Steam updated its policy on fraudulent trades to note that users who are scammed will not have their items returned. The service will ban scammers and lock accounts that have been hijacked but believes that “all trade scams can be avoided.”
Steam stated that “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.”
While items could, in theory, simply be returned to the player from which they were scammed, the user who ends up with the item is not always the scammer. Before having their account banned or locked, scammers may sell the item to another, unaware player, whom Steam would not hold liable, therefore not retrieving the item from that account.
The policy also details trade bans and trade probation. Whereas a ban prohibits a player from using trade and the Steam Market features, the probation is assigned to all accounts which have been banned, but does not impact a user’s ability to trade. Trade probation instead serves as a warning to other players that a certain user has scammed others in the past.
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