We are all skeptical about promises of easy money. But deep down, we all want to be convinced that we can extract some profit from those money-free-for-all sites and ads. That’s why almost every gambling scam promises piles of cash in exchange for nothing more than a small investment or perhaps your personal details. The online world is flooded with all sorts of betting scams, which are luring countless victims who always think it’s the easiest money they’ll ever make. Keep reading to learn more about these dubious get-rich-quick schemes and how to protect yourself from them.
Scams and Scammers
One of the most common scams in gambling involves identity theft. Criminals pose as legitimate gambling businesses and demand the personal details of potential users. This method of identity theft in online gambling is very common. That’s why you should always make sure that the site where you wish to place your bets is legitimate and that none of the claims are fraudulent.
In some instances, you may end up with an email in your inbox, claiming that you’ve won millions from a game you never played or lottery you never entered. Such messages are almost certainly fraudulent, and you should never send any personal details to claim the supposed prize. Fraudsters will also ask for a small fee in exchange for the prize money. This is one of the best ways to spot cybercriminals and fraudsters – they’ll send a request for an advance payment and lure you into revealing your identity and credit card details.
In addition to your financial credentials, you should never give out other personal information such as your passport number, home address, or telephone number to questionable organizations. While these fraudulent emails may seem professional at first glance, once you take a closer look, you’ll realize the message is inconsistent. You’ll often find spelling errors, and the contacts page will always contain mobile phone numbers. You can also spot scam emails early on by checking the sender’s details. The vast majority of the emails originate from outside the UK.
Another common scam involves the sale of gambling strategies that promise to reverse losing streaks and help you boost your winnings. Scammers pose as professional gamblers, claiming to have foolproof systems for sizing your bets. The best way to avoid this online gambling scam often comes down to common sense. No one has a magic formula on how to win millions overnight. And if they did, they probably wouldn’t tell you about it. In other words, they wouldn’t be online making sure everyone else gets rich. They’d be at the casino rolling the dice.
Online casinos and sportsbooks have never been more popular. The number of gaming venues rose substantially in recent months and years amid growing demand for more action. But that’s also created a gambling market saturated with online gambling frauds.
Casinos have only one goal – making money. If anyone is trying to persuade you that the online betting industry suddenly wants to share its cash by offering huge profits with no risk, there is a good chance you’ll get rinsed. Some casinos may even tolerate blackjack card counters who aren’t very good at what they do because the casinos still end up making money from them.
Brush Up on the Martingale
When you decide to step inside the gambling world, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the Martingale betting system. This strategy is commonly applied to games of chance such as roulette and requires the player to make a small bet. If you win the wager, you collect the profit and make the same size bet again. If you lose, the system requires that you double your bet after every consecutive loss until you win.
This gambling system is flawed but not a scam in and of itself. However, fraudsters exploit it by claiming that you’ll eventually be able to cover all your losses as long as you keep doubling your bet until you win. They use fuzzy math to try and hide the fact that players usually run out of money following a quick string of losses.
Card Game Gambling Scam
In 2019, reports surfaced about a 70-year-old man who lost $300,000 to fraudsters in the Philippines. The elaborate scam unfolded over a period of 15 months. The victim was tricked into joining a friendly card game after he revealed he was apartment hunting in Manila. He won a few hands before the fraudsters produced a bag full of cash, claiming it contained $150,000. It was later revealed that the bag was actually filled with Philippine pesos with a few dollar bills placed on the surface of the pile. Enticed by the prospects of winning so much cash, the man kept losing money to the fraudsters for more than a year.
These gambling frauds typically involve building a relationship with the victim, who is then allowed to win a few small bets before the stakes are raised, and more money is required.
How to Look After Yourself
When you begin your betting journey, you’ll come across many attractive offers. However, just because something seems like a great opportunity, it doesn’t mean it is legit. That’s why you should look out for red flags and learn how to protect yourself from being duped.
- Go through your emails carefully.
- Never give out personal information.
- Check out every site’s credentials and licenses.
- Don’t join blacklisted casinos.
