Online Gambling Scams

Scam Online Gambling

Scams on the internet are unfortunately a daily occurrence that most of us will come in contact with one way or another.

If you are an online gambler:
Then you open yourself up to online gambling scams. Being exposed to an online gambling scam doesn’t mean that you have to be a victim, though. It’s important to pick up on the warning signs and clues before online casino scams dig their teeth into your bank account. Anyone can be a victim of online gambling scams. It can be easy to get careless and sucked into online gambling fraud. Identifying online casino scams well beforehand is your best defense to protect your bankroll.

TheSportsGeek has a complete guide for going over the world’s greatest gambling scams online and how to protect yourself before you are the target of casino scams.

The Most Common Online Gambling Scams

Identity Theft

Identity theft is not unique to online gambling scams. A thief can do a lot of damage with your SSN regardless of how they discover the number. If there’s one tip above all, only share this number with people and organizations that you are 100% sure that they are legitimate.

This is especially true of online sportsbooks. The US regulated sportsbooks will often ask for your SSN to verify your identity and for potential tax implications. This is common and shouldn’t raise any red flags IF you haven’t accessed the website through a phishing scam.

Phishing scams are executed by the scammer sending the potential victim an email that appears like a legitimate email. The email includes a link, which typically directs you to a website that looks legitimate as well.

The most usual documents that online betting sites ask for is ID (driver’s license passport), proof of address, and potentially proof of income and source of income. Generally, sportsbooks will only ask for proof and source of income if you deposited what they feel is a substantial amount.
Just about every legitimate online sportsbook will request for ID and proof of address. A proof of address document may be a bank statement or utility bill. This is not fishy or raises any problems. However, there are some exceptions if you aren’t playing at regulated online casinos.

Checklist to Help Avoid Identity Theft Online Gambling Scams:

  • Do Not Click On Any Suspicious Links – Scammers can obtain email lists and discover you are a customer. They may email you a phishing scam link. If you are ever in doubt, contact your sportsbook and inquire about the email.
  • Only Play At Regulated Sportsbooks – Every online sportsbook will be regulated by some authority in their jurisdiction, for instance the UK Gambling Commission and Malta Gaming Authority.
  • Read Expert Sportsbook Reviews

    – You can do your homework before depositing at a sportsbook. TheSportsGeek has compiled a list of the best and safest online gambling sites.

Spyware and Ransomware

Computer hackers and scammers know that there is big money involved in online gambling scams. Gaining access to your computer and online betting account can be a lucrative scam for the hackers.

One of the more well-known methods scammers use to target your account is through spyware and ransomware. The good news is that you can counter spyware and ransomware with updated and reliable antivirus software.

If your computer isn’t up-to-date, scammers would like you to be their latest online victim. Spyware can be downloaded on your computer without you even knowing it. From there, they can establish what your username and password is at your online sportsbook.

Please Note:
Ransomware is less discrete in the sense that you are going to know your computer is under attack. The hackers will lock your computer and intimidate you into disclosing your personal information. All of your documents will appear locked on your screen.

The scammer will demand a payment, usually through cryptocurrency, or for you to share passwords to your personal online accounts. Do not do this. Contact an IT specialist to have the ransomware removed from your computer.

Checklist to Avoid Spyware and Ransomware Online Gambling Scams:

  • Ensure Your Computer Is Secure – Do not give scammers an open door to your computer. Make sure that you have the latest antivirus software on your computer. Also, do not visit unfamiliar websites that can secretly download spyware.
  • Use Your Browser Instead of Casino Software – Downloading online casino software can make it easier for hackers. Instead, use your browser to access your online betting sites.
  • Only Download Casino Apps – If you must download casino software, only use Google Play or the Apple Store.

Rigged and Pirated Games

Identifying rigged and pirated games may take a trained eye to realize what is happening before you become a victim. Even to experienced players, falling for online casinos scams with rigged and pirated games can happen, though.

Rigged and pirated games are done by nothing but greedy casino operators. Everyone knows that the house has the edge in the casino. In an environment, where card counting and advantage play is tough online, there are unsavory casino operators who want to create more of a house edge.

Casinos are regulated and subject to periodic audits. However, this doesn’t stop some casinos from rigging their slots and online casino games anyway. Instead of a 10% house edge on penny slots, some shady online betting sites may feel that this isn’t enough.

Casinos are regulated and subject to periodic audits. However, this doesn’t stop some casinos from rigging their slots and online casino games anyway. Instead of a 10% house edge on penny slots, some shady online betting sites may feel that this isn’t enough.

The same can be said for online blackjack, roulette, craps, and so on. These are computer programs and code can be written to get their desired payback. Until a gambler puts in the work to notice discrepancies, it can be difficult to spot a rigged game.

A pirated game is a case of copyright and brand infringement. Not only are they rigged, but the computer software is coded to appear like a legitimate brand and their own. In turn, potential victims are less likely to notice that it’s a rigged game.

Checklist to Avoid Rigged and Pirated Online Gambling Scams

  • Play Live Dealer Casinos – If you are worried about rigged casinos, play the live dealer casinos for more reassurance. These do not use software and are far less likely to be rigged than their video counterparts.
  • Only Play at Highly-Rated Online Casinos – There is no reason to play at shady and lowly-rated online casinos. With so many quality online casinos, there is no reason to play elsewhere.

