How to Identify & Avoid a Scam Bingo Site

Whether we like to admit it or not, there are plenty of scam sites set up across the Internet. Unfortunately, such scammer websites give legitimate online businesses a bad reputation. One of the purposes of our bingo site is to identify rogue bingo sites so that our visitors will not be ripped off. The other goal of our site is to suggest safe and reputable alternatives so that (you) our visitors can enjoy playing the game that they love.

Whilst we strive to remain on top of exposing scam bingo sites as soon as they are identified, the fact of the matter is that the Internet is far too large for us to catch every unethical operator out there. Additionally, these rogue operators tend to set up numerous new sites quite frequently in an effort to create the illusion of a network of sites and to trick people into depositing with them in more than one venue. The unfortunate reality of the situation is that the new site is the same as the old site.

By the end of this article, my hope is that I have properly educated you in how to identify and avoid scam bingo sites so that you are not taken by these crooks. Additionally, I intend to name and shame many of the rogue bingo sites and operators that we know of. When you know what to look for, it is relatively easy to identify and thus avoid rogue or potentially rogue bingo sites.

Scam Bingo Sites are NOT Properly Licenced

safest bingo site

Gambling and bingo sites that are set up as scams typically have a few things in common. For starters, fraudulent bingo sites are unlicenced. An ethical and licenced bingo site carries an online gambling licence from the Lotteries & Gaming Authority of Malta, the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission, the Gibraltar Licencing Authority, or the Alderney Gambling Control Commission. You can read more about each of these licensing and governing bodies in our bingo regulation section. If the bingo site is licenced, they display the licencing information on their website. This includes the licence number and a link to the proper agency. The licencing agency’s website typically confirms that they endorse and licence the bingo site in question. Alternatively, they provide a telephone number or address for you to call in order to verify licencing. Additionally, the licencing agencies provide a complaint process in the event you have been wronged or cheated.

A scamming bingo site neither possesses nor displays a gambling licence from a UK Gambling Commission approved licencing agency. Instead, they either display or imply a fake gambling licence from Costa Rica, citing that they are regulated there. However, Costa Rica’s licence does not oversee gambling activities. You can read more about the exact nature of a Costa Rican Licence and what it means by clicking here.

An alternative tactic to displaying a fake gaming licence, fraudulent bingo sites often use fake signs of credibility. They display a so-called seal of approval issued from a bogus watchdog group. When exploring the path and nature of the watchdog group further, it is relatively easy to see that the organization does not truly exist or they exist solely to fake credibility in an effort to stand up for the rogue site or sites.

You should NEVER solely rely on a watchdog group or organization to validate an online gambling site. Instead, allow a “seal of approval” to supplement (not replace) a valid gambling licence.

To play at one of the safest online bingo sites, click on the Lucky Pants logo above. When you arrive there, you will be at a safe, licenced, credible, and trustworthy bingo site where you can get a 300% match bonus. Alternatively, read our detailed Lucky Pants Bingo report to see for yourself what exactly we think about where you should play.

Scam Bingo Sites Fabricate Credibility

The favourite technique swindling bingo sites use is what I like to call the “self-gloss”. As someone that is somewhat “in the know”, it makes me chuckle when I visit a new bingo site and see how much a bingo site has awarded in prizes or how long they have been in business and making statements of how they are the best ever bingo site. All of these types of statements fall into the “self-glossing” category. I say that I chuckle when I see such antics – simply because this is typically done by sites I have never heard of or sites that are out to scam.

These self-promoting bingo sites have little to no credibility that they have not bought and paid for, so they fabricate hype. They figure that if you read it, you will believe it. Additionally, if you read it “enough” times, you will REALLY buy into the hype.

Additionally, they take to various Internet forums and pay people to ask rhetorically, “Hey, have you heard of this site? They have been around for xx number of years and are the best in this and that. I recently found them, set up an account and won £x,xxx on the first day. You should check them out!” This type of scamming commentary is simple to identify in forums, as the person touting them typically sets up an account just to tout. Thus, the poster is sometimes out of context, has not established credibility in the community, and just looks way out of place. He (or she) sticks out like a sore thumb. And to me, when an operator “self-glosses” on their own website, this too sticks out like a sore thumb.

Scamming bingo sites have very little credibility aside from that which is created and/or purchased by them. DO NOT BELIEVE THE HYPE!