The Most Common Types of Fraud in Online Gambling
Many different types of gambling fraud have been popular over the years. Here, we’ve listed the top five:
1. Abusing Bonuses
Fraud online isn’t limited to rigged games and rogue casinos where the house always wins. The fraudsters also target legitimate online casinos by creating multiple accounts with fake credentials. They then use those accounts for bonus abuse. Bonuses with decent rollover requirements are a good way to attract new players, but handing out too many of them can lead to losses for the online gambling venue.
This term is used to describe the use of multiple accounts to gain an unfair advantage and manipulate the outcome of the game. It also refers to the use of beards; a player places bets for someone else who wishes to conceal his identity because of prior infringements. Collusion schemes commonly target online poker games but can occur in other card games. Sometimes players will collude in order to commit bonus fraud. Other times, players can team up during a poker tournament and make a deal to walk away with a big win. If a player signs up with multiple accounts only to use one of them to lose to another, then he or she is self-colluding.
3. Chip dumping
This is another form of collusion. Every so often, criminal elements will use online gambling sites in the UK to launder money or pay for black market services. Winnings from gambling are considered legal earnings. Criminals will hire people to gamble online and lose to one person, who will later cash out. The money won will then appear as being legally earned.
4. Chargeback fraud
This type of fraud occurs when a legitimate account holder contacts their issuing bank and asks for the money they deposited and gambled to be returned by claiming they never made a charge to an online gambling site. Chargeback abuse is also known as friendly fraud. A large number of online gambling sites aren’t located in the countries where most of their players are. This might make it more difficult for the banks to verify the transactions. Sometimes the gambling site that the fraudster is using may not be regulated in that particular country, which gives the bank additional incentive to reverse the charges.
5. Credit card fraud
High-profile data breaches are becoming more common, which allows cybercriminals easy access to people’s financial details and credit card information. When fraudsters get a hold of a stolen credit card, they often use it to fill their accounts. In other words, they are using stolen cash to generate legitimate wins. However, in early 2020, the UK banned the use of credit cards while gambling in an effort to minimize the financial harm to problem gamblers.
Big Gambling Scams in History
The so-called CS:GO gambling scam occurred in 2016. The scam involved a pair of YouTubers who uploaded segments showing how they were”winning” skins at a site called CS:GO Lotto. The two friends also paid YouTube personalities up to $55,000 to do the same. It was later revealed that they actually own the site.
Another memorable act of deception saw a Finnish investor lose $35 million worth of bitcoin. A group of people working for a Thai criminal syndicate approached the Finnish businessman and promised to link him with lucrative investments. As part of their bitcoin gambling scam, Aarni Otava Saarimaa was told that he would get shares in a few high-profile companies and a cryptocurrency called Dragon Coin.
To go a bit further back in history, one of the greatest casino scams happened in 1973 when a French roulette dealer, his sister, and his brother-in-law took the Casino Deaville for $1 million. One of the most ingenious scams in casino history was pulled off with the help of a remote-controlled roulette ball. They planted a tiny radio receiver inside the roulette ball and then used a transmitter hidden inside a pack of cigarettes to control the ball.
How to Protect Yourself from a Scamming Casino
If you’ve been wondering how to know if an online casino is legitimate, we’re here to offer some guidance. There are a few red flags you should keep an eye out for before you sign up with any gambling website. Many scam poker and gambling sites will simply refuse to process your payments. Checking out online reviews is a good way to see whether the casino is legit. You should also spend some time reviewing articles and any other online materials you can find about the operators whose services you’re interested in using.
How do you know if an online casino is legit?
Legit online casinos will always have their registration and license number on display. You can look that up at the bottom of the homepage and cross-check the information provided.
Are online casino games rigged?
No, they’re not. Online casinos allow the customers to enjoy the game and want the players to feel protected and safe instead of being victims of casino scams. Games at reputable online casinos adhere to local laws and regulations.
Can I get my money back from the casino?
Getting your money back from an online gambling site isn’t possible unless the operator is guilty of any legal irregularities. If you aren’t happy with the service, you should simply close your account before committing any real money.
What's the best online casino?
Every player has different preferences, and every online gambling site has unique offers. But in order to avoid fraud in online gambling, make sure you stick to sites that are licensed and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission.