Poker scams are rare. However, they are more common than casino scams and sports book scams. This is the weak link in the online gambling chain, the one that scammers tend to target more than any other, and most of that is down to the uncertainty surrounding gambling laws in countries like the United States.
There have been many scam sites operating with what appear to be legal gambling licenses over the years, and there have also been some security issues, such as the time when the Ultimate Bet CEO was found to be using a program that allowed him to see the hole cards of other players.
The security is tightening up, the biggest poker sites are setting a precedent, and players everywhere are demanding more safety. But for the most part the onus is on you, the player, to ensure you are safe at all times.
Spotting Safe Poker Sites
There are a number of things you can do to determine if a poker site is safe and legit:
- Google: The world’s biggest search engine is your friend here. Google the name of the company, see what is being said on social media and on the forums. You will get honest opinions here.
- Regulators: It’s not just enough that they claim to be regulated, you need to make sure that they are. So, follow the links through, check their license numbers, and make sure you can find them on the regulator’s site and not the other way around.
- Blacklist: Search for the poker site name and the word “blacklist” and see what comes up. Have they been added to any blacklists and if so, why?
- Affiliates: Look for the poker site in affiliate forums and on affiliate review sites. This is an often overlooked aspect, but an important one, because the first sign of a gambling site turning rogue is when it stops paying its affiliates. We have found this to be true in nearly all cases, so it’s a great way to determine if they are legitimate or not.
Safe Poker Sites in Canada
We like to give all sites and all companies a chance. We have bet with many newer and smaller sports books and we have placed bets with many smaller casinos. But when it comes to poker we are more vigilant and we believe that everyone needs to follow suit. That’s because while sports book and casino scams are rare, the same can’t be said for poker.
From the likes of Ultimate Bet to Carbon Poker, Lock Poker, Luck23 and more, this industry is littered with sites that have seemed genuine but have ended up leaving many players out of pocket. That’s why we only signup to established poker sites backed by huge gambling brands.
In Canada, we have very little recourse for action if a site turns out to be a scam. There is a regulator, but not one that offers any kind of mediation and not one that will do anything particularly helpful. If a site only offers services to players in North America and only works with American regulators, it means they can take advantage of this.
This is why it’s always best to work with brands that work with many regulators across Europe, because this provides all players with the peace of mind they need.
How to Stay Safe on Online Poker Sites
If you are worried about your safety on online poker sites then take a look at the following information and make sure you do as many of these things as you can.
- Logout: If you ever login to your account while you are on a public computer or you are using your mobile, then always make sure you logout when you have finished. If someone uses that computer after you, or if they steal your phone, then you stand to lose a lot of money and could even have your ID stolen.
- Don’t Trust Public Wi-Fi: Just because a Wi-Fi connection is public doesn’t mean you should use it. Public and unsecured networks can be hijacked using some very simple and widely available software. This software allows hackers to steal all transmitted data, including passwords. If you login to your account while on these networks they will know everything they need to take control of your account.
- Two-Step: Always use secure two-step authentication if you can. Some poker sites even give their high-stake members a digital key that gives them a one-time password every time they login and means that someone would need to steal that key and know their login details in order to login to their account.
- Secure Email: Some users think they are safe because they secure their online banking login and gambling accounts, but the same users will use a weak email password they have used on hundreds of other sites. Your email needs to be just as secure as your money accounts, because it can be used to reset all of your passwords, essentially giving a hacker access to everything.
- Phishing: There is really only one way to make sure you are not a victim of phishing and that is to never give your account details out to anyone, even if they seem legit. Most, if not all major gambling sites will not request this information and even if they do it will only be on the phone after you have gone through security checks. It will never be requested through email or live chat.
- Requests: Some poker sites allow users to send each other money and to pay for stakes. This is a great system that creates a good poker community, but it can also be exploited. If anyone asks you for anything or makes you an offer that sounds too good to be true, report them immediately.
The Safest Online Poker Site
To find the safest poker site, and the one that also offers everything else you need, check with the graphic at the top of this page. It showcases the very best bonuses from one of the safest and most secure sites on the internet. They are experienced, have a wealth of bonuses, and work with a number of top poker pros, as well as hundreds of thousands of regular members. If anyone understands safety, security and the importance of guarding customer data, they do.