Always know who you're trading with.

18:00, 28 Nov 2020

Trading skins went from being a hobby to funding multi-million dollar companies. Since 2014, people have been collecting virtual items in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) hoping to make a career out of it; whether that’s as a content creator, web designer, or just a really good trader. Players were willing to do anything just to get their hands on a skin worth thousands of dollars. Some of these people became so desperate that they started scamming other players for Dragon Lores and Fire Serpents - two highly valued weapons that are sacred and well respected within the trading community. They’re the golden tickets of all skins, and sadly people have been scammed out of them. Most of the thieves hiding behind their computers have gotten away, while others have received fines and in some cases, even jail time. 


In August of 2017, a Chinese trader known as QkSs was scammed out of his six-figure inventory. His collection included floats as low as 0.1, and also included multiple knives. His weapons even contained tournament stickers that went up to five hundred dollars each, adding an extra few thousand dollars to his already extremely expensive skins. The scam went down after QkSs loaned a bundle of skins to one of his friends which included a few dopplers. His friend proceeded to send the skins to an alt account in an attempt to keep them. After tracking the trades, which were made through Steam, the scammer was arrested due to the high value of virtual items. 

Around 2016, a YouTuber by the name of Khaos had recently dabbled in bot trading websites; popular external skin communities where players receive their anticipated trades from bot accounts. Any time someone deposits a skin into their account, a bot makes a trader offer to supposable keep the item safe. That’s not exactly what happened with Khaos, when he lost a Dragon Lore. Someone traced his skin under a fake bot account and completed the transaction. That trade alone included two Dragon Lores and two Karambit Dopplers, resulting in seven figures completely down the drain. It’s important to know who you’re trading with before giving away thousand-dollar skins.

A Twitch stream under the name DuckyGamer was looking to sell off his factory new stat-track Marble Fade M9 Bayonet - a knife worth over a thousand dollars which was in huge demand at the time. Ducky was under the impression that he was in the middle of a trading session with a fellow content creator called PenguinTheFluffy. Instead, it was a fake account with similar features; some might call this the long con. After Ducky lost his money, Fluffy was forced to make a video talking about the issue. The YouTuber provided proof that the account was fake and that video alone received forty thousand views—a lot for an account that only had a thousand subscribers at the time. 

Just like Khaos, a Russian streamer known as Impuls was involved in a bot scam. Impuls received a trade from an external website to take hold of his Dragon Lore and souvenir FAMAS Teardown. After accepting the trade, he quickly realised the mistake he made after a viewer pointed out the bot’s account name. It was missing a four-digit code which is used to reference all bot accounts to reduce the number of scammers. For Impuls it was too late, he had already lost the most expensive AWP in the game in front of a few thousand viewers. These bot scams have become popular over the past couple years due to their accessible accounts.



One of the most notorious scammers who was trade banned a few years back was a content creator called Captain Crunch. He was the only scammer who promoted his techniques on YouTube. His page gained over ten thousand subscribers after releasing a video on how to scam players in CS:GO Lounge. He made a series which included eight videos and even started a group for online scammers. Captain Crunch stole a total of five hundred skins over the course of six months - his inventory was worth around seven figures in stolen goods and he became one of the most infamous scammers in CS:GO. It all came crashing down after his main and alt account were both hit with trade bans. So much for building an empire made up of scammers.


It’s easy to say that scammers have almost ruined the trading aspect of CS:GO, they build up loads of trust before running friendships over virtual items. Despite everything that’s happened, the trading community is still going strong and continues to teach others about their very own mistakes. Some of the biggest scammers have even stepped away from CS:GO entirely after their trade bans. Scams are constantly being reported to Valve, but at the end of the day, the user has still lost a good chunk of money. 

Images via Valve

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