If you haven’t been inundated with phishing attempts lately, consider yourself lucky.
With a customer base of their size and a lucrative trading market ripe for the picking, it only makes sense that Steam is in a constant uphill battle against account theft. In the latest attempt to curb phishing, Valve has placed multiple limitations on free accounts.
Certain features will be restricted until the account has spent at least $5 USD on the store, either by adding funds, purchasing a game, or purchasing a gift.
Malicious users often operate in the community on accounts which have not spent any money, reducing the individual risk of performing the actions they do. One of the best pieces of information we can compare between regular users and malicious users are their spending habits as typically the accounts being used have no investment in their longevity.
Free users with nothing spent on their account will be limited from:
- Sending friend invites
- Opening group chat
- Voting on Greenlight, Steam Reviews and Workshop items
- Participating in the Steam Market
- Posting frequently in the Steam Discussions
- Gaining Steam Profile Levels (Locked to level 0) and Trading Cards
- Submitting content on the Steam Workshop
- Posting in an item’s Steam Workshop Discussions
- Accessing the Steam Web API
- Using browser and mobile chat
The limitations can only be removed by spending on the Steam store. Receiving a gift, playing demos/free weekends, or adding a retail product will not lift the limitations.