Unfavourable, Unclear, or Hostile Payment Terms

Reputable bingo sites offer clear, concise, and fair terms and conditions to their players and potential players. They understand that they cheat themselves if they cheat their customers. Thus, their terms of use and rules are fair, just, and clearly explained. They do not hide issues that may irritate or cheat players. If there is an issue that a player should be made aware of, it is listed in the terms. There is no sense in burying a shady rule, as it only leads to a public relations nightmare after the fact. With that in mind, it is fair for a bingo operator to issue a deposit bonus. It is also fair for a bingo site to set certain conditions on the bonus. Thus, we believe it is fair when they tell you that they will give you bonus money in exchange for your agreeing to play a certain amount of bingo games. We also deem it fair to allow you to withdrawal winnings at any time. We do not deem it fair for bingo sites to hold your funds hostage. Here are examples of holding bingo player funds hostage:

“XXXX rogue site” reserves the right to deny a payout request if a player has not funded their account within and prior to 30 days of any win (this includes any winnings derived from promotional bonuses). This rogue term requires you to buy in monthly. If you fail to do so, but hit a big winner – your win is voided. This is a common term shared by many a scamming bingo site.

Additionally, there should be NUMEROUS free cashout options. This means that you should not have to pick up a charge in order to cash out your money or winnings. Scam bingo sites like to make it difficult, if not impossible to get your money without paying handsomely for your withdrawal. You should additionally have no difficulty in finding the deposit and payment options, terms, and cashout times. The following cashout terms are anything but favourable:

  • Check – which currently has a $20 processing fee. This fee will be deducted from your CASH balance and must be available in order to issue a withdrawal. For Example – in order to complete a withdrawal for $500 there must be another $20 in you cash account ($500 withdraw + $20 Processing Fee = $520 Total). Delivery is approximately 3-4 weeks. The Minimum withdrawal request is $100 (not including fees). We hope to have Express Checking available shortly.
  • NETeller (not available in North America). If you would like this option please open a ticket and provide your NT # or email address used at NT. Minimum Cash-out request is $100 and a $20 processing fee will apply.
  • Equinox – this option is only available to Equinox Customers. This allows players with a current equinox balance to pay off the funds owed fast and efficiently with No processing fee. Any remaining finds owed on the original player cashout would be processed using Check or NETeller.

Translated: You have a few options to cash out. However, we will charge you a fee for your withdrawal. Additionally, this rogue site only processes cashouts once per week. They will not tell you if your attempt fails until after the fact.

From the same site – yet another rogue condition:

All accounts with no deposit in excess of 30 days will have all balances removed and any winnings voided. Once removed these funds cannot be returned.

This means that you have to deposit once a month or they have the legal right to seize your funds. For example, if you have funded your account with $300 before going on a holiday and come back 1.5 months later – your balance is gone and you have no recourse. Additionally, suppose you have cashout issues, where they decline a deposit for whatever reason – You deposited three weeks ago, and your withdrawal request is declined. Do you REALLY want to deposit again? From the “letter of the law” on this rogue site, you must deposit or you will lose your ENTIRE balance. Shady.

Proper withdrawal terms allow free cashouts and do not require you to deposit monthly. As I mentioned, they also give you a number of options for collecting your funds and winnings (i.e. – PayPal, NETeller, Skrill, credit card, cheque, bank transfer, etc.). They may have a bizarre option that assesses you a fee. However, there are plenty of free options for cashouts at ethical bingo sites that are processed in a very timely manner.

Safe Bingo Sites AVOID American Players

I have told you how to identify rogue, scam, and unethical bingo sites. I have one more word of warning before providing you a list of known frauds and shady bingo sites. There are plenty of bingo sites you can play at who are on the up-and-up. If the bingo site you are considering accepts deposits from America – DO NOT PLAY THERE. The USA prohibits online gambling. Despite this prohibition, there are still some sites that cater to Americans. Some of these sites MAY be ethical (others are not). Whether these American facing are ethical sites or not, the risk YOU take by playing with our friends across the pond does not warrant the reward. Several American gambling sites have had their funds and payment processors seized. Thus, the money was frozen and unable to be accessed. If a bingo site has their money frozen by the American Government, you can be pretty certain that it will be a long time before you ever see your money – IF YOU ARE LUCKY. Thus, it is best practice for UK players to avoid bingo sites who accept Americans.

Play it Safe

Playing online bingo can be quite fun. However, it is never fun when you are ripped off. By following our tips on identifying ROGUE or unsafe bingo sites, you will significantly reduce your odds of being ripped off when playing online bingo. It is ALWAYS better to play it safe than it is to be sorry down the road. Thus, sticking with trustworthy gaming operators who are properly licenced and offer favourable, fair, and clear terms is the best and safest way to play bingo.

If you have any questions about the safety of a bingo site, feel free to email us (info@bingo-sites.co) before you sign up and play. We are happy to help you play it safe.