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This is the first time I've heard of this, but it appears the underground black market pilfers have found a new way to scam people: They're using stolen credit cards to purchase a bunch of Steam keys of select games and sell them at discounted prices. Thankfully, Unknown Worlds found out about the scam and managed to shut down the pilfered keys.

There's a brief rundown of the incident sent via a news update from Unknown Worlds, where they share the experience...
The source of keys used by these websites is often unclear. Recently, a batch of 1,341 NS2 Steam keys were purchased using stolen credit cards. These keys were then offered for sale by various resellers. The owners of said cards disputed the transactions, and thankfully received their money back.

The end result is that for each key, Unknown Worlds was charged a ~$22 charge-back fee by the card companies involved, and we lost the $25 purchase as well. Once this activity was detected, all the keys were deactivated, and we are encouraging affected players to seek refunds or initiate their own charge-back.

So how is this a bad thing for gamers even though the crime was curb-stomped this time around? Well, if you purchase a key from a black market dealer and the owner of the original credit card decides to have all illegal purchases charged-back it will null and void your serial key that you bought from the middle-man. In result, you could be out of a game and out of cash if you didn't get your Steam key through a legit source.

Unknown Worlds wanted gamers to become aware about these sorts of things and notify the community at large, mostly to the effect that just because we're moving into an all-digital future doesn't mean all the crimes and schemes of the physical-goods world will evaporate with the transference of business into the realm of bits and bytes.

If you recently purchased a Steam key of Natural Selection 2 through any third-party digital distribution affiliate make sure you have an understanding with the e-tailer about the legitimacy of your digital serial code.

There are still dangers for us gamers to keep an eye on, despite the ease and convenience of digital distribution. You can read up more about this story by visiting the Unknown Worlds blog.
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