Online gambling is a massive industry that is expected to bring in more than $220 billion worldwide in 2022 alone. Such large domains where users have the incentive to look for new vendors is a generous soil for scammers who want nothing more than millions of potential victims that can be easily tricked into giving away their hard-earned money.
There is a slim ray of hope. Usually, scammers operate by setting up fake casino websites that use regular payment methods. Any payments made toward business entities can be reverted within 30 days. All you need to do is to call your bank and cancel recent payments. Using cryptocurrencies or bank wires to pay creates additional problems.
On the other hand, you may avoid these scammers altogether by understanding how these scams work and how to spot them early.
Bonuses are too good
Many respectable online casinos have bonuses that allow users to play longer and receive better prizes in the long run. While these bonuses are always designed to trick players into spending more, legitimate casinos do have the incentive to pay out more just to retain customers.
Scammers use bonuses differently. They create marketing campaigns using cheap social media targeting promos or working with advertisers that operate in the gray area of the internet (porn sites, torrent-hosting aggregators, etc.) to boast about large bonuses that triple and quadruple your initial deposit. They offer things that are simply too valuable to be true. A legitimate business would fail if they were so generous.
These advertisers are designed to lure in people who see them as valuable. A semi-legitimate casino will simply rig games against players. Total scams will steal deposited money.
Elaborate registration is an alarming sign
If you have to provide too much personal information to create an account, you should be suspicious of a casino. Businesses that operate within the borders of their nations will not need extensive information about their clients outside of the info required to verify their residency.
Some companies collect and sell personal information. Some illegitimate casinos engage in such activities too. They set up the registration process in a way that forces you to tell them sensitive data. To ensure that you finish the registration process, they split it into multiple stages. A 5-step registration process is something that you should take as a warning sign.
Installing apps from casinos is not a good idea
This one barely qualifies as a scam, but it is something that can hurt you and your family. Many casinos offer you to install their desktop and mobile apps or a browser extension. These programs can be very harmful. From installing ransomware to exploiting your PC to mine cryptocurrency, these applications can have hidden functionality and features that turn them into dangerous pieces of software that should be even close to your devices.
The vast majority of contemporary casinos run using HTML5 tech and do not need users to install anything on their PCs. Most casinos will encourage you to use browsers to play because they don’t need to release updates to apps and maintain more products.
How to recover money lost to casino scams
Canceling payments to them is the best course of action. It is possible only if you paid using your credit or debit card and when the cancellation request is sent to your bank within 30 days after purchase. Otherwise, you will have to employ other ways.
Talking to law enforcement is often futile because scammers can operate from a completely different country.
However, you can use the services of specialized agencies that recover money lost to scammers. They track down scammers and threaten them with legal pursuit or other consequences and force them to pay you back in exchange for dropping the case against them. Surprisingly, this method works quite often since many scammers are just small-time criminals who do not want any trouble with the law.