Nowadays, sports betting is available on online platforms. You do not have to leave your home to get involved in this activity. Or, on the contrary, you do not have to stay at home to keep an ear to the ground, as it is possible to handle the situation on the go, using your smartphone or tablet.
The other side of the question is that the popularity of sports betting makes it a good opportunity for fraud. So, you should stay on alert and do your best to choose reputable and credible betting operators. In order to avoid fake sites, you should be able to recognize them. In this article, we are going to tell you how to do it!
Scam Betting Sites: What Are They?
When you are looking for a betting site among the widest range of existing ones, you should consider a range of factors, including their legitimacy and their strong trustworthiness. Even in this case, you should be aware of the risk of a wrong prediction, but you will still be protected from being scammed. Yes, a fact of life is as follows: there are scam betting sites that are aimed at stealing users’ money.
These scammers may look in a standard manner, but they apply tricks that make you lose your money. Also, they can steal credit card data or refuse withdrawal of winnings and deposits for no sensible reason. Or they can use technical issues to explain the failure and confuse you with lots of additional actions, like another deposit.
You can avoid swallowing the bait of the fraudsters if you follow our recommendations, provided in this article.
9 Warning Signs of Scam Betting Sites
It is vital to understand that there is no clear evidence of scamming. The dishonest betting sites want to get as much money as possible until their crime is cracked. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that any authority will protect you from such an accident. However, there are warning signs that you should know to define betting fraud. You should take them as a whole because sometimes a legitimate service provider can have a couple of the below-mentioned features too.
1. Suspicious, Nonsensical, or Unfamiliar Name
The name of a reputable sportsbook site should be aimed at building a brand. It should be brief enough and made in a grammatically correct manner. If the site’s name sounds strange, it means that the owner of the site is not interested in its long-term operation and is ready to close the site when his fraud is discovered. Of course, it is not so easy to determine the marketing efficiency of the title, but if you find any mistakes in English, this is a reason to become concerned.
2. Low-quality Design or a Copy of Another Well-known Gambling Site
The user-friendly interface with an uncluttered layout speaks to the fact that a skilled specialist is involved, and that means that his skills cost quite a lot. Only the owner, focused on the long-term professional project, is ready to pay a lot for the design of his website. The inconvenient platform with an ugly design gives evidence of:
- Amateurish service provider with limited technical expertise.
- Careless and/or poor owners, who will not be able to discharge their liability.
Even if it is not a scam betting site, you’d better refuse to bet on such a platform.
3. Stranger E-mails or Phone Calls Following Registration
We don’t recommend responding to random emails from a service provider inviting you to bet on sports on their website. Such sportsbooks usually entice you with simple betting and a plethora of bonuses if you make a deposit. And here’s the thing: if bookmakers are successful, they will not spam people.
Moreover, spamming is even illegal in some countries. Needless to say, it is not good for the business’s reputation. And in particular, you should think twice if a manager of such a company calls you after registering on the website with a tempting offer and behaves rudely after you refuse to take advantage of that magic opportunity. The high-pressure phone calls are a sign of a low-quality sportsbook or fraud.
4. Too-good-to-be-true Bonus Offers
Of course, favorable conditions are a competitive option that is quite common and normal. However, if a bonus offer seems too good to be true, you should be careful not to be fooled.
Like any business, bookmaking should generate a profit; otherwise, there is no sense in it. A single short-term and an occasional huge bonus are possible, but when there are too many of them, you should watch out.
If you see a very tempting offer, it may be about:
- A simple mistake made by a service provider, so you should do some asking around.
- A willful mistake to persuade you to join and then to say that this is a miscalculation and they are not going to provide such a bonus, or it can be a bonus available under particular conditions, which are not mentioned and which make this offer much less worthwhile, as a result.
- A fraud with intentionally false information.
Anyway, you should know that large bonuses are not common for sports betting. Read the betting rules to understand more about the standard process.
5. Lots of Complaints Online
Reviews should be different on various reputable forums. Someone may like or dislike a website. Moreover, there are fake haters, whose goal is to remove competitors. Everybody knows about those tricks. But if you read an overwhelming number of negative experiences related to a particular online betting platform, you’d better avoid it to prevent disappointment.
