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“Nearly all” CS:GO key purchases are related to money laundering

Valve has disabled the trading and sale of CS:GO container keys bought in-game, as it now believes that “nearly all” such transactions are “fraud-sourced.”

Keys pre-dating yesterday’s change are unaffected, and can still be traded or sold on the Steam Community Market. But any new keys you buy in-game “can no longer leave the purchasing account”, according to a statement on the CS:GO blog.

Valve says this is a response to recent changes in operation by “worldwide fraud networks,” which need a way to launder money from fraudulent transactions. “In the past, most key trades we observed were between legitimate customers. However, worldwide fraud networks have recently shifted to using CS:GO keys to liquidate their gains. At this point, nearly all key purchases that end up being traded or sold on the marketplace are believed to be fraud-sourced.”

 

If you simply want to buy a key to open containers on your own account – which, Valve says, is the way “the vast majority” of CS:GO players use keys – nothing has changed. You can still do that. You just can’t sell or trade them.

This follows a change in March 2018 in which items received in CS:GO trades were subjected to a seven-day cooldown on being traded again. “Third parties have developed services that use automated Steam accounts to mimic players and make use of Steam’s trading functionality,” Valve said at the time. “Unfortunately, some of these third party services have become a vector for fraud or scams. Unlike players, these services rely on the ability to trade each item very frequently. In contrast, a given item moves between actual players no more than once a week in the vast majority of cases.”

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