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In an article "Suspended Steam Account - Why would a Steam account get suspended?" this paragraph may be found (emphasis mine):

- Piracy or Hacking

This includes using an unauthorized ("hacked") Steam client to access Steam, attempting to register fake CD Keys or attempting to register a CD Key which has been published on the internet.

I have heard that if I register someone's retail key, he will even be able to hijack my account via support by showing a scan, claiming that it's his account.

However, I also know that some streamers officially get keys from game developers to publish them in the chat: the first one to activate the key gets it. Is it legal in terms of Steam rules, e.g. do I risk a suspension if I attempt to register such a key?

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Seeing as you are not hacking the accounts, or knowingly redeeming hacked/stolen keys, you are completely fine in redeeming the keys. As far as you know they keys are legitimate, and if they turn out not to be then it will be the streamer getting into a lot more trouble than you.

Provided you have things such as 2-step verification on your account, and multiple password reset methods (email, phone, etc.), then it will be very hard for him to prove he "owns" your account to steam support when he claims to have lost access to multiple things at once. Even if he does get into your account (which is highly unlikely, and more likely impossible to start with), you possess far more information than him and should be able to get back into your own account far easier than him, and potentially get his main/other accounts banned/suspended too.

  • What about the suspension part and the ban of registering published keys? – Baskakov_Dmitriy Jun 15 '17 at 9:29
  • @Baskakov_Dmitriy Oh sorry I thought I talked about that, people do that all the time, take G2A for example, they sell keys online to redeem. As the steam key OWNER is giving the key out, I'd presume it's fine to use :) – Crafter0800 Jun 15 '17 at 9:38
  • This seems to be based off assumptions (and honestly seems more like an inherent problem with the question more so than your answer). That said, I still don't really think this is a good answer. It says "you are perfectly fine in redeeming the keys"; but if those keys were illegitimately obtained, the documentation from Valve suggests that there is a potential for it to affect your account. Unless there is a good source to back-up these claims I think it may be dangerously misleading. Obtaining keys through back-channels is inherently risky and should only be done if you trust the source. – JMac Jun 15 '17 at 14:28
  • Well yes, if you go to a site called "hacked steam keys" you are intentionally using stolen keys. If you trust the source, then you won't get into trouble. – Crafter0800 Jun 15 '17 at 15:59
  • @Crafter0800 Trusting the source is not the same as "you wont get in trouble". It's really saying "I'm taking you on your reputation that I won't get in trouble". There is no guarantee at all though. (people can trust shady sources) – JMac Jun 19 '17 at 19:00

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