Steam Cards function like gift cards: you spend an amount of money for the card, to be able to use that as a voucher on the Steam website for purchasing video games and other software. And like any other gift card, Steam Cards are often targeted in scams.

Steam Cards can be bought at physical stores or online through the Steam website. They’re often on display with other gift cards, but the scams that involved Steam cards are a little bit different than you’d expect.

Examples of Steam Scams

  • You find yourself locked out of your Steam account, and someone is contacting you to help you regain access to it. But they need you to buy a Steam Card and send them the number from it before anything can be restored.
  • Someone messages you, stating, “I accidentally reported your account and am worried that you will be banned from Steam. Contact Steam Support at this number/email and do what they say to remove the account ban!” And if you cooperate, the fake support person will threaten to delete your entire library of games unless you buy Steam Cards for them.
  • An attractive person messages you over Steam or Discord, asking for Steam Card Codes, so that they can play the same games with you. Instead of pressure tactics, they may be flirtatious or send racy photos.
  • You encounter a Bitcoin investment opportunity, where you fund it with Steam Wallet eGift Cards.

In any case, treat Steam Cards as you would all gift cards: They are equivalent to cash, and should only be given to people you know and trust. Treat unexpected requests for Steam Cards as you would any other gift card scam. Shut it down as soon as you recognize it. Block or avoid the person trying to commit the scam.

If you don’t use Steam, you may still need to be aware of all of this to safeguard any young gamers in your household. As your children or grandchildren come asking for Steam funds, make sure everything is on the level. Check that they want these cards for their own use. If you learn that they want a Steam Card for something other than just buying a game, you may have a teachable moment on your hands!