The Best Way to Avoid Gambling Scams? Be A Snob! We all know the old adage: “if it seems too good to be true, it probably is”. Especially when it comes to online gambling, be aware that those “too good to be true” situations may be a trap. The advice given below may seem strange at first, but being a bit snobby is a great way to make sure that you avoid getting scammed. Rough Design and Garish Typography Eye-catching websites are one thing, but that online gambling site may not be the real deal if things seem sloppy or hastily thrown-together. Is the site hard to navigate, full of flashing text, or overflowing with pop-up ads? Online casinos are fun and exciting, but you should be able to find the terms, rules, and payout policies as easy as you can access the games. In addition, keep an eye out for poor grammar and typos. Yes, we know that your high school English 101 class may be a dim memory, but rely on your instinct. For example, if you love playing Keno but the site repeatedly misspells it, consider this a red flag. Typos might show that the owners do not take pride in their website and business, and your money could be at risk. Email Phishing: Don’t Be Dinner! Unfortunately, phishing is a common scam, where users are tricked into giving away their private account details via email. Reputable sites will not ask for your login information, so do not be fooled by emails from anyone. When it doubt, open the website in a new web browser and sign-in to the site directly. No Buying Credits Elsewhere Is your online credits balance looking a little low? Do not be seduced by anyone offering to sell credits via emails, ads, eBay, or Craigslist. Though it may seem simple to buy a batch from someone else, turn back before it is too late! Even if a user successfully sells you credits or tokens the first time, keep in mind that they may then wait for you to pay for a bigger purchase before disappearing. Instead, earn or buy credits and tokens yourself directly from your own gaming site. Mobile Games May Be Minefields Online gambling is now portable, thanks to apps and games available for tablets, smartphones, and other mobile devices. This area of gaming is rapidly growing in popularity, from the simple (earning credits on Facebook games) to the more elaborate (dedicated apps for use within the wifi boundaries of a casino, for example). As you explore the unchartered territory of mobile casino games, keep an eye out for possible scams. Carefully consider each app or game you download. Somemay come with strings attached, such as secret, long-distance dialing in the background. Unbeknownst to you, your phone may suddenly become a mule for mobile charges. Read the fine print as you sign up for a program, checking for any added and hidden monthly fees. These may sign you up for a ringtone or streaming service, which can add up quickly. It will take some time for these tricks to show up on your next phone bill, and in the meantime crooks may have done some serious damage. Popularity is a Plus: Ask for Recommendations If your money is on the line, you need to make sure you are using a reputable site. This is where popularity comes in handy: if tons of gamers are happily accessing the site daily, and have been for years, that business has a successful following. Established companies work to make odds fair and payouts possible. You can also keep an open eye on the news, to catch reports both positive and negative. Did the director of a large gaming site just get caught in a swindle? Alternatively, has another site consistently produced huge winners? Reviews and recommendations are also safe bets. This is where your friendly neighbor forum comes in, altering you of shady sites and directing you to approved, popular, and safe online gambling venues. Let’s Get Technical Requesting certification may seem like the ultimate snobby move, but searching for seals is one of the best ways to ensure you are protected. Legitimate online casinos will have the approval, certification, and seal of a third-party regulatory authority. These include Technical Systems Testing (TST) and eCommerce and Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance (eCoGRA). Both organizations audit online casinos, awarding them a seal of authenticity after publishing the results. TST and eCOGRA may also test software, run checks on the random number generators, and list payout percentages. Online gaming is fun, fast-paced, and exciting, especially if you have the confidence that you are using a well-designed, trustworthy, and certified site. Avoiding scams is easy if you know what to watch for along the way.