It’s a scary world out there. Even in Rocket League, a game centered around explosive, high-octane soccer with super-powered rocket cars, there exists a thriving underworld full of graft, deceit, and downright criminality. Apart from the addictive gameplay that has earned Rocket League tens of millions of loyal players in the years since its debut, the game sports a bustling, dynamic economy within fortunes are won and lost every day.
From cars to cosmetics, there are more items than you can count constantly being bought, sold, and traded as we speak. But, as any quick perusal of a Rocket League Forum will tell you, there are more than a few bad apples out there looking to exploit weaknesses in the trade design’s system to make a quick buck at another’s expense.
Down below we’ll run you through ways to protect yourself against the ne’er-do-wells and red flags to keep a lookout for so you don’t end up another one of the many Rocket League scammer victims.
Types of Rocket League scams: Avoid these and be safe!
Down below we’ll go through some of the more common Rocket League scams to look out for and how you can best protect yourself.
Bait and Switch
A.K.A the “Color Swap”, this involves the scammer switching out the item of choice from a coveted color to a different one with a similar read at a glance — usually Titanium White to Gray or Crimson to Burnt Sienna.
Fake Youtuber Scam
Real Youtubers don’t solicit “donations” for giveaways or ask you to help them make a Youtube thumbnail. This ploy has been used with surprising success in other trade-heavy games like Adopt Me! as well and gamers of all stripes should always be wary of anyone claiming to be a YouTuber.
They might say they want you to trade them an item for junk so they can take a screenshot to use as part of a trading video thumbnail with a promise to return the item(s) immediately afterward and/or include them in the video. This is always a scam and one that younger gamers are more vulnerable too.
This is a particularly nasty scam for it not only leaves a victim at a loss but because “out of game trades” break the Terms of Service it’s impossible to report the scammer. It always involves the scammer offering real money for an in-game item — something that can be very attractive to many users.
The scammer will send them an “invoice” and, if the victim doesn’t know any better, they will accept it as some sort of bona fide indication of funds due — when in reality anybody can type up an “invoice” and export to PDF. Don’t accept any offers of real-world money for any of your in-game items. Nobody would pay someone directly to obtain an item in such a shady, roundabout way when they could just as easily purchase some credits instead.
The Switch Out seems at first like a pretty easy one to circumvent. The scammer will inflate the inventory with a bunch of junk items alongside, say, a BMD, cancel the trade a few times without removing it, and then accept one more time without it — hoping the player will reflexively hit accept again without noticing the real item’s been switched out.
All a player needs to do to counter the BMD Scam is keep an eye on their goods. Always double-check, every single time, that you have all the items you’re expecting coming to you. Never be in a rush to accept.
Fake Opportunity Scam
This scam involves two scammers working in tandem to pull off. It works like this: One scammer will post an otherwise cheap, low-value item and ask for a huge overpay of a couple of hundred credits on top of its real value.
Something you’d be quick to walk right on past, chuckling. But then a little while later, the second scammer puts up a post offering to way overpay beyond what the first scammer was asking for. The victim sees that second offer, a light bulb goes off over their head, and they rush back to the first guy practically kicking the door down and throwing money at him.
Thinking they’re about to make a big payday with a highly profitable flip, they head over to the second scammer and find they’ve either disappeared or are “no longer interested.” The result? You’ve way overpaid for a low-value item.
Fake Steam Login
The fake Steam login is a pretty ubiquitous phishing scam and involves scammers setting up a duplicate of a steam login prompt to trick users into inputting their login details. Fall for it, and the scammers will clear out your inventory in minutes. As a general rule of thumb, never click through on links sent to you by someone during a trade negotiation, and definitely don’t “log in” to any sites that seem to prompt you with a Steam login.
Should you ever find yourself staring at a Steam login page sent to you by someone during a trade, you can verify the scam for yourself by looking at the URL. A genuine page will have the bonafide steam website address; scam sites will likely retain the domain name of the original page you were supposedly redirected from. Check every single letter of the URL, and look for any web hosting icons on the page, generally at the bottom.
Even if you find nothing suspicious and the page before you seems like a genuine login, you should turn back. If you’ve clicked on a link from a trade partner and find yourself looking at a steam login, no matter how genuine, you’ve already waded into dangerous, dangerous waters, friend. Is that Goal Explosion really worth risking your entire Steam Account?
How to identify a Rocket League scam
Keep these pointers in mind!
Too Many Items
As you might have noticed, many of the scams above involve cluttering the interface with an excessive number of items, usually more than 8. If you see someone unnecessarily adding junk items to the interface, that’s a serious red flag that they’re about to attempt some sort of scam like a Color Swap or Switch Out.
Undue Pressure or Impatience
If your trade partner suddenly starts harrying you to click accept mid-trade, or all caps urging you to hurry — take a good look at the items on offer. There’s a good chance they have a reason to rush you to click accept. Make sure to review everything and use the details tab before proceeding further.
Anything Too Good to Be True
If it seems too good to be true, it’s probably because it’s too good to be true. This applies to situations like the Fake Opportunity or Fake Invoice scam. If something seems almost miraculous, or a quick way to make a ton of credits or bag a top-tier item without much work, there’s a strong likelihood it’s all part of a trick.
Just remember, it always pays to use caution. Rocket League is one of the most exciting games on the market and should never be a stressful, nigh-traumatic event that has your cringing in regret — but even if you do happen to get scammed, take a deep breath and remember that it’s the gameplay you signed up for, not the quasi-stock market.