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Contested Steam account ownership

Contested Steam accounts

Steam Support has informed me that ownership of my Steam account is contested. What does that mean and what can I do?


Steam account ownership cannot be transferred.

Buying, selling, trading, or gifting a Steam account is a violation of the Steam Subscriber Agreement (SSA).

What does it mean?

An account is considered contested only if both of the following two requirements are met:

  1. Two or more different users are trying to claim ownership of the Steam account
  2. Two or more of the users that are attempting to contest ownership are able to provide roughly equal levels of proof of ownership for that Steam account

When two separate users are able to provide proof of ownership for an account, Steam Support must ask for escalated forms of proof of ownership to determine the rightful owner.


What can I do?

If someone is successfully contesting the ownership of an account that you own, you must secure the computer and email account that you are using to contact Steam Support.

If your computer and email account are not secure, you may unintentionally provide a malicious user with access to strong proof of ownership for your account, such as credit card or PayPal billing information as well as any proof of ownership that you already provided in another support ticket. This will make it very difficult for Steam Support to return the account to you.

Steam Support can usually restore an account to the contesting individual that provides the oldest form of proof of ownership for that account.

For more information about providing proof of ownership, check out the Providing Proof of Ownership article

Contested accounts take significant time to investigate, and Steam Support may request additional information from you to verify ownership.

  1. Secure your computer and email accounts
  2. Provide the oldest proof of ownership for your account that you can
  3. Wait for further instructions from Steam Support


How can I prevent my account from becoming contested?

The creator of a Steam account will be able to take the account back from you by contacting Steam Support. If an account is determined to have been sold by its owner, it will be restricted for violating the SSA once returned.

Granting another user access to your account is incredibly risky in addition to being a violation of the SSA. Even a trusted friend could attempt to take full control of your account.

If you wish to share your games, you can do so using the Steam Family Library Sharing feature.

Do not share your account or password with anyone. This information is often crucial to malicious users who are attempting to steal your account.

A malicious user may be able to compromise some information that could make them appear to be the owner by accessing the email address attached to the Steam account. Such information is usually a weaker form of proof of ownership than the information that Steam Support will request from you, but could complicate matters during the investigation.

If a security lapse allows a malicious user to access the information that you've submitted to Steam Support as proof of ownership in the past, your support technician will have difficulty determining the correct owner of the account.

CD Key marketplace websites and trade forums often contain scammers that will sell or trade keys and then attempt to use the key to claim ownership of your account. For your protection, it is recommended that you avoid such sites and forums. Follow the Recommended Trading Practices for all trade interactions involving your Steam account.

Some traders offer to log in to your account to add funds to your wallet as part of a transaction. Even if they don't steal your account the instant that you provide them with access, they may attempt to claim it later through Steam Support. Additionally, Steam Support may request information about the transaction in a future interaction.

Avoid all transactions and trades in which another user offers Steam Wallet funds.

  • Do not purchase Steam accounts from other users
  • Do not share your account
  • Keep your Steam account name and password confidential
  • Keep your Steam account's attached email account secure
  • Do not activate CD Keys from untrusted sources
  • Never accept wallet funds as part of a sale or trade

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