G2A admits it sold stolen game keys

CrimsonKnight13

Lord Stabington of [H]ard|Fortress
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:eek: I'm shocked! Absolutely shocked! /s

G2A is straight up dirty from my experiences & what others have said.
 

Lepardi

Limp Gawd
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241
try to make it right.
"However, the criticism we received was the wake-up call we needed, and over the last years we have been totally committed to tackling any incidents of fraud on our site. Today we [sic] some of the most sophisticated proprietary anti-fraud AI technology of any online marketplace for digital products."
 

Dead Parrot

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Seems a stretch to call this straight up theft. They are buying the keys in one market and selling them in another. With most other products we would call that: buying low + selling high = profit. None of the articles indicated the keys were flat out stolen like someone breaking into a server and downloading a list of unsold keys. Their 'crime' seems more like they are taking advantage of differences in regional pricing coupled with the near zero cost of shipping the product from the low cost region to a higher cost region. Very possible this runs afoul of licensing agreements attached to the codes but that generally falls into the civil tort side of things.
 

guitarslingerchris

Failure is just success rounded down
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"However, the criticism we received was the wake-up call we needed, and over the last years we have been totally committed to tackling any incidents of fraud on our site. Today we [sic] some of the most sophisticated proprietary anti-fraud AI technology of any online marketplace for digital products."
Sarcasm...
 

Derangel

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Seems a stretch to call this straight up theft. They are buying the keys in one market and selling them in another. With most other products we would call that: buying low + selling high = profit. None of the articles indicated the keys were flat out stolen like someone breaking into a server and downloading a list of unsold keys. Their 'crime' seems more like they are taking advantage of differences in regional pricing coupled with the near zero cost of shipping the product from the low cost region to a higher cost region. Very possible this runs afoul of licensing agreements attached to the codes but that generally falls into the civil tort side of things.
No, they are talking about stolen keys. As in keys bought using stolen credit cards.
 
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DirtyTeeth

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G2A and cheapshark are by far my favorite places to buy games. i dont think i have ever paid more than $10 for a windows key. its a gamble on windows keys and ive gotten bad ones before but then i just buy another cheap one. other people spend what- over $1000 on OS keys in their life, at the low end? not me!

how do i know steam is anymore legit than g2a? i dont. other than the consensus of others and its not my responsibility to research the heck out of something to prove it to myself. i get what i want and dont care whats in the sausage.
 

jmilcher

Supreme [H]ardness
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I think it would be different if they directly used stolen cards to buy games and then resold them.
So when someone sells something on eBay that they used a stolen card to buy, eBay should be responsible for the action of the seller? I don’t think so.
 

cybereality

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I won't lie, I've bought Windows keys off of them, fully knowing that the price was too good (when a key is $15, that sells normally for $100, obviously something is up).

Good on them for finally coming clean. I don't think they should necessarily be responsible, as it's a 3rd party marketplace, but they have to do their part to curb fraud on their site.
 

Ebernanut

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Well duh! Buying from a key seller like g2a is like buying jewelry or electronics from the back of some shady person's van, there's a decent chance it's stolen but I guess some people don't care as long as the price is right. At best it's grey market where you're giving very little money to the developer and publisher that actually made and funded the game.

More to the point sellers like g2a have done very little to discourage stolen keys and what they have done has been after negative publicity. Also much what they have done is focused on getting buyers another key that works when stolen keys get blacklisted rather than trying to prevent stolen keys from making it to the marketplace in the first place.

I have zero issues with shopping around for a deal as long as it's on key site that buys them from the publisher. I have little sympathy for those too cheap to buy from a legit seller since game prices always drop over time, if you don't think a game is worth the price just wait.
 

