Steam Scams: Valve Swings Banhammer On Run! Marketplace Scam

It’s time to talk about another Steam scam.

Steam has found itself playing host to yet another scam operation. The game is called Run! and the developer is Shawn. Actually the developer is probably not named Shawn. The developer was previously named “Wreck” and before that “Greenfigure.” It’s probably a Sergei or a Vladimir or a Konstantin.

These Steam probably-criminal operations have a habit of being run by Russian devs. I’m just saying.

Whoever the dev is, they are already an established scam artist who should have been banned from the Steam store the first time they put fake items up on the item marketplace. Run! is an endless runner and the developer had been generating bitcoin to sell on the marketplace for some reason. They’re not real bitcoin mind you but an item called Bitcoin. It appears that the item was impossible to generate in-game, but the developer and his friends had a way to sell it and were generating hundreds of thousands of them for their own accounts.

Why would anyone buy them? Honestly I have no clue. There’s been speculation that this whole bitcoin trading thing is part of a bigger money laundering scheme and maybe that’s correct. Maybe it isn’t. Something weird was definitely going down not only with the creation of these marketplace items including the fraudulent way that they were clearly being created to ensure that the developer was getting all of the revenue from their sale. It might also be a marketing scam as the developers are artificially inflating the prices so that people are incentivized to buy in the hopes of flipping as the price goes up, not realizing that the 7-day market ban ensures that the price will collapse by the time they can resell it.

Yesterday 1,273 units were sold on the marketplace at a median price of $27.91. Yea this sounds like money laundering.

Anyhow, Valve has swung the banhammer and terminated Run! from Steam. Hopefully they’ll be reversing any transactions that took place as part of the scam and prevent Shawn and his criminal friends from making any money off of this operation. It looks like the users involved (those with public profiles anyway) have received trade bans.

Run! is another example of how Valve needs to be closely monitoring games that have marketplaces where real money is exchanged.

%d bloggers like this: