Beware of the scammer and their ever-evolving scams – The Steam Scam
Welcome back, everyone. In our previous episode, we saw how scammers operate as Amazon customer care executives and scam unsuspecting people into losing their hard-earned money. Today we will be looking at a rather more interesting yet infamous Steam scam.
The breeding ground for these scams is none other the social media. People often use social media to share parts of their life in the form of pictures, videos, and posts. Sometimes. they don’t realize the privacy of their media is of utmost importance and leave it open for the public. These are the profiles that scammers are after. They carefully obtain the information posted and engineer a fake profile. Sometimes, it is too good to be real.
The basis is to pretend as someone they are not and trick unsuspecting, innocent people into a scam. Most of the time,
How the steam scam starts
Ever been in that situation where out of the blue you get a notification. “Someone sent you a friend request”, “You have a potential match” and so on and so forth. You immediately head over to the website or app and look at who wants to connect. What you see on the screen is a profile, where you’ll be questioning yourself, is this for real? Little would you know that it’s an engineered profile that is designed to take advantage of a human being’s vulnerability known as ‘Being Gullable’?
The victim proceeds to accept the request just to see where it goes. As any friendly human being would, the victim proceeds to engage in a conversation. In most cases, the scammer is the one who initiates the conversation. The victim involuntarily divulges more information about them and possibly their loved ones.
The scammer does nothing but conversing for a couple of days with the intention of gaining the victim’s trust., getting as much information as possible.
Gaining the victim’s trust
As human beings, we believe it, only when we see it. The victim curiously tries to persuade the person on the other side for a conversation over a call or a video call as a bare minimum or maybe just pictures. Never will the scammer ever engage in a call but what he/she might do is send pictures. This is the part where the scammer’s avid collection of stolen pictures come into play. Newbie scammers always fail at this because they send out bad quality, pixelated, low-resolution pictures.
Sometimes, the scammers do share videos too. For the uninitiated, this means like there is something special but little do they realize that they are being lured down into a rabbit hole. In rare cases, there is more than one scammer involved in the scam. one runs the scam in the background and the other is in the foreground, conversing with the victim. Calls are involved too.
At this point, the victim has good trust in the pretending character and is sharing their pictures and a lot more personal information. As days progress, one fine day, the scammer pulls a sympathy string. The scammer informs the victim that it’s a special day in their life like a birthday and wishes the victim was there to celebrate it. The victim falls for it and tries to sympathize by saying they wish the same too. That’s the scammer’s cue and goes ahead to say, there is something the victim can do, which would mean a lot to them.
The finishing move – time to put the steam scam in action
The scammer says they are living with an older family member who needs a lot of care and almost all of their income goes into meeting basic needs and care. In the little time they get, they love to play PC games to kill time and keep themselves sane. The victim, at this point in time, is either really eager to help the scammer in any way possible or is curious as to what is being expected.
The scammer asks for Steam™ gift card. Steam™ gift cards are used to purchase games from their games store. Its value ranges anywhere from $10 to maybe $5,000. The scammer asks for a substantial amount and gives them precise instructions on how to ensure they get it.
- First, the victim is asked to head over to the nearest store where they can purchase the gift card.
- Once purchased, the scammer doesn’t ask for it to be mailed to them. Instead, they ask the victim to scratch off the layer that covers the card number and pin.
- When the information is visible, the scammer asks the victim to share the information and the victim complies.
What happens in the background is, when the card numbers reach the scammer, he initiates a gift card refund. In the recipient’s information, the scammer fills in his information and gets the money to his account.
Steam has knowledgebase articles on the same. Refer the links below:
In conclusion, please be very careful about whom you add to your social network. Not everyone is who they claim to be.
Take care. See you all in the next article.