Player Scams - Money Transfers

One of the main threats in online poker rooms are player scams. Poker sites themselves are frequently dealing with players making fraudulent deposits, money laundering, and other acts which attempt to steal money from the poker site.

Player scams threaten other playes as well. One such scam is tricking players in money transfer schemes.

ONE APPROACH TO THIS SCAM

A player contacts his victim using a table invite or a general plea in the online chat box. His dilemma is that he needs $xxx to join an event/tournament at a poker site, but all his bankroll is tied up at another site (or somewhere else.)

The player asks the potential victim to transfer him money via poker site transfer or Western Union or some such, and he will will re-transfer the victim more money on the other poker site or using another means.

A recent poster at Two Plus Two explained what happened to him.

In this example, a table observer at Poker Stars asked if anyone was familiar with Western Union (a means to transfer money) and would like to make a few dollars. A player responded that he could help.

After luring this player using the poker site, the scammer then moved communication to MSN Messenger.

The scammer's proposal was to send the victim money on PokerStars using the internal transfer method. Then the victim would transfer slightly less via Western Union.

Everything went as planned at the beginning -- the scammer transfered the funds to the victim at Poker Stars first. Feeling comfortable the then victim made a money transfer to return funds back to the scammer less his take for doing the favor.

A few days later the victim was informed by Poker Stars that his account was suspended and being investigated. Poker Stars security said the money transfer he received from the scammer was a fraudulent deposit. This means the scammer made a deposit to Poker Stars that "bounced" or which he quickly reversed, or the charge was done using a stolen credit card. Therefore, the money wasn't cleared at Poker Stars yet.

When you deposit money at Poker Stars, they make funds available for your use in play immediately. However, the funds may take some time to clear. During this time, poker sites are vulnerable to fraud.

The victim lost the entire amount of his Western Union transfer.

HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF

1. Do not participate in funds tranfers with other players unless it is someone you know and trust. These scammers are taking advantage of others who are trying to make a quick buck. If it sounds too good to be realistic, then it is. To be safe, avoid all money transfer situations like this.

2. If a player or observer approaches you and solicits funds at any poker site, you should immediately notify the site's support team. Don't just ignore this player. If this scammer has an account with fraudulent funds, it is better for everyone that the scammer be stopped immediately.