6. Incorrect Contact and Ownership Information
The contact data is vital. It should be provided comprehensively. If it misses, this is not a good sign.
A legitimate sportsbook will always mention its ownership information and contact information, including all available communication options like:
- Phone number.
- Social media, and so on.
If the service provider is not transparent, it means that it is either a fraud or the business has no appropriate license. In both cases, you risk losing your money and time. Also, you should pay attention to frequent changes in ownership or offshore registration while targeting the audience in regulated markets. This may be illegal activity.
7. Fake Licensing Information
Sports betting activity is subject to licensing in most countries. The details of this document, including the licensee’s name and/or a scan, should be available on the website. You can prove the legitimacy and validity of a license by its number. Among the regulatory bodies, there are the Malta Gaming Authority, Gibraltar, Alderney, and others. Go to their sites and compare the logos mentioned on the license and the official sites of the correspondent regulatory body.
8. Predatory Terms and Conditions
Here we do not speak about fraud. We just insist that you compare the terms and conditions of a range of sportsbooks to choose the most favorable ones. It is important to read carefully the paragraphs of users’ terms in order not to omit any essential detail. Even when we speak about major operators, it makes sense to look through several offers to find the most favorable one.
Among other things, pay attention to:
- Withdrawal limits can restrict your winnings.
- Reasons to cancel a player’s account with confiscation of his funds.
- Conditions to get bonuses, which can be hard to fulfill.
- Sure bets, as a catchy term, means nothing, as no one can assure the outcome.
- Inside information promised by scammers is illegal, and that is why it cannot be offered openly, and that means they do not know anything to make a faultless prediction.
9. Headquartered in a Country with no Effective Regulatory Body
Why should you bear the risk if you can manage it? Just stay away from betting sites, which have headquarters in countries without effective regulatory bodies. There are a lot of trusted operators running businesses in accordance with local laws.
12 Tips to Help You Avoid Scam Betting Sites
So, you should delete betting sites with the above signs from the list. Remember that finding the proper sportsbook is very important. We’ll tell you how to avoid scam sites and pick the best one that meets your requirements.
Use Regulated Betting Websites
Prefer well-regulated betting sites because they are reliable and predictable, holding appropriate licenses issued by reputable regulatory bodies. This is a kind of guarantee of favorable terms and competitive odds.
Don’t Sign Up at the First Online Gambling Site
You’d better consider a range of betting sites before you sign up for one of them. You can read reviews of real bettors, look through the ratings, and study the bonus systems. Do not rely on the top of Google, as the result of this search engine is not based on the reputation of betting sites. You should rely on your own research.
Look around the Site Itself Before Signing Up
In order to get a comprehensive idea of an offer, you should understand what you are looking for. How many events do you want to bet on? Will it be a single wager? Or are you going to get engaged in sports betting for a long period of time? And so on.
If anything on the online platform makes you feel confused or uncomfortable, you’d better look for another one. And another thing to avoid is the pop-up sports-betting ads and scam emails.
Check Mobile Betting Options
It is a big plus if you can bet on the go. Thus, you should be sure that a sports betting site is available on your mobile device. While all online sportsbooks provide users with desktop software, not all of them have a mobile betting option in the form of a mobile-friendly website compatible with any mobile device, like a smartphone or tablet.
Read the Site’s Policy on Freezing Winnings
It is vital to know the withdrawal terms. Some sites can freeze your winnings, and that is not about fraud. If a user infringes the law or the established regulations, any betting site is empowered to freeze the user’s winnings and/or close his account. You should know the requirements that you are expected to meet so that you can bet without getting banned.
Take a Look at the Wagering Requirements Attached to the Signup Bonus
You will hardly find a betting website without a bonus that any new player gets just for signing up for the platform. This is a free gift, increasing your own initial funds. For instance, you are offered a 200% bonus on your first deposit. If you deposit $500, you will have $1,500 at your disposal.
Every new bettor can take advantage of the online bingo bonus! Nevertheless, there are some issues to know. The former is related to withdrawal restrictions. The latter is about usage restrictions – the sportsbook decides which games you can bet on, applying the bonus amount.
