First, I take no credit for what has been written and I am merely copy pasting for the whole community to see basically the typical kinds of scammers ya'll need to watch out for. Again, I did not write this. credits to Blackened. OUTDATED WARNING: Most people are scared to become middlemen now because of the fear of being trade banned by valve because it shows as a 1 sided trade and especially if it is a stolen item, it looks like they are passing on a stolen item and helping a scam, a simple solution is adding a random unwanted item so it looks like both parties have given something to the trade. This guide will show you the many types of scammers, what they look like, what they do, and how to avoid getting scammed yourself. Firstly, you need to get a certain philosophy I've learned over the few months of trading that ANYONE out there, no matter how "trustworthy" they might seem can pull off a scam. Most people when given the opportunity to, they will try to scam you, no matter how large or small the trade is. Using Middlemen (commonly referred to as MM's): In my trading history (since it came out) I've only seen impersonated middlemen or untrustworthy middlemen scam, but not quite often. Using a middleman is almost always safe. Just make sure you verify it's them using the links on their rep page or checking their reputation on http://steamrep.com to make sure they aren't listed as any time of scammer and have few scammers on their friends list. If you're unsure about doing a trade, say for cash, and the person refuses to use a middleman, you should AUTOMATICALLY refuse to trade with them. They might say "MM takes too long" or "I want a fast trade" which means they are oh so more wanting to scam you out of your items. Use a middleman when unsure. This will most of the time (excluding chargebacks) the best way to prevent a scam. Let's go through a list on the type of scammers out there! Before I go, here is a small thing I ask of you. Use your free speech! If you see someone trying to or attempting to scam a fellow trader, let yourself be heard! The scammers will probably be one of the below listed and if you catch onto them, please, post something on their thread, report it to a reputable admin on a fairly known website (SourceOP, TF2Trader, UTC, etc.) and get them banned or reported to Steamrep. Note: Remember that scammers, as I've said before, will scam for ANY amount. As long as they get a free item, they WILL feel satisfied and won't stop until they get more for free. Someone can scam you for as little as a reclaimed to as high as an unusual hat. 1) I don't trust Middleman/No MM: The most common type of scammer. He/she will say that there is no need for a middleman and that using a middleman is a waste of time or that middleman may be untrustworthy. Most of the time both of you will have to agree on a trusted middleman (usually Trell, a UTC admin, SourceOP Trusted Seller, etc.) with viable rep in their respective forums. However, this time of scammer will say "I don't care, I don't trust him" and still try to avoid using one. You should immediately delete, take a screenshot, and report it right away! 99% of the time he/she will make you go first and run off with your items/cash/other before you get theirs. The other 1% is when he/she will go first for a small trade and may seem trustworthy, but run off with your belongings in the following trades. 2) You go first: In most cases, threads will tell you that the original poster will not go first and insist on you going first. As above, you should recommend to use a middleman if they have little to no rep. There is not much explanation needed for these types. They will no matter what insist you go first and will never do. Use a middleman and if they reject middlemen, read the above. 3) I am new: This is a lesser common scammer, but still a very viable scammer to be wary of. The person will say something along the lines of "I am new to paypal trading and want to build my trust." In all of these cases, they WILL ask you to go first. If they do, they're most likely a scammer. However, if they are honest traders, they will most likely go first if you have more rep. If someone says they are new and you are new as well, USE A MIDDLEMAN. You can't trust anyone who joined yesterday and wants you to go first with your hard earned money/items. 4) I've been scammed: These guys are my favorite type of scammers because they're also the biggest idiots! They will tell you that they will not go first due to being scammed before in the past. Well, that's not YOUR problem is it? It doesn't matter who gets scammed because the past is the past and you two are trading now. They most likely ask you to go first because they want to avoid being "scammed again" but remember, they're still demanding you to go first. Use a MM, or read #2 type of scammer. 5) 50/50 or increments: Some traders like to go into increments or do what most people call "50/50" meaning one person will trade over half of the items/money and the other person will send their half over. Now this could go in one of two ways. The other trader (potential scammer) will make you go first in a 50/50 situation. Once they get your items/cash, they will run off. As I've said, scammers are desperate to scam ANYTHING of ANY VALUE. The second situation is that you go first and they respectively send their half afterwards, but when it comes to the rest of the 50/50, they will run off, making it a 100/50 situation for them. This type of scammer is not that common, but they are lurking out there. This could EASILY be avoided using a middleman! 6) Talkative: Not really easy to spot out, but when you do see them, it becomes more obvious. These people will talk about very stupid topics or bring up ideas about trust. The most common things they will say are "People should trust one another such as myself" or "We're both (insert nationality here). We don't stab each other in the back!" Then ask THEM to go first if an alarm goes off in your head. If they trust you, no problem with them going first right? If you bring up using middlemen, they will try their best to avoid it. Some lines may be "They're a human like all of us and have desires, hence they will scam us my friend!" or something. Don't forget that EVERYONE here is human and have personal desires. Don't fall for their attempt to word his way out of your scam alerts. 7) Sent money: If I had a scrap for every time this happened. These scammers are indeed one of the most COMMON type of scammers. They only appear in Paypal trades so watch out. Most of the time they will agree to go first, trying to earn your trust. However, when you commence the trade, they will say that their money has been "sent". A big warning will be that they say something like "$5 sent to (paypal email). It should be in your balance" or "Paypal's been lagging today." After the above sentences are typed out to you, they will ask you to give you the items since they did their part. How to avoid this? Ask for a screenshot of their transaction details. Paypal lets you see details of a sent/received payment. After this, they will surely delete you from their friends list and run. The other times they use the "sent" method is after you've traded (I still advise you much to use a middleman) and say that they've sent the payment, etc. and that Paypal could be lagging or some sorts. Don't even remotely think about going first because this is a guaranteed scam if you give them the items first. 8) Impersonator: The scammer database on SourceOP has nothing but these guys on there! They will often try to scam you by literally cloning a trusted person's Steam profile. Most of the time they will tell you before hesitating "Here's my rep" and send you a rep thread belonging to the user they're impersonating. The impersonator's steam profile link (displayed in the address bar) will somewhat resemble the user's profile link. They will be NEAR close, but you can always VERIFY their profile by clicking the steam profile link located on the rep thread they send you. ALWAYS and I repeat, ALWAYS verify it's the real person. Use the profile link to actually see if they're the true person in their rep thread. If not, add the person who's getting impersonated, and invite both to a chat. Screenshot that chat, and report them.