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How to Avoid Scam Betting Sites?

Nowadays, sports betting is available on online platforms. You can place as many bets as you want from the comfort of your home.

It is also possible to keep tabs on the situation using your smartphone or tablet.

One major downside of sports betting is that it provides an opportunity for online frauds. So, you should be 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!

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Scam Betting Sites: What Are They?

When looking for the best sports betting sites, you should consider several factors such as their legitimacy, trustworthiness and reliable payment methods. It might be challenging to know a scam betting site at first glance because it might appear standard and legit.

These scam sites can steal your credit card information, refuse withdrawal of winnings, or even lure you to make more deposits. To avoid being a victim of such sites, you should follow our recommendations below.

9 Warning Signs of Scam Betting Sites

Scam betting sites can be hard to detect because they may look like the real deal. However, there are warning signs you should look out for.

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. Also, 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.

Like every other business, bookmaking should generate a profit; otherwise, there is no sense in it. A single, short-term and occasional huge bonuses 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. However, there are fake haters, whose goal is to remove competitors. But if you read multiple negative reviews on several forums, you should avoid betting with this site.

6. Incorrect Contact and Ownership Information

A legitimate sportsbook will always mention its ownership information and contact information, including all available communication options like:

  1. E-mail.
  2. Phone number.
  3. Social media, and so on.

If the service provider has no contact information on the site, 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

We advise 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.

You should also 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

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.

10 Tips to Help You Choose A Reputable Betting Site

So, you should avoid betting sites with the above signs. In this section, we’ll tell you how to pick the best reputable betting site for you.

Use Regulated Betting Websites

Choose well-regulated betting sites because they are reliable and predictable, holding appropriate licenses issued by reputable regulatory bodies. These sites guarantee favorable terms and competitive odds.

Regulated Betting Websites

Credit: William Hill

Don’t Sign Up at the First Online Gambling Site

We advise that you 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

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. 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.Choose 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 deposit. 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

Before choosing a betting website, you should check for hidden commissions and other hidden unfavorable conditions. Read the agreement and user’s terms thoroughly 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
  • Rollover

Ask Experienced Players and Look Сarefully for Сomplaints

Ask your friends or family who are experienced bettors for guidance and recommendations. Check out the sites they use to know if it’s favorable for you. There are also online communities and forums where you can ask other bettors about a particular site you have in mind. Repeated complaints about a particular sign should be a warning sign.

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. Contact their customer support and ask simple questions to understand the way they treat bettors.

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!

22Bet Review & Rating
4.7 (152 ratings)
One of the largest gaming lobbies with slots and jackpots, live games, sports, and many more.
Karamba Review & Rating
4.7 (176 ratings)
Three different casino welcome bonus and one sportsbook free bet!

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.

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Bottom Line

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-trusted ones known by everybody.


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?

The best online sportsbook largely depends on your preferences and your budget. Check out their payment methods, diversity of games, security features and the reliability of their customer support.

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 should avoid this betting site.

Are betting sites safe?

Typically, reputable betting sites strive to provide a safe betting experience for their users. A betting site is safe and legit if it’s registered and licensed by reputable gambling authorities.

What to do if you find a scam betting site?

Сontact customer service at this potentially scam betting site to explain your concerns and gauge their response. Reach out to the licensing bodies to inform them about your suspicions. You can also contact a consumer protection agency to inform them about the facts you’ve discovered.

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