The modus operandi and warning signs of a poker scammer Part 2
In Part 1 I went over some of the basic ways to protect yourself online, and outlined my experience with scammers. In this installment I’ll give you some tips on what you should be looking out for when it comes to potential scammers.
One thing that immediately strikes as “off” about people, is when they are willing to deal with strangers financially; after all, couldn’t I be a scammer? Why are you so willing to make this trade? Don’t you have any friends or family that could help you out? This leads into my first warning sign of a potential scammer:
- The first warning sign is they are well connected, but need your help to get something done.
- The second warning sign is the Snafu. Suddenly, after telling you they will ship first they are locked out of their account, have been hacked, or the site won’t let them transfer, or they have reached their PayPal monthly limit, so can you accept an alternate means of payment??? The snafu can even occur before you decide to deal with them, and could very well be the impetus for the deal.
- The third warning sign is they endear themselves to the community. Scammers like to help out any way they can, and are usually extremely helpful to new players and always offering up sage-like words of wisdom.
- The fourth warning sign is that they spring out of nowhere. Despite always being “worldly” and knowing the ins and outs of the game, scammers usually just appear, with nobody on the forum knowing who they are or where they came from. This is extremely odd in poker where people tend to find forums early on in their career, not when they are already solid winning players –who the hell needs a forum at this point in their poker career?
- The fifth warning sign is that they are very private with their information. They have no problem recounting a wild adventure, or name-dropping, but as soon as the matter of their identity comes up they are very, very, mum.
- The sixth warning sign is that they absolutely despise scammers. Of course we all do, but scammers go out of their way to tell you how much they despise scammers.
- The seventh warning sign is that they have been scammed in the past.
- The eighth warning sign is that the amount you are dealing with is a “pittance” to them; they are doing you the favor.
- The ninth warning sign is a life-changing incident, like a car accident, a death in the family, their wife leaving them, and so on.
- The tenth and final warning sign is that they are extremely likable and have accomplished amazing things (think a couple levels below Kim Jong Il and his five Hole-in-One’s the first time he golfed). There is usually some truth to these stories, they are just embellished to make the scammer look more important.
Now any one, two, or even three of things shouldn’t be an immediate cause for alarm, but when you see a pattern, and a person who shows a lot of these traits make sure you use extreme caution.
So what do you do to protect yourself? The simple answer is to never do any financial transactions with forum members.
You can also give each person on a Poker Forum a specific risk factor. That is, how much money you would be willing to risk with them based on their reputation –for most people this number is ZERO, which isn’t to say they are untrustworthy people, simply that I have no reason to deal with them financially. A person’s risk factor is never an amount of money that if it was stolen from me I would scream “WHAT A PIECE OF SHIT” while throwing my keyboard across the room. The number is always an amount where I would say “what a piece of shit this guy turned out to be?!?!!?!?”