Most online casinos do not commit fraud, are safe, and offer fair gaming entertainment. However, there are also black sheep who are not concerned with running a casino, but simply with fraud and rip-offs. The good news is that there are a few relatively simple methods to identify these vendors. We explain how consumers in online casinos recognize fraud and rip-offs and how to target a reputable provider .
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Fraud and rip-offs in the online casino: These scams exist
Criminals only want one thing: their victims' money. There are several methods that are used to rob honest consumers of their money. Fake casinos are just as much a part of this as faked games. Both variants are among the particularly drastic (and clearly criminal) cases of fraud and rip-offs in online casinos. In addition, there are some gray area practices.
Fake Casino: Nothing comes after the deposit
A fake casino is probably the most cheeky scam with which consumers in online casinos are asked to pay for cash through fraud and rip-offs. And this is how it works: Alleged casino operators create a website that looks like the website of an online casino. Bonuses, many games, etc. are promised. Often, well-known brands of game manufacturers and their titles are advertised – as is well known, copyright and license violations do not deter fraudsters.
If a player can be convinced by the fake casino to make a deposit, the money is lost. After the deposit comes simply: Nothing. It is not possible to log into a game account or play games – because there is neither a game account nor games. The money is usually irrevocably lost. Nevertheless, in such a case, players should report them immediately.
Faked games: Here every bet is lost
Anyone who suspects fraud and rip-offs at an online casino is often afraid of manipulated games. This fear applies to fraudulent providers. They try a little more than their “colleagues” with fake casinos. In supposed casinos with faked games, there are actually slots, tables, etc. – usually all software-based without a live dealer component. However, the games are not designed fairly. Players bet after bet and always lose. The reason for this are the algorithms that do not allow a profit.
At most, after a long series of losses, a small profit is sometimes granted to keep the customer happy. There is nothing to be won in such alleged casinos. Players can expect to lose all of their stake.
Half-legal rip-off with high fees
Fraud and rip-offs in online casinos are not always limited to manipulated games and fake casinos. Sometimes the rip-offs also move in a semi-legal gray area.
Extremely high fees for deposits, account management or other “services” are conceivable. Then, for example, a minimum fee of EUR 50 is required for opening an account and offset against the first deposit. Often, references to these fees can even be found officially in the terms and conditions. The rip-offs expect that the majority of customers do not read them and then refer to the contract.
From a legal point of view, very high fees for services that are actually to be included by the casino are probably not tenable. But being right does not mean being right! In practice, it is very difficult for players to take action against such rip-offs and get back the lost money.
Alert signals for fraud and rip-offs in the online casino
How can a fraudulent project be distinguished from a real online casino? What alarm signals do players need to watch out for? The good news: There are crystal-clear criteria that can be used to distinguish serious suppliers from black sheep.
Every online casino needs a license. No player should make a deposit at an unlicensed casino. This is a crucial point: where there is no license, no supervisory authority checks.
If an online casino wants to receive a license, it has to go through a complex approval process. The license is issued after the approval process. However, this is not a carte blanche either. Regulatory authorities continuously monitor approved online casinos.
The authorities monitor various aspects that are important for players. On the one hand, this includes the integrity of the games. Here the authorities work together with certified testing institutes. These monitor the random number generators and thus check whether the specified odds actually exist. The authorities also monitor the financial strength of the providers. These must be able to pay out even large winnings at any time.
Which supervisory authority has issued a license plays a subordinate role. Both German authorities and the authorities of other countries prevent fraud and rip-offs in online casinos with a probability bordering on certainty.
In addition to German licenses, there are also many approvals from other EU member states such as Malta. Countries closely related to the EU such as Great Britain, Curacao (Netherlands Antilles) or Gibraltar (British overseas territory) issue reputable licenses and reliably check online casinos.
Important: check the license
Information on the license can usually be found quite far down on the homepage, sometimes also at the beginning of the General Terms and Conditions (GTC). However, players should not rely on information on any website. There is a surefire way to do it: take a look at the regulators' databases.
