Yesterday, an issue that’s been simmering below the surface of Steam for a few weeks came to a head: Unscrupulous developers were releasing games that contained dummy items masquerading as Team Fortress 2 and DoTA 2 rarities that sell for hundreds of dollars. Now Valve has addressed the issue.
Yesterday, Valve removed two different games from the Steam store for peddling fake items, and now it’s trying to cut those scams off at the pass. If a Steam user is receiving items for a game they’ve never played or that’s been recently released, they now get multiple warning pop-ups before trades go through. If you think you’re trading for a long-sought TF2 weapon, but actually it’s a fake listing connected to some game nobody’s ever heard of, you’ll know that something fishy is going on.
Posting on the Steam subreddit, Valve developer Tony Paloma said that more security measures are on the way.
“We also started requiring approval for app name changes, and have more planned to address this sort of problem that we couldn’t get done in one day,” Paloma wrote. “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.”
He also noted that anybody who was scammed prior to these warnings being in place will get the item they traded for a scam item back.
It’s an uncharacteristically fast response from Valve, who’s been known to take weeks or months to patch up even the spurting-est of Steam leaks and loopholes. Perhaps it’s a sign that the company is turning over a new leaf. Or maybe it just decided to laser target this particular issue because scammers’ latest low blow hits Valve right in its bottom line. As ever, Valve works in mysterious ways, but it definitely likes money.