D-EJ915

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G2A and cheapshark are by far my favorite places to buy games. i dont think i have ever paid more than $10 for a windows key. its a gamble on windows keys and ive gotten bad ones before but then i just buy another cheap one. other people spend what- over $1000 on OS keys in their life, at the low end? not me!

how do i know steam is anymore legit than g2a? i dont. other than the consensus of others and its not my responsibility to research the heck out of something to prove it to myself. i get what i want and dont care whats in the sausage.
You signed up here just to say you enjoy ripping off game developers? wow what a great individual you sure are!
 

Dead Parrot

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No, they are talking about stolen keys. As in keys bought using stolen credit cards.
Unless G2A is admitting using stolen credit cards to make the purchases themselves, what they would be guilty of is Receipt of stolen property, Possession of stolen property, and maybe Fencing. And possibly Fraud if they knew the keys wouldn't allow the end purchaser to authenticate and run the game/software in question. If they knew the keys were purchased with stolen CC info, could toss in Money Laundering as well. Fraud could well apply to the non-theft gray market keys if G2A suspected that the keys wouldn't properly authenticate.
 

sfsuphysics

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The same goes for those grayware Windows and Office keys that are being sold everywhere online (even here). If you are paying less than Dell pays for a license what does that tell you about their legitimacy?
Are keys region locked usually? Because that would be my first thought, buy some keys from China for considerably less than the US price due to piracy and just use them here. Plus I have no idea what Dell pays for an OEM license, sometime tells me it's not the same price they sell the OEM license for though.
 

DirtyTeeth

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You signed up here just to say you enjoy ripping off game developers? wow what a great individual you sure are!
ahah- the chewy stretchy yummy crust of the real issue, unmasked! it's that you are a more moral person than me! as are all who will not partake of g2a!

go forward you steam-retail-buying-golden-soul, you're the best this rock has to offer, I'm not worthy!!!
 

Nebell

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Eh, both Ebay and Amazon can sometimes sell stolen stuff, perhaps sometimes is an understatement...
But no one bats an eye on that nor it makes news.
So why is this different?
 

emphy

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Eh, both Ebay and Amazon can sometimes sell stolen stuff, perhaps sometimes is an understatement...
But no one bats an eye on that nor it makes news.
So why is this different?
Seems to be two things:

1) chargebacks cause extra damage for developers above the potentially lost sales. This has gotten to the point of some devs publicly stating that they prefer people pirate their games rather than buying second hand keys.

2) difference in ratio between stolen and legally obtained goods. The accusation is that *most* keys at g2a are "stolen", as opposed to sometimes at those two sites. Note also that ebay severely restricts sale of software keys to the point of prohibiting resale precisely because of this problem.
 
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M76

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eBay should be responsible for the action of the seller? I don’t think so.
Yes, if they know about it and just let it happen and do nothing to prevent it. G2A has been basically acting as a digital fence for stolen keys for years.
 

Derangel

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Eh, both Ebay and Amazon can sometimes sell stolen stuff, perhaps sometimes is an understatement...
But no one bats an eye on that nor it makes news.
So why is this different?
The big difference is the attitude taken. Ebay and Amazon have better systems in place for reporting and taking down stolen goods and better ways of keeping bad actors off their platforms. Prior to this G2A has outright refused to even admit that they ever had stolen goods on their site. Even going so far as to say that they'll pay any developer 10x the amount of any proven stolen keys because they felt it would be impossible to prove. They'd also lash out at any developer accusing them of allowing stolen keys to be sold and constantly bragged about how hard it would be to sell stolen keys on their site, despite constantly being shown how easy it is to get around the "protections" they have in place. And despite all of these claims G2A sells "insurance" when people buy keys, tacking on an extra charge by default making people thing they won't replace keys if it turns out they get a bad one unless they pay for their "insurance". Said insurance is hard to cancel as well.

Edit: Oh and there's also the fact that they tried to pay outlets to run a positive article, with the requirement of not mentioning it's sponsored and making it seem like it was written by a freelance reporter. They claimed the article was "non-bias" and would talk about how it was almost impossible to sell stolen keys on G2A.
 