For example, a register with all licensed casinos can be called up on the website of the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) . Players can search by company name or license number here. This makes it possible to check whether the license specified on a website actually exists. Even more: The authorities provide information on the URLs (website addresses) that are assigned to a license. In this way, players can be sure that a license actually exists and that the payment is actually made to the provider belonging to the license.
Few payment methods
Another alarm signal for fraud and rip-offs in online casinos are the noticeably few payment methods. In the worst case scenario, players can only deposit via bank transfer. If the account is still in the name of a private person or an unknown limited company overseas, extreme caution is required. The same applies if only a PayPal or Skrill address is given to which players are supposed to send money and which does not match the casino.
Reputable online casinos cooperate with numerous payment service providers. These include, for example, payment initiation services such as Sofort or Trustly, e-wallets such as Skrill and Neteller, credit card companies such as Visa and MasterCard and other services.
Payment service providers are themselves subject to strict regulation – and are quickly faced with claims for damages when cooperating with unlawful partners. Therefore, it is usually not possible to pay into dubious providers with credit cards, payment initiation services, etc.
Important: As with the license, it is important to actually check the available payment methods. Those who do not shy away from fraud and rip-offs in the online casino are also not afraid of the illegal use of logos. That is why dubious providers often have the logos of card companies, e-wallet operators, etc.
It is suggested to inexperienced players that these payment options actually exist. However, if you then try to make a deposit, you will receive an error message and will be referred to a deposit via bank transfer.
No customer service
Fraud and rip-offs in online casinos can be traced back to actors who usually do not want to come into direct contact with their victims. That is why there is usually no (actually available) customer service with dubious providers. Anyone who wants to check an online casino can therefore contact them via email, live chat or telephone.
Of course, a closer look is also necessary here. A criminal operator might provide a phone number, but it belongs to a completely different company. Whoever enters the phone number in a search engine or actually dials it is usually smarter.
Strikingly unknown games
Sufficient criminal energy makes people inventive. Sometimes fraud and rip-offs take place in the online casino in a non-punishable manner. This is the case, for example, when rip-offs set up a business on a remote island. In the respective state, a license may not even be required to operate a casino on the global Internet. So there is no criminal liability here.
However, no serious game provider will make their titles available to a casino constructed in this way. And even if: Such operators are not interested in serious games. That is why the offer of such supposed casinos sometimes includes a number of unknown games without information on the manufacturer.
These were rushed by someone and developed in low quality and are only used to withdraw bets. Since these are completely unchecked games, there is no realistic chance of winning. Players should therefore be very skeptical of casinos with conspicuously unknown games.
Unusually high bonus
Of course, every player is happy about the highest possible new customer bonus. It can be 200% on the first deposit – not only for bargain hunters. But a bonus that is too high should make you skeptical. After all, the casino has to recoup the investments in new customers through regular gross gaming revenues.
Anyone who offers a 3000% bonus without any noteworthy conditions can only refinance this in two ways. First: There is no casino at all and the deposit goes straight to dark channels. Second: There is a casino, but no chances of winning – every bonus, no matter how large, flows back to the dubious operator.
The result is the same in both variants: the entire deposit is lost with no chance of winning. A noticeably high bonus is therefore another alarm signal with regard to fraud and rip-offs in the online casino.
Reputable casinos have sophisticated technology in front of and behind the user interface. A noticeable number of technical defects are an alarm signal. The advertised app has already been removed from the App Store or Google Play? The page does not load or is very slow? Are there noticeable dropouts and programming errors such as a dysfunctional search function? All of these are indications that behind the supposed online casino there is no serious operator but only a rip-off.
Conclusion: This is how players avoid fraud and rip-offs in online casinos
In a nutshell: Even if most online casinos work fairly and seriously by working for regulatory authorities and testing institutes, there are individual black sheep. However, these are quite easy to spot.
If you want to avoid fraud and rip-offs in online casinos, you should pay attention to a valid and verifiable license as well as as many payment methods as possible, real customer service and a good range of games with many well-known manufacturers. If these requirements are not met, this is just as much an alarm signal as a noticeably high new customer bonus and technical defects.