How to Avoid Getting Scammed By Bookies

by | 7 May 2022

We’ve all heard the horror stories of unsuspecting punters falling victim to scam bookies, and it’s time we arm ourselves with knowledge to protect our hard-earned cash. So, buckle up as we share five rock-solid tips to keep those shady bookies at bay!

Research, Research, Research!

Behind every successful bettor is a ton of research before the big game. Most good bettors would take time to research the sport, teams playing, and their past performances. But it’s the really successful bettors who take it a step further and research bookmakers too.

Before diving headfirst into the betting pool, research bookies’ reputations, customer reviews, and licensing before you even think about whipping out your wallet to give them your hard-earned cash.

While you’re at it, don’t forget to review all terms and conditions offered by the bookies (we mean it!). This’ll save you grief (and a few hundred bucks) in case you find yourself head-to-head with a fraud bookmaker. When in doubt, contact customer support to help walk you through any questionable conditions you find.

General advice is to seek out reputable and licensed bookies that have been around the block. Trustworthiness and a solid track record go hand in hand, so don’t get lured by flashy promises from unknown bookies. 

Trust Your Instincts, Not Their Sweet Talk

Ever heard the phrase, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is”? Well, if bookies are offering huge payouts at ridiculous odds—it’s probably just that. Ridiculous.

Bookies dangling mind-boggling guarantees and unbeatable deals might be cooking up a scam. Though most legitimate bookmakers aim for fair odds, too many of them like to skim off the top too, so if something smells fishy, steer clear and save your cash for a safer bet. 

Remember: if you pick up one lie, there are likely more that you missed. If it comes to that, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Listen to your gut; it’s your most potent defense against fraudsters. Sure, scam bookies are clever, but your intuition can often outsmart them.

Related: The Best Bookies in Australia Survey

Watch Out for Website Security 

Lock and load, folks! A secure website is your virtual armor against scams. Look for “https” in the website’s URL and the padlock icon in the address bar. This cryptographic combo ensures your data stays safe, making it hard for scammers to steal your personal info.

Fortunately, you don’t have to be a tech nut to find out if a website is secure or not. Just keep an eye out for redflags like bad UI design and a lack of license from well-known regulating bodies for online games and gambling. 

Like most scammers, scam bookies don’t invest too much in good website design—they know that the basics are enough when trying to scam inexperienced bettors. 

Most scammers won’t bother offering you the illusion of payment security either. Watch out for broken links, misspelled words, grammar errors, and webpages with long loading times. 

If you’re vigilant enough, you’ll be able to spot these frauds easily enough.

Unexplained withdrawal delays are perhaps the most telltale sign that you’ve just engaged with rogue bookies. Unfortunately, with these signs, you won’t know until it’s too late.

These problems could come in the form of frequent periods of site maintenance, crashing, or even shutting down for several periods at a time. While every betting site undergoes regular maintenance, running into one or two of them just as you’re about to rake in your payout should be enough to raise some alarms.

No Cash, No Bet!

Time to channel your inner Jerry Maguire and say “Show me the money!” 

Like we touched on earlier, reputable bookies from legitimate and licensed authorities will offer multiple secure payment options, from credit cards to e-wallets. 

Avoid those pushy bookies who insist on cash-only deals; they might be ghosts haunting your betting dreams, never to be seen again.

Stick to well-known payment options with a history of safeguarding transactions. If a bookie insists on unconventional methods or asks for personal information beyond the norm, hit the brakes and back up!

Related: The maths behind the bookmaker’s latest tactic to take your money and how to beat them.

Separate Emotions from Betting

Like those wild horses on the racetrack, your emotions can lead you astray! 

Scammers know this too well, and they’re experts at manipulating your feelings. Don’t let the excitement of a potential jackpot cloud your judgment. Especially if you’re just starting out as a punter, keep an eye out for unreasonable offers from bookies. 

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with sports betting promos. The entire betting culture is built on promos and bonus culture, after all. Bookies often have sign-up bonuses and offers as they are handy for enticing new players to earn their stripes in the betting pool.

Even so, make sure to double check those bonuses, especially when bookies start including rollover requirements and minimum withdrawal amounts. Some fake bookies might even create entire fake deposit bonus campaigns. Scary!

Luckily, this is also where having a good betting strategy can help you. 

Making sure you have a goal and game plan in mind will help you steer clear from bookies with shady intentions. Stick to your budget, play it smart, and you’ll remain a step ahead of the scammers!

Related: Top 5 tips for taking advantage of bookie promotions


Now that you’re armed with these five key tips, you’re ready to tackle bookie scams head-on! Remember, research is your superpower, and your gut instincts are your trusty sidekick. Stay vigilant, embrace secure websites, and only bet with trusted payment options. And most importantly, keep those emotions in check when dealing with shady bookies! 

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