Valve employees will never communicate with you about your account using any chat system including Steam Chat and Discord. The only way you can speak with a Steam Support agent about your account is through the Steam Support Help Site. There's no situation in which you'd need to reach out to a Valve or Steam employee directly to resolve an issue.
If someone claims they reported you accidentally or falsely, you do not need to do anything to protect your account. These claims are always fake and only meant scam you. If someone did report your account falsely, you can rest assured that Steam disregards false reports.
Anyone claiming to be a Valve employee or Steam Support representative or asking to verify your items for an investigation or security reasons should be immediately Reported.
Some confidence scammers (scammers, cons, con artists) target Steam users by threatening their accounts or claiming to represent Steam Support, Valve, or a trusted individual or service.
Trade scams are a scam whose goal involves obtaining a victim's Steam Inventory items.
A confidence scam is a trick involving deceit with the goal of defrauding a victim in some way. A scammer may target a Steam user to hijack their account to use or sell, hijack their account to hold for ransom, or gather information from a victim to defraud them elsewhere.
Online confidence scams target Steam users because Steam accounts are valuable, and if taken over, can give the scammer a form of "power" to pressure the victim.
Most scams targeting Steam users (unrelated to Trade Scams) involve an attempt to gain control of a victim's account and then hold the account hostage for payment.
You should never pay a scammer even if they've gained full control of your account. You can recover your account from a scammer any time using Steam Support, and a scammer who is already defrauding you is not likely to actually return the account even if you pay. Instead, they would likely just demand additional payments.
You can avoid scams by always remaining skeptical in online interactions, especially those involving pressure, threats, demands, or claims that come from a position of authority.
You should be mindful of unexpected claims made even by a trusted friend, as you can't be sure they haven't fallen for a scam themselves and thus turned control of their account over to a scammer.
If you've given away control of your account to a scammer, you should immediately take steps to recover the account through Steam Support. Despite what a scammer might claim, you can always recover your account through Steam Support even if the scammer has changed all of the account's information including its password, email, and phone number.
You don't need to do anything to protect your account from false or mistaken reports. They're simply disregarded by the Steam team.
You can use Steam's reporting tools on your friend's Steam Community profile page to report your friend's account as hijacked. If the hijacking can be confirmed, Steam's moderation team will lock the account until the owner is able to recover it.
Most confidence scams take place largely outside of Steam. To report the scammer, you should use the reporting feature of the platform that the scammer is using to chat with you, and you should also block all further communication.
A trade scam is when a Steam user convinces another user to make a deal (trade, gift or market transaction) under false pretenses. Scams usually involve deception in order to convince a user that they are getting a good or fair deal when in fact they are not.
Do not trade for anything that cannot be added into the Steam trading window. The most common examples of these types of trades include:
Users should always double check the contents of a proposed trade before accepting, even if that means inspecting each item in a multiple-item trade. Be sure to verify the item and its quality before confirming any trade.
A scam is when a user deceives another user into willingly (at the time) completing a trade, market transaction, or sending a gift. After the trade is completed, the person who was scammed either doesn't receive what was promised, or the items involved are not what was agreed upon.
A hijacking is when an account or a computer is taken over by someone else without the account owner's permission. This is often done with malware or a virus. In some cases the hijacker will convince a user to hand over their login information by providing a fake Steam or a third-party trading site. Hijackers most commonly steal accounts to gain items or games, and sometimes commit fraud. Hijackers often use stolen accounts to commit more hijackings. In these cases, we lock the account until the rightful owner contacts us about the hijacking.
Additional information about hijacked accounts can be found in our Reclaiming a Stolen Steam Account article.
If you've been scammed or another user has attempted to scam you, please use the Report feature built into Steam. This is the best way to bring scammers to our attention so we may take action:
If evidence exists that a Steam user is scamming, Steam Support will ban the account from using the Steam Community, including trading and using the Steam Market. The length of the ban is dependent on the severity and quantity of the scams. In some cases, scammers will be banned permanently. If a scammer has multiple accounts, all of their accounts may be subject to the ban as well.
In rare cases, scammers will hijack an account and use it to commit scams, fraud, or other hijackings. In these cases, we lock the account until the rightful owner contacts us and we will take appropriate action.
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. For more information on this, please see this post on our store blog.
By limiting the provided data, Steam Support prevents malicious users from learning how to avoid getting caught in the future. Steam Support relies on several data points to arrive at a decision to ban or lock an account. Users intent on committing malicious activity, most often done to other users, are constantly trying to gain this data to use in future scams, fraud and hijackings.
While most trade bans are permanent, in some circumstances a user may receive a temporary trade ban. In these cases, when the ban is automatically lifted the offending account also gets placed into trade probation. Probationary status allows other users to know that a user has recently committed a trading related offense so they can make better decisions about whether or not they want to trade with that user. Please note, probationary status does [i]not[/i] prevent users from trading.