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FLECOM

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Note also that ebay severely restricts sale of software keys to the point of prohibiting resale precisely because of this problem.
do they though? there are tons of listings for $1500 versions of windows servers for $30 all day long... I even got one a couple years ago for about $800 that looked 100% legit, box, COA everything, even called the microsoft "is it legit" line and it said it was, the ONLY way I was able to tell it was fake is that it was clearly retail packaging and when i ran "slmgr -dli" and it reported VOLUME_MAK instead of RETAIL as would have been expected
 

jmilcher

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Yes, if they know about it and just let it happen and do nothing to prevent it. G2A has been basically acting as a digital fence for stolen keys for years.
How would G2A know or authenticate every action of every seller? Good luck with that if you are a company. Thats not how things work. If it did we would precisely have zero companies in existence.
 

M76

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How would G2A know or authenticate every action of every seller? Good luck with that if you are a company. Thats not how things work. If it did we would precisely have zero companies in existence.
You are being deliberately disingenuous. G2A knew this was going on, but did nothing about it. They didn't even acknowledge it.
It's not that hard to detect malicious sellers with behavior analysis. New account, selling a bunch of game keys way bellow market value: There is your red flag.
If they wanted to do something there are tons of ways to go about it, but of course weeding out stolen key sellers would've hurt their profits too, so they stood by silently, pretending there is nothing to be done, like you, now.

i don't know why some people feel the need to white knight for them. Or perhaps it is becuase you use G2A, so it is more self-justification than anything else, not that I'd expect anyone to admit that.
 

blackmomba

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You are being deliberately disingenuous. G2A knew this was going on, but did nothing about it. They didn't even acknowledge it.
It's not that hard to detect malicious sellers with behavior analysis. New account, selling a bunch of game keys way bellow market value: There is your red flag.
If they wanted to do something there are tons of ways to go about it, but of course weeding out stolen key sellers would've hurt their profits too, so they stood by silently, pretending there is nothing to be done, like you, now.

i don't know why some people feel the need to white knight for them. Or perhaps it is becuase you use G2A, so it is more self-justification than anything else, not that I'd expect anyone to admit that.
Only thing worse than a white knight is this self righteousness.

Plenty of people use G2A, they've been around for like ten years.

So they've been knowingly selling stolen keys for something like a decade?

Please
 

Derangel

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Only thing worse than a white knight is this self righteousness.

Plenty of people use G2A, they've been around for like ten years.

So they've been knowingly selling stolen keys for something like a decade?

Please
Why is that hard to believe?

If you have an easy to use, unmanaged, system for people to resell goods then stolen goods are going to be sold. This isn't rocket science. G2A has fucking known for years or else they wouldn't have been offering "insurance" against bad keys. Nor would they have tried to pay sites to run articles claiming it's impossible to sell stolen keys on their site. You have to be blind to think they didn't know about it.
 

DirtyTeeth

n00b
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May 21, 2020
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man you will waste your life fighting these type of crusades and doing amateur investigative journalism. when there is significant evidence the law will sort it out, unless you are seriously considering g2a-level law enforcement corruption(what are they doing, gifting the AG copies of minecraft lol? heck id sell my soul for a free month of warcraft). guess what? buying more from g2a would accelerate that process. until then its some serious white knighting and virtue signaling. if you dont like it then dont buy from them and stop pretending you have psychic powers to read the minds and intentions of the people over at g2a.

"g2g sells stolen keys" means different things to different people, because g2a would only have to have sold 2 bad keys for that statement to be true, and i dont think anyone is dumb enough to be arguing about that! so whats it gotta be? over 1000? a certain % of their revenue? what number is that? why did you choose that? should it be compared to steam(because they have had bad key experience too)? raw sales compared to steam or proportionate? over 25% stolen keys? why because that seems significant? even 1% of sales deeply affects a company, how many keys is that? is it feasible to staff enough people to investigate whatever that is? apples to apples? or oranges? but cant something only be stolen or not stolen? huh? who? Kayne? is that you? on the ranch?
 

blackmomba

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Why is that hard to believe?

