Valve will soon implement a new trade feature designed to help thwart Steam scammers (or at least slow them down by a few days).

It's not uncommon for a nefarious individual to hijack a Steam account. Should the hijacked account contain valuable items, the scammer will initiate a trade to a dummy account of their control and in an instant, all of your hard-earned goodies are gone. If you've ever tried to deal with Valve customer support, you already know that the odds of getting your gear back aren't all that great (or at the very least, it could take a while).

Trade holds, as the name suggests, are just that. When a trade is initiated, Valve will hold the goods in limbo for up to three days which gives the account owner trading away their items time to hopefully realize their account has been compromised and put a stop to it before it's too late.

Honest traders can get around the three-day wait so long as both parties are using the Steam Guard Mobile Authenticator (and have been for at least seven days). Trades that are cancelled during the trade hold will be put into a cooldown period to prevent further unauthorized attempts to trade away items.

To help encourage the use of Steam Guard Mobile Authenticator, Valve is offering those that enable the mobile authenticator a discount of between five and 35 percent in the community marketplace through 10 am PST on December 16.

Steam trade holds go into effect December 9.