If you’ve been scammed Steam feels bad for you son,
they’ve got 99 problems but your items ain’t one.
Steam recently clarified that they never have been, either, since the implementation of the Steam marketplace. An update to Steam’s FAQ now explicitly states that items lost in a trade scam will not be returned to their original owner. As the FAQ explains, there are two reasons behind this: returning items drives down their value, and, more relevantly, all trade scams are preventable.
Our community assigns an item a value that is at least partially determined by that item’s scarcity. If more copies of the item are added to the economy through inventory rollbacks, the value of every other instance of that item would be reduced.
We sympathize with people who fall victim to scams, but we provide enough information on our website and within our trading system to help users make good trading decisions. All trade scams can be avoided.
The Scam FAQ backs this up by listing the most common scams and how to avoid falling prey to them. All of it can be boiled down to two simple rules: only trade through Steam’s official trading system, and double-check everything before you confirm a trade. In the trade window itself, information about the user you are trading with is also displayed. If you don’t know them, it can be helpful to gauge their authenticity — newly made, low level accounts with recent Steam name changes could be dubious, for example.
The updated Scam FAQ is the latest in a series of moves by Valve to tighten Steam’s security and combat spam. Its encouragement to practice common sense is refreshing, even if proverbs about its scarcity go as far back as Voltaire (and most likely much further).
If you’ve ever fallen for a scam on Steam, tell us about it and what you’d do to avoid it if something similar happened again.