Blatant Theft

These casinos aren’t scared of hiding their online casinos scams. They base their business on continually finding new victims to deposit at their website. To sum this scam up, scamming casinos straight up steal money from their players.

It’s pretty simple and can take the form of many different types of thefts. The most common scam that I’ve noticed is online operators will find an excuse not to pay. Every sportsbook has terms and conditions.

However, it’s the online sportsbooks with impossible terms and conditions that will dig deep into their policy not to pay. In most cases, they will come up with a reason for you breaching their terms and not pay.

Not only will they not initiate and confirm your withdrawal request, there is a chance they don’t pay back your deposit. The lowest of the low won’t even provide you with a reason for withholding your money.

Locking your account and making you go through endless steps to verify your account is a red flag to an online gambling fraud. There may very well be a reason for this and they aren’t scamming you, but scammy online casinos will go on and on until you get tired of the verification process.

Checklist to Avoid Blatant Theft Online Gambling Scams

  • Research Online Casinos – Before depositing, ensure that you research expert and user reviews. This would be foolish not to do in 2022 with all of the information available online. If a website is a scam, you’ll likely read about it.
  • Avoid Too-Good-To-Be-True Betting Bonuses – There are times when legitimate online casinos provide attractive free bet bonuses. However, often these are provided for an online casino scam.

Non-Existent Customer Support

This isn’t an online gambling scam in itself, but just a warning that operators without any support services or very weak could signal a scam.

It doesn’t necessarily mean that they don’t have any form of customer support. They could just be useless and not respond in a timely manner to your questions or are not informed.

This isn’t a dead giveaway, but if your gut feels that something isn’t right with the customer support representatives, it might be time to look elsewhere.

Casino Game “Experts” With a System

This isn’t an online casino scam in the sense that it is from a betting site. It’s more of a bonus warning to avoid scammers trying to take advantage of uneducated casino gamblers.

You might come across casino gambling “experts” on social media that claim to have won millions at online casinos. They have an exclusive system to win that apparently no one else knows.

For you to get in on their can’t-beat “system”, you will have to pay to receive their advice. This is often blackjack and roulette systems for online casinos, but can also be slots and other games that you can find at an online betting site.

Run far away from these charlatans. Even if they had a betting system to win at online casinos, the betting sites would quickly pick up on it and ban your account.

If you paid a penny for a betting system from a so-called expert, you paid too much.

What To Do If You Fall Victim To An Online Gambling Scam

Contact The Operator’s License

This may or not be an option. You should never play at an online casino that doesn’t have a casino license from a jurisdiction, but if they do, report what happened in detail.

Include as many details as possible. Sending an email with two or three sentences is unlikely to be taken seriously. If you can include screenshots as well, that would help your effort. In some instances, they might be able to recoup your money.

Spread The Word

Tell your gambling friends about the incident and inform them to avoid this betting operation. If you have social media, it isn’t going to hurt to let the world know what happened. Other gamblers that may have thought about depositing there might think twice.

Gambling Message Boards

Check out the online casino forums and message boards. You can post about your online casino scam and might even find somebody else having the same problem.

Contact TheSportsGeek

TheSportsGeek maintains a blacklist of casino operators that have proven to be online casino scams. If you get in touch with us and explain what happened, they may land on our online casino blacklist.

How To Prevent Falling Victim To Online Gambling Scams

Research Thoroughly

Most of us wouldn’t buy a product or go to a restaurant without researching. When it comes to online gambling, which could involve thousands of dollars, it’s very important to do as much online research as possible.

Just a simple Google search should do the trick. If a website is a scam, you’ll likely find reviews from experts, other users, or a thread from message boards. Conversely, if the online casino has positive reviews, that’s certainly a good sign.

Update Your Computer and Antivirus Software

Don’t leave the backdoor open for hackers and scammers to gain access to your online gambling account. There are thousands of scammers online that would like to install spyware and ransomware on your computer.

If they know that you have an online gambling account, this could leave you even more vulnerable. However, antivirus software continues to improve and evolve. By simply updating your computer and antivirus software, you should have no problems.

Deposit A Little And Run A Trial

In your mind, consider this money gone. If you get scammed then it’s a small lesson to learn. Instead of losing a full bankroll, a small deposit won’t hurt as much. If you like what the online casino has to offer and they seem trustworthy, you can try for a bigger deposit next time.

Read Terms And Conditions

Some online casino operators might reveal that they’re a scam in plain text in their terms and conditions. If there are outlandish withdrawal or verification requirements, then they are likely laying down the foundation for an online casino scam. If you deposit at a website, you are accepting the terms and conditions, so do this well before.

Investigate If They Are Regulated

Most online casinos are regulated and have a license to operate online. It’s a dead giveaway if there isn’t any evidence of them being regulated and owning a gambling license. Here is an example of the type of casinos you’d look for.

In most cases, you can read the terms and conditions and there should be a logo in the footer with a link to the jurisdiction that issued their license. If there is no link, take this as them possibly fraudulently using the logo.

About the Author
Gavin Lucas profile picture
Gavin Lucas
Gavin has been writing about online gambling since 2015. He developed a love for it when it enabled him to travel the world while working from his laptop. Since then, he’s settled down, and his traveling days are over, but his love for casino games never left. Gavin is based in the UK and is a regular slot and roulette player. He’s deeply interested in cryptocurrencies and their intersection with gambling. He also obsessively follows politics and often writes about betting on elections and other political outcomes.

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