A Poker Scammer’s Confessions (and how you can stay safe)
With all the wrongdoings happening on the internet, it's hard to trust your funds with online poker websites for fear of poker cheats, even when playing on the biggest operators like Full Tilt or Bovada. Some of these poker scams are planned carefully by experts who are able to steal as much as $100,000 from your account in a split second.
One of these poker cheats has even given an online confession that's enough to give anyone the heebie-jeebies.
The story of a poker scammer
In 2014, Justin Archuleta, a professional poker cheat, posted on an online poker forum a confession revealing some of his misconducts including stories related to Bovada and Full Tilt poker scams. He admitted to have stolen huge amounts of money from various players, and for quite some time, he had the world by its tail. He robbed people off and he stopped at nothing: poker players lost from $200 up to $100,000 per person.
He created various accounts and used fake usernames such as “PaperEmpire”, “Surfdoc”, “Zamees”, “babar86”, “gimmetheloot”, “aba20”. Once he had come clean as a poker cheat, he took a few actions to show his repentence, he:
- displayed his email address in case anyone wanted to get in touch with him;
- wrote self-accusing messages such as “I'm so sorry. Please forgive me. I will do my best to pay it all back, that matters to me more than anything and I know I can do it”.
These wrongdoings took place in 2013 and the early of 2014. He ended his Full Tilt and Bovada poker scams portfolio with another hit that occurred in August 2014, when he illicitly withdrew $8,000 from another account. Unfortunately, since his confession was posted on an online forum, it is almost certain that the felon didn't get any sanctions or fines whatsoever.
Online poker scams
How do they work?
You can never feel safe when navigating online, since viruses and potential poker cheats could be watching over our each click. This digital angst arises considerably if you are about to deposit funds on an online platform, such as a poker website. Even “safe” social media platforms can be dangerous when sharing personal details and payment information as Facebook scammers are just another dangerous online group.
Handling money through the internet represents a huge risk: your payment methods' details are widely displayed for criminals to get their hands on. On an online poker website, nobody can mark your cards or stack the deck, and it can't be a matter of bottom dealing either.
But professional poker cheats know which are the best ways and means to make your money vanish in a heartbeat by:
- creating multiple accounts on the website (making you think you're playing against many players);
- using different IP addresses (this way they go undetected);
- putting out traps for players by raising and re-raising the stakes;
- engaging in conversations with you through online chat as part of a Facebook scam or even getting to know you personally on Skype to gain your confidence (some of these online poker websites offer many instant messaging services).
Diverse tricks are used depending on the poker room. Players are advised to call or email the operator for support if they detect anything fishy.
How can you be safe?
Online poker regulations from within the UK try to keep these happenings under control, therefore any possible claims are treated as seriously as possible. On the other hand, in various states from the US, this type of cheating (as with Bovada and Full Tilt poker scams) is considered to be a felony punishable with one to six years in prison.
Once a person is held responsible for this sort of online collusion, he will be barred from the website on a permanent basis, and the stolen funds will be distributed to the victims.
Things can come to a bad end if you aren't paying attention to some of the following facts:
- since many of these poker scams occur in markets that aren't regulated, beware of the websites that operate offshore;
- make sure you have heard of the operator you are planning to trust your money with – especially when playing poker abroad;
- read a couple of reviews about the website in question;
- beware of “safe” sites you use everyday, like Facebook scammers.
The safest way to go is to open gambling accounts on famous websites and register only with those bookmakers that have already made a name for themselves over the last decade.
Until then, watch this video to see how does offline poker cheating take place: