Playing slots online is amazing fun, and as far as we’re concerned, it beats sitting in a noisy casino any day of the week. But we’ve heard a few stories in our time about unsuspecting players signing up with less-than-reputable sites—sites that never paid out, had bogus prize announcements or simply took players’ cash and disappeared.
There’s nothing that bothers us more than seeing good folk losing their hard-earned cash to these types of fraudulent websites. So, we decided to draw on our experience and give you a little advice on spotting these dodgy providers. Now, this doesn’t guarantee that you’ll win (that’s the fun of slots, though, isn’t it?), but at least you won’t be giving your money to shady characters.
Of course, one of the most obvious options is to go with a name you trust, especially when downloading an app or software to your smartphone or PC. Industry heavyweights like PokerStars have the financial muscle to develop a secure and trusted app that protects both you (the player) and them (the provider). So, you can rest easy knowing that both your money and personal information are safe under lock and key.
But even still, fraudsters are getting clever, and they sometimes use similar URLs to those of reputable providers in the hopes of bringing in some unsuspecting traffic. In some cases, they’ll even send out emails with fake URLs masquerading as the real thing. If you’re planning to play with one of the big hitters, then head for their main website and look for links to their slots or casino games from there. Do not click on a link in your email, or click on the first result of a Google search, unless you’re absolutely certain that it is the genuine article.
However, many players like to change things up now and then and enjoy the excitement of playing new slots. So inevitably, they will come across sites they have never heard of. In this case, try looking for a few online reviews to see what people are saying about it. Take care, though, as fake reviews are quite prevalent these days. Check reviews from at least three separate sources/review sites and pay close attention to the wording of the reviews. Sometimes fraudsters copy and paste fake reviews on a number of sites, so if you spot a pattern of repetition, it could be that the reviews are not the genuine article.
The easiest way to get around the fake review issue is to Google the site name along with the word ‘scam.’ Read the results carefully and make sure that the bad reviews are not just disgruntled players who expected a larger win or were unhappy with a lack of payment methods. If the site is fake, then you should find a lot of warnings online.
With regards to the site itself, first make sure that it is a secured site. The simplest way to spot this is if the website’s address starts with ‘https’ and not ‘http’. This means that the site has a security certificate, which is the most basic of security features on any reputable site. Unfortunately, fake sites can also have them, so you still need to make a few more checks.
Any online casino or slot site should have certification from a reputable gaming authority. This is often seen in the footer at the bottom of the homepage, but if you have to go looking through the site for it, then the chances are it’s not genuine. You can also take a look at the site’s copy and animation. Often fake or scam sites have typos in their copy or poorly-worded instructions. They will sometimes have low-resolution logos and images, too, so if it looks cheap or a little ‘off’ in any way, don’t take a chance.
As we mentioned earlier, playing slots online is serious fun, and we hope that these fake sites don’t deter you from playing. Just take care when trying a new site. Check its gaming certification, its site security, and (above all else) the online reviews. And if you spot any dodgy sites, let us know. Together we can put these fraudsters out of business.