Unfortunately for internet gamblers, there are lots of rogue operators in the online gambling business. It’s just one of those industries that attract the wrong sort of people, and with offshore gambling havens which take an Ask No Questions policy, a perfect breeding ground for scammers and swindlers has emerged.
We’ve put together a quick list of the common scams associated with gambling apps. Be on the lookout for these the next time you bet online.
Download & Register Your Card for a Bonus
Everybody loves something for nothing, and gamblers are no exception. This scam plays on the human desire for a freebie, but like all scams, it’s too good to be true.
Rogue gambling operators lure unsuspecting punters in with the promise of a big casino bonus or a free bet. All you have to do, you’re told, is download the gambling app and register your card. It won’t be charged a penny unless you decide to make a deposit.
Of course, the registration process involves you giving over your personal details, too. You’re often asked to confirm these by uploading copies of your ID and proof of address.
The operator now has your credit card details, your personal details, and any necessary documentation to prove they are you. Very soon, your card is maxed out, and the casino locks your account and stops responding to your emails.
That’s not to say that all such offers are scams. Some trustworthy gambling operators offer genuine bonuses in exchange for downloading their app. However, you’ve got to be careful and pick the sites you play at carefully.
Ransomware is malicious software, and it’s the stuff nightmares are made of. You download the app, install it, and are locked out of your phone or tablet until you make payment.
There have been some high-profile ransomware cases in recent times. One hit the British NHS recently and caused havoc.
Usually, the scammers demand payment in DASH, Monero or some other cryptocurrency which can’t be traced. This keeps them out of reach of the law.
Ransomware can be truly terrifying – we heard of one case where the app threatened to install indecent images on the device and automatically report it to the police within an hour if the equivalent of $10,000 wasn’t paid.
We can’t stress this strongly enough – never download gambling apps, or any other kind of apps, from untrusted sources. If you can get them in the App Store, or from Google Play, that’s the best option. If not, you should get them straight from the operator’s website.
This is a more insidious gambling scam because often players won’t even know they’ve been scammed. You could play what you believe to be genuine slot machines and casino table games for hours, but little do you know they have been rigged the entire time.
Rigged games will rob you slowly, and if you’re not an experienced player with an understanding of casino house edge, you may never know you’ve been swindled. Some players go back and play these rigged apps numerous times before they conclude that they’ve just been unlucky and start playing somewhere else.
You can avoid this scam by playing at UKGC licensed casinos. At the very least, the gambling operator should have a license from Malta or Gibraltar. We would avoid operators licensed in Curacao and other offshore tax havens – some of them have been known to run rigged games and the gambling authorities do nothing about it.
Play at legit gambling sites like Starspins, and you’ll be safe enough.
This has only scratched the surface of the various scams which rogue gambling operators can run. The only defense you have is to do your research and only download apps from safe operators which you have confirmed as legit.
Stay safe out there, and remember, if it seems too good to be true – it is!