Online Gambling:Bonus Scams
Earlier we discussed many of the most important incentives internet casinos offer their players nowadays. These include VIP membership, referral programs, and an array of deposit bonuses. We’ve warned players to avoid online casinos that have very steep wagering requirements for the sign up bonuses they offer, which brings us to the next level of bonus problems – outright scams.
The simplest and one of the most effective of the bonus scams target players that have neither been banned (either justly or unjustly) from a casino or who already used their initial deposit/sign up bonus. Since internet casinos are dependent on a steady stream of new deposits from regular gamblers, this scam approaches players who have wagered and moved on to other internet gambling sites.
In this scam, players receive an e-mail that offers them cash should they deposit it into their current accounts. The moment a cash deposit is made the bonus offered vanishes into thin air. When the casino is questioned, it simply states that the player is not entitled to receive the bonus since he/she already received the initial deposit bonus. Strictly speaking this offer was earmarked for first time players only, since you are not a “new” player just a returning one, you don’t qualify for the bonus.
Gamblers end up playing their deposits; this is exactly what the casinos want. Equally bad, certain internet casinos have been known to offer bonuses hoping that ignorant players will make a deposit, or promising them a comp, and then they refuse to pay out even the player’s initial deposit. In the event the player manages a win and then tries to cash out these casinos cite “Bonus Abuse”. By all means this one of the main reasons to refuse to pay out a player’s winnings, since casinos like these are well aware that no governing body can act against them.
Ten to one you’ve heard this saying before, “Fool me once, shame on you fool me twice shame on me.” Suppose you’re the victim of a casino scam. You find a site you like, one that looks reputable and you start wagering without doing proper research. After depositing $250 and playing for a couple of hours, you cash out $50 of what’s left of your $250. A week goes by and you still haven’t received your cash, you send an e-mail to the casino’s customer support, something along these lines:
My name is ripped off and I recently registered an account with your casino. I cashed out my bankroll for $50, and to date I still haven’t received my cash. When will it be charged back to my credit card? My player account number is 123456-789.
The reply is normally within a space of forty-eight hours, laden with errors and looks like this:
Dear Mr. Ripped Off,
Apologies for any inconvenience caused. We are examining now your records and wil get bak to you very soon. Thanks
A couple of weeks goes by you’ve written numerous e-mails and even tried phoning this bogus casino, eventually you decide to give up realizing that $50 bucks is simply not worth the bloodshed and tears. However, the buck does not stop here. A few months later you start receiving e-mails from a new site, in all probability the sister internet casino to the site that conned you in the first place.
How did they get your contact details? Remember your initial registration form you had to fill out when you signed up at the first bogus site? You can bet your bottom dollar once you’ve been scammed by a site they’ll use your own personal information to entice you to wager at their site/s again. They’ll e-mail you lucrative bonus offers, CD’s containing their software, basically anything to trap you again. The only difference this time round it’s a “new site” one you don’t recognize and don’t associate with the site that stole your hard earned cash in the first place. The question you have to ask yourself is, how do you know this site is a scam?
You decide “once bitten twice shy” and start researching this new internet casino. Each time you register at a new site open a new e-mail account (at Hotmail, gmail etc.). By doing this first in case you become one of the “initiated” you’ll soon realize that any future correspondence is probably coming from a rogue casino and should be avoided like the plague.
Using a different e-mail address does not guarantee you from receiving scam offers. If you visited an internet casino and registered a real player account or if you have subscribed to a legitimate gambling magazine the chances are pretty good that you might be on someone’s mailing list, you’ll then be bombarded with lucrative offers that might be scams.
The next e-mail scam is nothing more than smart disguised spam that preys on players’ natural greed by offering them the “real deal”. The scam reads like this: A “former” employee-normally a software programmer for an internet casino dredged up your name and contact details from his company’s database. Either this person has been fired or he intends on taking the offending internet casino to court, and guess who’s going to help him do this? You.
The plan is straightforward. When the disgruntled employee designed the program of the internet casino, he created a hidden link to the casino games enabling those who access it to win. All you have to do is click on the link, register a new account, deposit funds and play until the moment arises. You’re told that if the number 13 appears for a second time in Roulette, bet high with a bundle of cash. By all means it sounds tempting, doesn’t it? We both know this is a load of rubbish. The main aim of this scam is to entice you to deposit large amounts of cash, should you lose to whom you’re going to complain to? In the first place you should not have tried to cheat the casino!
For many years a similar e-mail scam has been doing the rounds, the so-called “wrong address” letter. In this scam you’re the lucky recipient of an inside scoop, supposedly intended for someone else. Somehow the sender accidentally e-mailed you the letter by “mistake”. This ploy uses greed to rope in gullible gamblers. Below is an example of such a scam e-mail:
FROM: [email protected]
I’d like to personally thank you for your e-mail and phone call earlier today.
Michael became big headed. He recently bought a Porsche, and decided to safe some cash for his children’s tutoring.
Michael gets most of his betting tips for Colin Davey, apparently this guy made over $10 million just from bookies.
Michael values Colin’s advice since Colin has been in the internet betting industry from more than 20 years. Truth be told Michael believes Colin’s advice is the best thing since sliced bread, Michael has been winning so often that we’re moving into our dream house soon. Here’s the UK number 0806 6540 1003. I know that there’s a charge of GBP1 per minute.
Michael just told me that the bookies are giving away cash to attract new punters. You most probably know that income generated from gambling is not taxed? Give it a shot-you might just be an instant millionaire, asked Michael he knows the feeling.
Have a nice weekend.
At first glance you’ll notice the simplicity of this e-mail. It gets to the point pretty quickly by outlining Michael’s amazing winning streak, all you have to do is contact the same betting service used by Michael. You must be pretty gullible or desperate to fall for this scam; this same scam has been doing the rounds for many years now so it must be pretty effective. Scammers have perfected the art on how to rope you in. Our advice to you is to avoid offers or “tips” that end up in your inbox or spam box no matter how persuasive they might seem. Remember the old saying: “If it’s too good to be true it most probably is.”[addtoany]