Several poker players, including Joseph Cheongreported that thousands of dollars had been stolen from their bank accounts by fraudsters who had created online gambling accounts under their name.
Cheong, with PokerFraudAlert’s Todd “Dan Druff” Witteles, tweeted allegations of online gambling fraud. They both said scammers stole $10,000 from them by accessing their bank account information and creating online casino accounts under their names.
Kyna England also shared a similar story. She said PokerNews she made a deposit to WSOP.com in 2020 using her bank account. On November 10, 2022, she noticed an unusual transaction, which turned out to be related to the same online gambling scam.
Are the payment processor’s lax security measures to blame?
Witteles, on his PokerFraudAlert forum, explained the details of what he experienced. According to the creator of the poker forum, on October 20, “an account was quietly created in my name on the legalized bookmaker BetMGM West Virginia”.
The scammer, using Witteles’ bank account, made a $10,000 deposit into the online casino but did not play. Instead, according to Witteles, the money was quickly withdrawn to a fake Venmo Debit Mastercard account that was created, also using Witteles’ name.
Cheong, a WSOP bracelet winner and third place in the 2010 Main Event, shared a similar story on Twitter.
I was debited via echeck for $9.8k just over a week ago by @BetMGMPoker @BetMGMCasino somehow. I don’t even have a… https://t.co/uUqRPk4qXs
They weren’t the only victims in the poker community. England, Brock Wilsonand david bach were among those who said they were also victims of a financial scam.
How did it happen
As Witteles explained in his lengthy forum post, the theft is carried out through vulnerable security procedures of Global Payments Gaming Solutions (NYSE: GPN), a payment processor used for electronic check payments at BetMGM, WSOP.com and hundreds of other online gambling sites.
Global Payments offers a VIP Preferred service to online casinos, which allows players who gamble frequently to store multiple checking accounts in one place and deposit up to $50,000 within seven days into their online casino account .
It’s a convenient service for high rollers and regular players, but it apparently comes with some costly downsides. According to Witteles’ post, the VIP Preferred service allows the scammer “access to previously used bank account information, provided the victim has used e-checks in the past on one of the many legalized gambling sites. “.
Global Payments serves as a third-party payment processor for many online casinos and is responsible for verifying customer identities. In doing so, they ask customers to provide personal information such as name, address, and social security number. This is a necessary step to ensure that the player name associated with the online casino account is that person.
But these unidentified crooks have apparently found a way to manipulate this system to their advantage. Global Payments processes payments and verifies the identity of many online casinos and poker sites. If a customer has already verified their identity via Global Payments when depositing via e-Check on, for example, BetMGM, they will not have to go through the verification process when registering months later on another site such as WSOP.com.
“This allows a fraudster with access to this personal information to create new accounts on other legalized gaming systems that use Global Payments, and easily directly steal your bank account that you previously used with them,” Witteles wrote. about the combined identity verification process.
Witteles resides in California, not West Virginia, where the BetMGM account was created. Fraudsters appear to be opening online gambling accounts in states where the victim is unlikely to already have an account.
PokerNews has contacted BetMGM for comment.
“We are aware of the issue and are working with affected customers to ensure refunds are processed,” a BetMGM representative said.
The story is still ongoing, but Witteles has vowed not to give up the fight.
I’m not going to rest on this bank robbery issue, perpetrated via @GlobalPayInc and @WSOP, using @BetMGM has… https://t.co/oOOVtrJxRJ
PokerNews will have updates on this story when they become available.