The world of online gambling has been plagued with crooks since its inception. The online thieves operate in the shadows, far away from the criminal jurisdiction of many of their victims, and hide behind numerous firewalls that make them difficult to track.
These cheats and scammers aren’t out solely for taking the casinos’ money. The online crooks won’t hesitate to come after you and your money if given the opportunity.
It would be optimal to protect yourself when playing in online casinos. Being vigilant requires a different level of resolve than gambling in land-based casinos.
Here are some of the common ways crooks target online casinos. When you see these from a distance, you’ll learn how to avoid becoming a victim.
The Current State of Safety for Online Gambling
Online casinos can’t afford to be saddled by online cheats or scammers. The stakes are too high, and online casinos stand to lose millions when rocked by cheaters.
The days of scam casinos popping up and blatantly stealing your money aren’t entirely behind us. But the non-legit sites are easy to avoid if you do your homework. Check out our resource that lets you look into a list of current known blacklisted online casinos!
Cheaters pose a significant threat to online casinos because they cost them in many ways. The first is straightforward; cheaters rake in money consistently from the casino.
The more severe damage done by cheaters is to the casino’s reputation. Players will refuse to play at an online casino that’s known for harboring cheats.
The most prominent examples of companies being brought down by crooks come from the early days of online poker sites. Ultimate Bet and Full Tilt got rocked with scandals that cost both companies in the hundreds of millions.
By sticking to legitimate sites with proper licensing, you can avoid the worry of having the casino steal your money.
Furthermore, these casinos take all necessary precautions to ensure that your financial information is kept safe and secure.
Flat Out Collusion
Collusion is most rampant in online poker rooms. The concept is simple: several friends join an online poker table. Then they share information about what cards they’re holding amongst themselves.
You still need poker skills to make this profitable. But the more information you have at the poker table, the better your advantage.
It makes it much easier to push players around when you’ve got two strong hands. Most players are comfortable playing a decent hand, but betting and having two re-raises behind you can be unsettling.
The online poker sites look for odd behaviors like folding pocket Aces when the flop has nothing of value, but another player hit trip fours. Collusion can cost poker players by having less information and getting bullied by several competitors at a time.
The bottom line is that it’s weak, and if you’re colluding in online poker games, you’re weak. Not only are you weak, but you have no honor.
Taking Advantage of Bonus Offers
Bonus abuse is a genuine concern for online casinos. The casinos offer these bonuses to attract customers to their site.
Players can get healthy bumps to their bankroll by utilizing these bonuses. However, anytime there’s an offer of free money, greedy people will do their best to exploit the casinos’ gifts.
The casinos have stayed ahead of the game regarding bonus abuse. Unfortunately, the crooks still find ways to skirt the guidelines.
Again, the crooks and cheats have discovered a way to allow their greed to ruin it for the rest of us.
Yet, no-deposit bonuses still get taken advantage of online. It’s a low-budget approach to cheating, but some people will do anything for a buck.
Crooks will sign up for multiple no-deposit accounts and bounce around, hoping to hit a lucky streak. The shady, at best, behavior leaves a deficit that the rest of us are then forced to cover.
You won’t find many available no-deposit bonuses due to the high number of online gamblers that refuse to play by the rules.
Buying Your Personal Data
Not every crook targeting online casinos is out to beat you on the poker table. Many would prefer to buy your personal information directly and assume your identity.
These crooks may be your most significant danger in online casinos. The great news is that it’s simple to avoid having your data sold to the highest bidder.
Find a reputable casino that has all the proper certifications and licensing. Legitimate online casinos will take security seriously, and their security measures will be visible for all potential customers to examine before registering an account.
You’ll have to find a shady site if you’re in the market for having your identity stolen. Still, plenty of online casinos won’t take your security as a paramount concern.
Hacking Takes a Toll on the Online Casino Industry
Hackers are constantly attacking online casinos. These crooks know the treasure trove of financial information locked away in the sites.
It only takes one big score to set your entire year as a hacker. So, the more shots the crooks take, the more likely they are to sneak through a loophole and get paid.
The problem is that the casinos are more apt to spot any inconsistencies in the game immediately and shut it down. If a hacker is able to get the banking information of individuals, it’s less likely to be spotted right away.
Cheaters Never Win, Except for in Online Gambling
Cheaters can take the casinos or other players for vast sums of money. There have been multiple high-profile cases where an online casino has turned the tables and blatantly cheated the consumer.
One of the more notable cases of this was when Russ Hamilton cheated the players at Ultimate bet by implementing a “super cheater” software. This technology gave Hamilton the ability to see other players’ hole cards.
As you can imagine, the advantage made winning straightforward. Ultimately, Hamilton paid the price, and the scandal forced ultimate Bet out of the game.
Ultimate Bet customers received a payout of $30 million, but that number probably didn’t cover all losses incurred by players. Annie Duke was also a victim, as she was an unwitting part of the scandal.
Duke retired from poker over the fiasco and reportedly hasn’t played poker in a decade.
Keep Accounts Separate
You can protect yourself online by spreading your money around in the smallest comfortable increments. When I started my online gambling career, I opened a separate bank account where I only made cash deposits.
Players shouldn’t worry as much today, given the nature of how things have evolved. However, spreading your money around can add a piece of mind to your online experience.
Take Exhaustive Measures to Vet Online Casinos
Players can avoid a ton of trouble by properly vetting online casinos before ever opening an account. The primary thing you’ll want to check is the casino’s licensing. Legitimate casinos will have all necessary certifications with the gaming commissions and security software.
The next area I look at is how customer support replies to concerns. It’s best to have an online casino with 24/7 customer service.
Problems are rare, but they can pop up at any time. You don’t want to wait hours to make a call to the other side of the world when your money is hanging in the balance.
Proper online casinos will offer fast, courteous customer service. That’s paramount when you have an issue that needs to be addressed in a timely manner.
Never Share Your Personal Financial Information Over the Phone or Email
Avoiding becoming a victim often boils down to being smart. Online crooks will take any approach to grab free money that they can.
You should never share your financial information with an individual posing as an online casino.
These common ways crooks target online casinos take equal aim at the casinos and the players. Learning how to avoid becoming a victim will give you the peace of mind to gamble without worry.
The world of online gambling is a much safer place than in the past. But that doesn’t mean gamblers should ignore good judgment and common sense.