Look at The Hidden Details
When you choose a betting website, you should check for hidden commissions and other unobvious unfavorable conditions. Just read the agreement and user’s terms thoughtfully to find fees charged for various actions, like processing of withdrawals. Consider rates of exchange, which can differ from those you see in local exchange offices. If you feel confused, contact their support team to get a clear idea of their terms. Also, take note of requirements related to:
- Withdrawal amounts.
- Participation in promotions.
Read about Industry Reputation and Look for Evenhanded Accounts of What to Expect
The reputation of a betting site is one of the main things. Ask people involved in this activity or read reviews to get real experience. Take seriously only those websites which have a positive reputation supported by calm, worthwhile, and info-packed reviews. However, some negative experiences could be, as everybody has something to say about some annoying options.
Ask Experienced Players and Look Сarefully for Сomplaints
Of course, if you have access to a professional environment, you are lucky. There are lots of online communities engaged in this industry. You can find forums where experienced bettors chat, and ask them about the website. Repeated complaints should be a warning sign, especially if experts share a negative experience.
The key complaints, which should make you refuse to join the online betting platform, are about troubles with withdrawals as well as banning of the account for incomprehensible reasons.
Contact the Customer Service Department
Communication with a representative of the company provides you with precious information about the quality of the service. Just contact their customer support and ask simple questions to understand the way they treat bettors.
Find Recommendations You Can Trust
It is important to get information about gambling websites from a reliable, competent, and impartial reference source. For instance, we regularly publish for you the best sports betting sites you can trust. Our reviews help you make the right choice.
Test It Out First
When you choose a betting site, start with low stakes to test it. Or you can test several sites with small amounts that you are ready to lay down at stake and come full circle up to the withdrawal of your winnings.
What to Do if You Find a Scam Betting Site
Well done! You have identified a scam betting site. Should you just go away looking for a reliable one? Or should you take measures to prevent other users from making the same mistake? Of course, it would be better if you showed your concern and social responsibility by acting as follows:
- Сontact customer service at this potentially scam betting site to explain your concerns and gauge their response.
- Contact the licensing bodies to inform them about your suspicions;
- Сontact a consumer protection agency to inform them about the facts you’ve discovered.
Bonus: How to Choose the Best Betting Sites
In general, when looking for a trustworthy sportsbook with favorable terms, you should:
- Decide on the priority-oriented options that you want to get.
- Narrow your search, selecting a range of attractive offers.
- Do research before depositing and do not trust offers that are too good to be true.
- Read reviews from multiple sources and seek advice from experienced bettors.
- Find the scam reports and blacklists by SBR.
- Test the sites, betting small amounts until you get a withdrawal of your winnings.
Where Can You Find Trusted Betting Sites?
Choose the best gambling sites according to our expert reviews! We’ll help you avoid scam sportsbooks, and you’ll enjoy betting!
Stay with us to get current information about the best betting sites. We renew our ratings in accordance with the market and responsibly issue our reviews.
We have tried to provide our readers with complete information about scam sportsbooks, which will help avoid losses. Of course, there are many hidden hazards, but the above warning signs will allow you to become alert and refuse to sign up for such a betting site. If you want to be sure of the honesty of a sportsbook, just choose the tried-and-true ones known by everybody, even if there are some service providers with better terms, which are too good to be true.
What are some indications of a fake betting site?
There are lots of signs of a fake betting site, including its poor design, fake odds, missing contacts, and false or non-existent license, but without limits.
What is the best online sportsbook?
This is a matter of opinion. You should understand your expectations, like perfect customer service, high protection level, or diversity of games available, and choose by your priorities.
What are the common strategies of fraud by bookmakers?
The key focus of fraudsters is your money. They refuse to pay off your winnings, delay withdrawals and ban the accounts for no reason.
How can I gauge a sportsbook’s trustworthiness?
Do research, read reviews, and ask experienced bettors. If there are too many negative reviews, you’d better avoid this betting site.
Are betting sites safe?
Commonly, responsible betting sites do their best to provide their users with a safe online environment. This is a matter of honor and their competitive advantage. Just prefer legitimate sites and be sure they take care of your safety.