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Old 08-02-2016, 11:25 AM   #1
chemgear
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It has come up multiple times in the Video Game thread but I thought I'd split this off rather than have it buried and revisited over and over again and people not being aware of the business model of these sites.

You can often find steam keys on places like G2A for cheaper than Steam or the publisher on release (or likely after release). But hopefully people are aware of what makes these places controversial. The prices are not lower merely because they are trying to be nice about it. They have had public clashes regarding fraudulent keys and chargeback scandals with TinyBuild, Devolver Digital, Ubisoft, etc.

Hopefully people are aware of where their money is going towards.

TLDR: Apparently a lot of their traffic is from money laundering and fraud.



11:05 - G2A is a global pawnshop that has a well documented history of selling stolen goods, is exempt from returning stolen goods when caught, and allows the robbers to repeatedly commit their crimes on their store. (And apparently their terms of services allows them to confiscate/profit the funds from accounts they find have been committing fraud).


http://kotaku.com/how-the-controvers...-so-1784669708

It’s cheaper because individuals are selling the keys, not Blizzard. But it also means you don’t know where the keys came from. Did someone simply have an extra key, or did they use stolen credit cards to defraud a game developer? There’s no way to know, and unlike other prominent marketplaces, G2A doesn’t automatically provide consumers with insurance for their purchases.

That “stuff” was a public fight that indie developer TinyBuild picked with G2A in late June. The Punch Club studio published a blog alleging the so-called eBay of game keys was “facilitating a fraud-fueled economy.” TinyBuild argued G2A made it easy to sell fraudulent keys obtained with stolen credit cards. In a story last week, I outlined how a hacker allegedly used stolen credit cards to run off with keys that he quickly turned into hundreds of dollars by selling them through G2A.

“Key resellers are very rarely fun to work with,” said Jericho in an interview with me recently. “Most people knew or at least were pretty sure of G2A and other key sellers’ involvement with fraud/illegal keys, etc.”


http://kotaku.com/g2a-scammer-explai...e-g-1784540664

MangaGamer, a localizer of adult visual novels, wanted to reward customers who’d bought games through their website with free Steam keys. Two years into the promotion, a hacker allegedly used stolen credit cards to fraudulently buy hundreds of games. The scam cost MangaGamer tens of thousands of dollars. Why’d the hacker do it? To sell keys on the controversial marketplace G2A.

“All of a sudden, we saw that there was this one IP address that was creating new accounts, buying new games, and trying to refund them,” said Pickett. “ [...] Why is someone buying 30 copies of the game? That’s not normal user purchasing.”

MangaGamer would ban one account, only to have another pop up. Different credit cards were being used to make the purchases and the volume kept increasing. It was whack-a-mole. At the same time, MangaGamer alerted their payment processor, the company that handles their online transactions. The payment processor makes their money by taking a cut from each sale.

As MangaGamer was trying to get a hold of what was going on, their payment processor would realize the credit cards in question were stolen and issue a chargeback fee to MangaGamer. (This can also happen with a disputed transaction.) The chargeback fee for MangaGamer was $30 per sale.

Last edited by chemgear; 08-02-2016 at 11:35 AM. Reason: Formatting
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Old 08-02-2016, 01:12 PM   #2
Mazrim
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The response from G2A was rich - something like "it's not our fault that the fraudulent activity happened outside our site!"

I never have and never will use a site like that.
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Old 08-05-2016, 09:27 AM   #3
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I'd rather just pay my money on Steam instead of saving a couple bucks on a shady/controversial site.

Plus, you wait for steam sales and you get great deals anyway.
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Old 04-12-2017, 02:16 PM   #4
chemgear
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Scummy gonna scum. Know who you are dealing with and who you are hurting.

http://kotaku.com/notorious-game-key...-in-1791943348

G2A recently tried to hold an AMA. It did not go well.

One user, however, went after G2A for that comment, seemingly contradicting G2A’s claims of difficult-to-bypass security entirely. They pointed out that getting a key verified isn’t difficult at all, and if you’ve done it before, you’re set indefinitely, meaning you could easily sell a few legit keys, then switch to selling non-legit ones.

Instead of saying, “Oh ####, we should really patch up those holes,” like a reasonable service might, G2A responded by tracking down the user’s account and subjecting them to “stricter verification procedures.” What does this mean in practice? According to the user, “They blocked my ability to buy anything on G2A, basically when trying to purchase anything with my G2A wallet I receive ‘Transaction failed, user blocked’ and they also blocked my ability to pay out my money, basically they just stole all the money I have in my G2A wallet.”
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Old 04-12-2017, 02:22 PM   #5
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I guess it's good I've never heard of them? I buy basically all my games through Steam and occasionally Origin.
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Old 04-12-2017, 03:35 PM   #6
chemgear
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoinAllTheWay View Post
I guess it's good I've never heard of them? I buy basically all my games through Steam and occasionally Origin.
Some people like to use them as they often have lower prices due to the inherent nature of the keys that they resell. Regardless of the source (often stolen) and their ####ty business practices.

Hopefully people can become more aware and knowledgeable about what they support and who they are hurting.
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Old 04-12-2017, 03:42 PM   #7
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And it looks like Gearbox was going to partner with G2A (without researching who they were dealing with). Social media blew up and Gearbox made some pretty obvious demands that make sense. G2A of course rejected them. Partnership is dead.

