Online casino scams can involve anything from rigging the house edge to stealing personal information. It might sound scary, but if you understand how these hustles work, you’ll prevent anyone taking advantage of you! To keep yourself safe, you just need to know what to look out for – and be vigilant.
There’s nothing quite like the feeling of being able to win money through an entertaining activity that can be done from anywhere you choose. You can play online casino games such as online poker from the comfort of your bed or couch, or even during your commute (providing you’re not driving, of course.) The opportunities are endless, which is why online casino games are growing in popularity every year on a global scale.
The proliferation of these games is unprecedented, and more countries are beginning to see the economic benefits of the industry. The online gambling industry boom (estimated at $295 billion annually) has placed it in the top three online markets in the world. What’s great about this expansion is that online players have more choice – but it comes at a cost to online safety. There has been an explosion in the number of new online casino sites, and while the variety they offer to players is amazing, some of them are unscrupulous and are simply out there to take players’ money through a series of tricks and scams.
There are some important factors to take into consideration before choosing an online casino. This involves doing some research and watching out for red flags. But what sorts of things are we talking about, here?
Red flags that can indicate online scams
Here are some things to keep an eye out for, as well as some warning signs that will help you avoid losing your hard-earned cash. They are almost impossible to detect if you don’t know what you are looking for, and are specifically aimed at beginners who could be tempted by attractive offers that are scams in disguise. Don’t forget that most online casino scams often look like professional websites.
1. A slow withdrawal process
Imagine this: you’ve just finished up an incredible run of playing your favorite casino table game – quitting while you’re ahead – and you’re simply waiting for the money to reflect in your account. But the wait goes on for days, weeks and even months. Even though you’ve gone through a lengthy account verification process and confirmed the withdrawal, the casino just seems unwilling to pay up.
This is a common online scam. These roguish virtual casinos often start out paying up on time, but the payments gradually become more complicated and take longer to reflect in your account. They will often say it’s got something to do with a clash with the terms and conditions that you‘ve agreed to.
One of the best ways to avoid this is right at the start, before you sign up. It’s a good idea to read reviews on (and about) any sites you’re interested in joining, and find out what other people’s experiences of them have been like. You should also make sure there’s a range of withdrawal options. Watch out for sites that only have one or two options, and that don’t support PayPal. The financial technology company is incredibly stringent in its verification process and so its partnership with an online casino usually indicates that the latter’s operations are legitimate.
2. Asking for personal data
Poor-quality casinos won’t have the right security measures in place to protect your information. Always look for secure sites with the protocol “https” in the URL, and never give out personal information such as social security numbers, ID numbers or detailed bank information.
If an online casino asks for personal information that could put you at risk, simply refuse!
Personal data theft is one of the most serious and common scams online, but any reputable gaming company will have security measures in place to protect its customer data.
3. Lack of customer service
Shady casinos don’t want you to be able to contact them to ask where your money is. The best online casinos will have several 24/7 customer-support options. These might include being able to call directly, email or chat with them throughout the day and night. Looking for a legitimate means of communicating the site should be high on your list of things to look for on a trusted site.
If you can’t find out how to get in touch with an online casino, or if you’re having difficulty getting through to whatever contact options it does advertise, this could be a serious red flag.
Remember, too, that if there are negative reviews or complaints about a site’s customer service, we’d recommend you don’t spend your money there.
4. Bonuses that seem too good to be true
Many casinos offer sign-up or welcome bonuses, but if the deal seems too good to be true, it probably is! It’s really important that you read the terms and conditions (you may see these called simply “T&Cs”) for these promotional offers before you commit to them, because some come with wagering requirements that can mean you have to spend, say, 20 times the amount you originally received as “free” playing money before you can cash in any winnings you made from that credit.
Other bonus scams may be more elaborate and well thought out. It may seem as though you’re going to get your bonus eventually, but the process is often intentionally complicated and lengthy, and as a result, most people give up halfway through and lose their deposit.
Look out for sites that have special offers and bonuses that require a deposit, and make sure you know what you’re getting. The best kind of online casino will have enough other incentives to attract players, and won’t have to rely on any dodgy deposit schemes.
5. You can’t find the RTP or it’s super-low
Casino scams aren’t always related to payments and fraud. One of the most common scams is rigging games so that the house almost always wins.
The RTP (return to player) is the average percentage of money from all bets over a theoretical period of time that will be returned to players. It’s the opposite of the house edge: So if the house edge is 10%, the RTP would be 90%, and so on etc. Online gambling sites that are reputable and reliable will always display their RTPs for the games they host. They’ll also include information about the relevant gaming- enforcement agency that has approved the site in the footer or somewhere else on the page.
You should be wary of casinos that don’t show the RTP at all, or that have an RTP lower than 80%. The average RTP should be between 94% and 98% for most online casino games.