If you have an easy to use, unmanaged, system for people to resell goods then stolen goods are going to be sold. This isn't rocket science. G2A has fucking known for years or else they wouldn't have been offering "insurance" against bad keys. Nor would they have tried to pay sites to run articles claiming it's impossible to sell stolen keys on their site. You have to be blind to think they didn't know about it.
You're right, not rocket science

It's a marketplace, like any other

You make it sound like they're the ones selling the stolen keys. They aren't and they offer protection against problems, just like any reputable marketplace
 

M76

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Only thing worse than a white knight is this self righteousness.
Which part is self righteousness? I used G2A once or twice too. But I'm not going to pretend they are innocent angels to make myself feel better about it. The worst kind of lie is when you lie to yourself to justify your actions.

Plenty of people use G2A, they've been around for like ten years.
And? Was that supposed to be the argument? So they can't be bad, since people use them? News flash people use them because of the low prices, and the low prices are partly a result of keys being sold under market value, since they were purchased with stolen credit card information. Of course #notall.

So they've been knowingly selling stolen keys for something like a decade?
They never sold stolen keys, they facilitate the selling of stolen keys. But you knew that already, just arguing from a disingenuous position yet again.
They knew their system was / is used in this manner, hence the offering of "insurance" for revoked keys which actually makes them more guilty, as they gained extra profit by it.

Yes, please stop being so damn disingenuous. And don't pretend you can't see the forest because of the trees.
 

M76

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You're right, not rocket science
Apparently it is.
It's a marketplace, like any other
A reputable marketplace will take action against selling stolen goods on their premises. They didn't just do nothing, they invented a system to gain extra profit from it, which you call "protection". LOL
You make it sound like they're the ones selling the stolen keys.
Nobody is making it sound like anything. Classic misdirection.
They act as a willing facilitator for the selling of stolen keys, which is not better in any way.
 

Flogger23m

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Check the top of the forum here:
https://forums.eagle.ru/

If you buy a key from one of those sites there is a big chance Eagle Dynamics will disable it as an example. They actively do it. Other developers also do the same. If they get a charge back and track down the key, they will disable/invalidate it. If I recall Ubisoft did it to. Better to buy from a reputable store.
 

GoldenTiger

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Check the top of the forum here:
https://forums.eagle.ru/

If you buy a key from one of those sites there is a big chance Eagle Dynamics will disable it as an example. They actively do it. Other developers also do the same. If they get a charge back and track down the key, they will disable/invalidate it. If I recall Ubisoft did it to. Better to buy from a reputable store.
Yep, zenimax does it with elder scrolls online too.
 

MaZa

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I think the original article forgot to mention this. It does say that 198 keys were found to be stolen but i did not see how many was investigated. The number was 321. From The Factorio keys that were investigated ALMOST 2/3 OF THE KEYS HAD SHADY ORIGIN! For fucks sake white knighting people, wake up! Now, the statistics can lie a bit because the sample size was small so there is room for error, but it should tell you enough that there is a problem in G2A. A big one.
 

blackmomba

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They never sold stolen keys, they facilitate the selling of stolen keys. But you knew that already, just arguing from a disingenuous position yet again.
They knew their system was / is used in this manner, hence the offering of "insurance" for revoked keys which actually makes them more guilty, as they gained extra profit by it.

A reputable marketplace will take action against selling stolen goods on their premises. They didn't just do nothing, they invented a system to gain extra profit from it, which you call "protection". LOL

Nobody is making it sound like anything. Classic misdirection.
They act as a willing facilitator for the selling of stolen keys, which is not better in any way.
Willing facilitator, called a marketplace dude

Every online marketplace offers these protections. G2A all the way to Facebook. Facebook is a willing facilitator of selling stolen goods I guess, eBay too.

But since this is about games every keyboard warrior on this board turns into an expert criminal investigator, show proof of what you're saying. Guess what you can't.

On to the next crusade I guess ?
 
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