More: Console/PC

Just one day after removing a game from Steam for, among other things, facilitating Steam trading scams, Valve has introduced new features to protect Steam users from falling victim to games that try and pass forged in-game items off as the real thing.

So far, the changes affect Steam users on both the developer and player side of the fence, and a Valve employee says that more protections to address this sort of issue are still in the works.

As spotted by an eagle-eyed Reddit user, Steam now warns players when they’re about to engage in a trade for an item from a game they’ve either never played or from a game that’s newly released on Steam. In a string on comments on that Reddit thread, a Valve employee using the username Drunken_F00l noted that Steam has started to require approval for app name changes as well.

“[We] have more planned to address this sort of problem that we couldn’t get done in one day,” says the Valve employee’s post. “We are hopeful that having to dismiss two warning dialogs will be sufficient to make people think twice about trades containing forged items, but this is not the end of our response, and we’ll continue to monitor of course.”

The changes themselves follow a heap of allegations that sprung up over the game Abstractism within the past week. Starting in late July, reports started appearing that the game was using significantly more resources than you’d expect it to, something that others warned was a telltale sign of a program secretly using a player’s computer to mine for cryptocurrency in the background. 

During the same period, at least one user was tricked by trading a Team Fortress 2 item for a worthless Abstractism item masquerading as a rare TF2 drop. The YouTuber SidAlpha dug into both issues in a video posted July 29, and Valve removed Abstractism from Steam on July 30 for "shipping unauthorized code, trolling, and scamming customers with deceptive in-game items.”

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