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Struck by scammers, Itch.io eyes stronger safeguards for devs

Struck by scammers, Itch.io eyes stronger safeguards for devs

July 13, 2017 | By Alex Wawro




There was a bit of a kerfuffle over at online game storefront itch.io today when the Itch.io team was made aware of the fact that at least one scammer was selling pirated games on the marketplace.

The problem appears to have been addressed quickly, but devs should know that this sort of thing does happen on occasion -- and the team at Itch.io say they're mulling over how to improve the platform to make it harder for this to happen again.

In a statement to Kotaku, an Itch.io representative explained that someone had created a number of accounts and uploaded copies of pirated games (like Ludeon Studios' Rimworld) that were passed off as genuine -- and put on sale at a significant discount.

This evidently happens on occasion, but this time a number of customers spent money on the fraudulent deals before Itch.io staffers noticed them (since Itch.io doesn't require a game to be checked before it's put up for sale), removed them, and refunded the customers' payments.

"This particular scammer is also taking advantage of a 'direct payment' mode that we originally offered that allows a seller to skip Itch.io and sell directly into their PayPal account," the Itch.io representative told Kotaku. "Although this might be nice for some some sellers, it means they're essentially getting away with the money without allowing us to intervene. We're going to be heavily restricting this feature of the site for the foreseeable future."

In addition, the company took to Twitter today to state that "there is no easy answer, but we are discussing ways to prevent this. We take this very seriously and intend to put a stop to it."



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