If you have to pay for "Fraud protection" from a business that you are buying from . . . maybe they're dealing in stolen and fraudulent goods.

http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/2...ight_fraud.php

What's interesting here is why Gearbox Publishing claimed it was pulling back on the deal: public condemnation of it, specifically from prominent video game YouTuber John "TotalBiscuit" Bain, who vowed to stop covering the game being promoted (Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition) and all future Gearbox projects if the company did not cut ties with G2A.

https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/arti...y-reseller-g2a

Every day, game publishers announce partnerships nobody pays attention to. But people paid attention when Gearbox Software announced it would distribute the collector's edition of Bulletstorm: Full Clip through G2A, the controversial key reseller often accused of ignoring fraud. Amid widespread criticism, popular YouTube creator John "TotalBiscuit" Bain announced he would no longer cover Gearbox releases. This appears to have given Gearbox pause, as the studio's revealed the partnership will be cancelled unless G2A commits to certain changes.

- Within 30 days, G2A Shield (aka, customer fraud protection) is made free instead of a separate paid subscription service within terms offered by other major marketplaces. All customers who spend money deserve fraud protection from a storefront. To that end, all existing G2A Shield customers are notified by April 14th that fraud protection services are now free and they will no longer be charged for this.

- Within 90 days, G2A will open up a web service or API to certified developers and publishers to search for and flag for immediate removal, keys that are fraudulent. This access will be free of charge and will not require payment by the content holders.

- G2A makes a public commitment to this: Within 60 days implement throttling for non-certified developers and publishers at the title, userid, and account payable levels for a fraud flagging process. This is to protect content providers from having large quantities of stolen goods flipped on G2A before they can be flagged.

- G2A makes a public commitment to this: Within 30 days, G2A restructures its payment system so that customers who wish to buy and sell legitimate keys are given a clear, simple fee-structure that is easy to understand and contains no hidden or obfuscated charges. Join the ranks of other major marketplaces.
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Old 04-12-2017, 03:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chemgear View Post
And it looks like Gearbox was going to partner with G2A (without researching who they were dealing with). Social media blew up and Gearbox made some pretty obvious demands that make sense. G2A of course rejected them. Partnership is dead.

If you have to pay for "Fraud protection" from a business that you are buying from . . . maybe they're dealing in stolen and fraudulent goods.

http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/2...ight_fraud.php

What's interesting here is why Gearbox Publishing claimed it was pulling back on the deal: public condemnation of it, specifically from prominent video game YouTuber John "TotalBiscuit" Bain, who vowed to stop covering the game being promoted (Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition) and all future Gearbox projects if the company did not cut ties with G2A.

https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/arti...y-reseller-g2a

Every day, game publishers announce partnerships nobody pays attention to. But people paid attention when Gearbox Software announced it would distribute the collector's edition of Bulletstorm: Full Clip through G2A, the controversial key reseller often accused of ignoring fraud. Amid widespread criticism, popular YouTube creator John "TotalBiscuit" Bain announced he would no longer cover Gearbox releases. This appears to have given Gearbox pause, as the studio's revealed the partnership will be cancelled unless G2A commits to certain changes.

- Within 30 days, G2A Shield (aka, customer fraud protection) is made free instead of a separate paid subscription service within terms offered by other major marketplaces. All customers who spend money deserve fraud protection from a storefront. To that end, all existing G2A Shield customers are notified by April 14th that fraud protection services are now free and they will no longer be charged for this.

- Within 90 days, G2A will open up a web service or API to certified developers and publishers to search for and flag for immediate removal, keys that are fraudulent. This access will be free of charge and will not require payment by the content holders.

- G2A makes a public commitment to this: Within 60 days implement throttling for non-certified developers and publishers at the title, userid, and account payable levels for a fraud flagging process. This is to protect content providers from having large quantities of stolen goods flipped on G2A before they can be flagged.

- G2A makes a public commitment to this: Within 30 days, G2A restructures its payment system so that customers who wish to buy and sell legitimate keys are given a clear, simple fee-structure that is easy to understand and contains no hidden or obfuscated charges. Join the ranks of other major marketplaces.
Gearbox is a joke of a studio and their feigning ignorance is laughably stupid. G2A's reputation isn't a secret. Even a cursory search on Google would have brought that up. Who the hell agrees to a business deal without researching the parties involved? I am sure they were just hoping to sneak another thing past people.

Last edited by cDnStealth; 04-12-2017 at 05:40 PM.
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Old 04-13-2017, 09:40 AM   #9
chemgear
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cDnStealth View Post
Gearbox is a joke of a studio and their feigning ignorance is laughably stupid. G2A's reputation isn't a secret. Even a cursory search on Google would have brought that up. Who the hell agrees to a business deal without researching the parties involved? I am sure they were just hoping to sneak another thing past people.
Says a lot about how scummy G2A is when even Gearbox backs the hell away from you and basically calls you out in public.
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Old 04-13-2017, 11:10 AM   #10
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Speaking of which, tomorrow is G2As' weekly sale, make sure to check it out.
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