A Steam game was being used to scam people with fake Dota 2 items
An awful-looking game called Climber recently vanished from Steam after several Dota 2 players reported they'd been scammed by Climber users pawning lookalike items.
The scam revolved around a Dota 2 item called the Dragonclaw Hook. The genuine Dragonclaw Hook is an immortal-rarity item for the hero Pudge. It was briefly available in early 2013 and can no longer be obtained outside of the Steam Community Market, where it can fetch upwards of $800.
However, the Dragonclaw Hook these players were offered was a carefully crafted fake. According to a screenshot posted on Reddit by angelof1991, Climber's counterfeit hook used the same image and description as the genuine article:
According to a screenshot from mage203, Climber even used Dota 2's logo in the Steam Community Market:
Climber's Steam Database entry corroborates these screenshots. The game's recent activity shows it was scrubbed from the storefront less than 24 hours after the Dota 2 logo was added to its page, and the fake Dragonclaw Hook is buried in its item definitions.
A cached version of Climber's Steam page shows it launched in Early Access on May 18, 2018 for $1. Its Steam description calls it "a game in which you need to go as far as possible," and it looks like a Max Dirt Bike-style game made in Microsoft Paint.
Climber's developer and publisher, respectively KIRILL_KILLER34 and The Team A, have one other game on Steam. It's called Space Vomit, and it looks just as atrocious as Climber. According to its Steam reviews, it's a shoddy $1 game that instantly gets you thousands of Steam achievements. Interestingly, Space Vomit also uses the same Early Access blurb as Climber, with a scant few words changed. Here's a side-by-side comparison:
Climber and all of its items have vanished from Steam, but at the time of writing, Space Vomit is still available, though it isn't on the Community Market. It's unclear whether the scammers merely skipped town after getting caught or if Valve intervened. Earlier today, Valve removed a game from Steam after its developer, Okalo Union, was accused of creating fake Team Fortress 2 items. However, like KIRILL_KILLER34 and The Team A, Okalo Union's Steam account is still live at the time of writing.
Notably, this whole mess comes weeks after Valve announced that it will no longer police what's on Steam unless it's illegal or "straight-up trolling." And with no moderation apparently in place to weed out games like Climbers, it is likely that more scams like this will crop up in the foreseeable future, so check your trades carefully.