The otherwise innocuous activity of selling keys to open containers in CS:GO has apparently been used for far more nefarious purposes. According to a post on the game’s website, the sale of these keys has been used by worldwide fraud networks to liquidate their gains, so key sales have been stopped as of October 28th.
Players of CS:GO were able to earn containers by playing the game, but had to purchase keys themselves with real money. Previously, the Steam Community Marketplace allowed for players to sell these keys, but it appears that this particular trade has been overrun by a fraud network. “At this point, nearly all key purchases that end up being traded or sold on the marketplace are believed to be fraud-sourced,” explains the post. “As a result we have decided that newly purchased keys will not be tradeable or marketable.”
Valve has something of a vested interest in stopping fraudulent activity via CS:GO. Back in 2016, Valve was being pressed by the Washington State Gambling Commission to stop the sale of skins due to their use in gambling websites such as CS:GO Lotto, which netted site owners Trevor “TmarTn” Martin and Thomas “Syndicate” Cassell $1 billion. A class action RICO lawsuit was filed against Valve and several gambling site owners which was thrown out of court on jurisdictional grounds, while Martin and Cassell settled a court case with the FTC in September of 2017.