How to deal with and report online scams
Among the huge number of legitimate casinos out there, there are plenty of fraudulent sites too. The information above will help you spot the red flags that indicate a fraudulent site.
There are many sites that you can visit to alert them about your experience. This will go a long way towards stopping the site from scamming anyone else out of their hard-earned cash. Before you consider reporting a site, it’s important to gather all the necessary information about how you have been tricked, as these sites will only publish complaints based on well-researched and proven scamming issues.
The most common complaints to casino reporter sites
If you are wondering how to get money back after being scammed online then we’ve got some bad news for you – that’s unlikely to happen. Dishonest companies are unfortunately pretty good at what they do, so even if your report manages to get the site blacklisted, don’t bank on seeing your cash again. But rest assured that you have saved many other players from falling prey to the same fraudulent schemes.
These are some of the most common casino scams.
Outright deposit theft
This is probably the most common online casino scam. Ultimately, this is what fraudulent casino sites are aiming to do, which is to make you deposit your money without any fair chance of winning. Dishonorable casinos will entice players to deposit money but then make it impossible to withdraw any winnings. They’ll get players to sign up, deposit money and then they freeze the account while putting up endless frustrating obstacles for players to navigate before they reactivate the account. Of course, the hope is that players will get frustrated and think the money deposited is a small amount, and eventually give up trying to reactivate the account.
If you’re lucky enough to hit the jackpot on your favorite online casino game, you’ll expect a payout in a short period of time. The process should only take a few hours, so if you find yourself waiting a few days, it might mean your money isn’t coming through.
Long payment processes and failure to pay are the most common complaints against fraudulent companies. Customer service is non-existent in these kinds of establishments, so people tend to get suspicious after being ignored for a few days, and many end up contacting the authorities in an attempt to get the fraudulent casino blacklisted.
If you put your money into a casino, you’re going to want to be able to take that money out too. A common online casino scam is the inability to withdraw your winnings or deposit.
Illegitimate casinos will frustrate their customers with elaborate withdrawal processes or include hidden terms and conditions that prevent withdrawals. So, as we mentioned earlier, make sure that you read through the fine print thoroughly, and pay special attention to the company’s policies on withdrawals and payouts. If you can’t make sense of what you’re reading, it’s a good idea to research the casino on review sites or to avoid it altogether.
Rigging of games
One of the easiest ways for fraudulent sites to scam players is to rig the games so that the house always wins. Initially, they might let you win for a while, but inevitably will take every penny. These casinos usually have low RTPs on their games, which means the house edge is much higher than average. If the RTP is below 80%, this is a serious red flag and you should be wary of spending your money on the site.
Most times, identity thieves run fraudulent casinos and will sell your data and personal details to people on the black market. They do this by acting as a legitimate casino and allow you to play games to avoid arousing your suspicion while they sell your registration details. Alternatively, they’ll freeze your account and request an ID document and proof of address to unfreeze it. Lastly, they can directly steal your information and card details to create cloned versions of your credit cards.
How to stay safe online
As a beginner, you need to know the basics of online safety and how to choose a trustworthy casino. Here are some of the things that you should look into before playing casino games online with real money as well as tips on how to avoid online casino scams:
The most important thing to check when choosing an online casino is to ensure the establishment has a gambling license. This should be easy to find on its website – if it’s not, you should consider this a massive warning sign.
What’s more, it’s not just the license itself that’s important, but also where it was issued, as some countries or states are stricter than others. The UK, Australia, Costa Rica, Gibraltar, Canada and Antigua are all examples of countries with strong licensing laws. If the site you’re visiting is licensed in a different country to the region in which it claims to be based, you should be wary too.
As mentioned above, shady companies don’t want you to contact them. If you want to make sure the company you choose is legitimate, check out its customer service options.
It’s always a good idea to test out the variety of options at different times. Don’t be afraid to email, phone and chat with the customer service team as a way to verify the company’s legitimacy.
Check online reviews
One of the best things about social media is that it has given people a platform to voice their experiences and concerns with companies. Do some thorough research before deciding on a casino, and go through all the ratings and reviews to find out how others have been treated by the company.
Learn about the software
It’s essential to check out what software the site uses. Make sure that you recognize the name of the software or at least Google it to ensure that it is a reputable software provider.
Check the blacklist
It’s always a good idea to go through the casino blacklist to ensure that the casino isn’t on there. If it is, it’s best to walk away immediately – it’s on the blacklist for a reason.
Play casino games safely at Borgata Online
If you’re looking for an online casino with an impeccable record of payouts and trustworthy dealings, look no further than Borgata Online. We are a renowned, reliable and professional online gaming site, and the random number generators that many of our games use are regularly audited and checked by a trusted third party. To safely play our wide range of online slots, live dealer titles and casino table games, register through our mobile portal and download our casino games app for fun gaming on the go!