How to Avoid Being Scammed when Gambling Online Has anyone ever told you that you were born lucky? Have you always dreamt of “making it big” really fast? If so, chances are you are seriously thinking of trying your hand at online gambling. Otherwise, you would not have searched for and read this article. The anonymity and privacy offered by online gambling make it all the more attractive to people, but these same factors are the reasons you should take extra care before making that first deposit.
Although risk is typical to any type of gambling, online players are open to greater hazards because of scammers and con artists on the Internet. They use anonymity and privacy to their favor, so they can run away with your money unscathed. Players who are victims of these scams usually have nowhere to turn to in getting their money back. In which case, you can say that the cliche, “prevention is better than cure” best applies to online gambling.
If you can’t resist the pull of online gambling, read on for some ways to keep yourself from being scammed, so your online gambling experience will be safer and more enjoyable.
Beware of different types of scams
It’s a dangerous world out there. Unfortunately, the Internet has made it even more convenient for con artists to fish for their next victims. The good news is that the Web also gives you access to reports made by hapless victims of online gambling scams to warn would-be players from getting ripped off. Expressions like “You won’t know what hit you” or “I didn’t see it coming” are pretty common nowadays. Definitely, you don’t want to hear yourself saying all these, someday. Know the most common scams around, so you can make a run for it as soon as you see the tell-tale signs.
Common scam #1: The dummy site
Dummy sites are dead ringers for legitimate online gambling sites. In some cases, scammers operating as dummies also copy the names of real sites to confuse the newbie gambler. If you don’t know the real site, you can be duped into believing that you’re on a real, safe site. Even if you are familiar with genuine sites, but you don’t know them so well, you can still be fooled by similar graphics and color schemes used by dummy sites. What dummy sites do is collect your deposit and run away with it. Worse, they may phish (or steal) personal information, such as your PIN, passwords, and credit card numbers, which they will conveniently use for identity theft. Do some research before making your initial deposit. Check the URL from a reputable review site or find the site that you’re trying to reach by searching it on Google or your preferred search engine. It would also help if you install the latest anti-spyware on your computer. Following these steps should have you gambling for less than those threats.
Common Scam #2: The fabulous bonus draw
Nothing is more attractive to a player than gambling on house money, which gets them overly interested in fabulous bonus draws. However, not all bonus offers are scams. What distinguishes a scam from a legitimate bonus offer is the amount of money that the online casino promises to pay you. Most offers that seem too good to be true usually are. Some players often realize that they’ve been duped only when they don’t receive the bonus they’ve been promised. Again, it all boils down to doing your research. Check for scam reports published on review sites, or those filed by other online gamblers on sites that allow player reviews. Never rush into making a deposit before you get to review the terms and conditions pertaining to bonuses.
Common Scam #3: The fishy casino software
In real life, you can be assured that when you go to a casino to play poker, the house dealer would handle the cards for each hand following the rules for gameplay. In an online casino, you can never be too sure that you’re not playing against a software that has been rigged to the disadvantage of all players. For instance, in a real-life poker scam, you’d know that you’re playing against a conspiring team of players if you never win a pot despite being an experienced poker face. Online, all players could be at the losing end. Usually, scams like these seduce players by inviting them to a free game, where they would surely win. For all you know, the software has been programmed to make players win during free games. So how can you trust the software that an online casino uses? Check the Interactive Gaming Council website (www.igcouncil.org). Don’t just look for a software seal of approval on an online gaming site, as the image could be a fake.
Do your homework, and do it on a regular basis
There are so many scams that thrive online. The bad news is that they, too, evolve over time. For sure, scammers would check legitimate review sites to find out if someone has caught on their tricks and reported them. Then, they would come up with a new modus operandi. To ensure your protection, you need to be updated and always on-guard.
Create a checklist and jot down their information
Before giving out information regarding your credit card and bank account, check the online casino for IGC membership. Keep a pen and a notepad handy, and jot down the details regarding player support, software provider, and e-cash provider, as well as the name of the payouts auditor and the company validating the random number generator. Make sure that the site provides 24-hour player support and a toll-free number. If a physical address is indicated, which you may check through Google Maps, then it should help you feel better. Since there are so many fly-by-night operations, try sending an email to the site’s email address and see if you will get a response overnight. If you don’t, then there’s reason for you to suspect that something’s wrong.
Even after you have taken these safety measures, always be on your guard. Do test runs and start small with your bets, then see how it goes. If you have been a victim, file reports and help spread the word to help others who could be next victims.