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I have won a large amount of money on an online casino. It has taken 2 months for me to see any payouts. Last week I received a $2300 check from them.

Now they say that since I won so much they would rather wire me the money, and they are asking for my banking account number and routing number.

Is this safe? Or am I stupid for even considering this?

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    No legitimate company is going to behave in this way. By any chance, did this company give you some "free funds" to get started and your winnings are the result of your betting with these funds? Or did you deposit funds with the company and use those funds to gain your winnings? Try asking them who their "regulator" is. If they don't have one, then it is almost certainly a scam and the $2300 cheque will be cancelled before you can use it. It may be useful for you to post a link to the casino site so readers can assess its credibility. – Nick R Oct 6 '16 at 22:40
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    @NickR I don't fully agree with "No legitimate company is going to behave in this way ..." Google asked me for bank details to wire the Adsense revenue. – Dheer Oct 7 '16 at 3:21
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    What is the total you have spent at this Casino so far? Is this more than 2300? How did you make the payment to Casino? Can you also indicate the country where you are located? – Dheer Oct 7 '16 at 4:08
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    Perhaps they are actually 'legitimate', but are trying to throw complications as to how you get your money. They might do this in order to encourage you to keep gambling, rather than take a payout. I would not be surprised if many online 'casinos', acting unethically, took a long time to actually process a payout. – Grade 'Eh' Bacon Oct 7 '16 at 15:35
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    This question is totally unanswerable because there are two types of online casinos. There are any number of entirely legitimate, enormous, nationally-well-known household name online casinos that are ordinary business with TV ads, ordinary offices and so on. In contrast there are sundry marginal/shoddy online casinos. (Note too that, in a word, online casinos are "illegal" in the US but completely normal everyday businesses in say the UK.) It's totally impossible to answer or provide guidance unless the OP explains their region and basically which casino it is. – Fattie Oct 8 '16 at 13:07
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I don't know which online casino we are talking about, but I would venture to say that online casinos, in general, are probably not the most trustworthy of businesses. Caution is certainly in order. That having been said, this isn't an e-mail from a stranger that contacted you out of the blue; you obviously trust them enough to have deposited some money with them, and it seems that they now owe you money.

Let's assume for the moment that they are legitimate, and that they sincerely want to pay out your winnings. If they are to pay you via a wire transfer, they would need your account number and routing number. (This information is on every check that you write.) In addition, if this is an international transfer, they would also need your bank's SWIFT number, or possibly an IBAN code.

It does seem odd that they would pay you a partial payment with a check, but the rest has to be done via a wire transfer. You could request that they send the remainder as a check, but I would imagine that if they refuse to send you a check, there is nothing you can do about it.

If you decide to go ahead with the wire transfer, you could open up a new savings account with your bank first. Then you could provide the account number for this new account, and if they are intending to clean out your account, there will be nothing in it. (For extra protection, when you set up the account, you could ask the bank if they can set up a savings account that will accept incoming wire deposits, but no outgoing electronic withdrawals.)

Either way, when you deposit the check you have and you receive this wire transfer, don't spend this money for a while. Just let it sit in your account (you could transfer it to your main account, if you like), and wait a few weeks. That way, if there is a problem with these payments and your bank insists on the money back, you will not be in trouble. If they send you more than they owe you and ask for some of it back, it will be a clear indication of a scam. Don't send them any money back.

After a few weeks, you should be in the clear. Good luck.

By the way, online gambling is a terrible idea. The fact that you don't trust the casino to pay out should tell you a lot about this industry. After you receive these winnings (or even if you don't), the best advice I can give you is to stop gambling.

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    I like the idea of the bank account solely for the purpose of the deposit, it's a good idea. – Ranma344 Oct 7 '16 at 14:09
  • As I mention in a comment above, the question is totally unanswerable unless we know which business it is and where the OP is. Gambling is as Ben says completely ridiculous and entirely stupid (Don't Do It), but, there are any number of totally legitimate, everyday household-name, online casinos. – Fattie Oct 8 '16 at 13:11
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    EXCELLENT advice, Ben! This is a great suggestion, and it's something to keep in mind for future reference as far as opening a separate account just for this type of circumstance. Upvote for it!!! – Daniel Anderson Oct 8 '16 at 16:05
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I have won a large amount of money on an online casino.

How reputed is the company? Have you done any research around it?

It has taken 2 months for me to see any payouts. Last week I received $2300 check from them.

Did you win everything in the same period? If so there is no reason why they sent you a smaller check of $2300 instead of the full amount. This should raise a red flag. Why would someone write multiple checks. The only valid reason is you won in different months. The payout for first month was $2300 and they sent a check. The payout for next month is large amount ... the request for Bank Details.

that they would rather wire me the money and they are asking for my banking account number and routing number.

Although giving bank account number and routing has some risks. This is the fundamental information that is need to make a credit to your account directly. You would be giving this to quite a few entities / people. In most countries, this information is printed on every check that you write from your account.

Is this safe? Or am I stupid for even considering this?

Online world is full of traps and this could be a scam. So proceed with extreme caution. Insist of check. In worst case open a different savings account, that does not allow direct debits, does not have over draft, etc. Use this to receive money and move it into your regular account.

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Keep in mind that in order to fund your online casino account, you either had to provide credit/debit card info, or you had to give them your bank account number band routing number already.

Now, assuming you've seen no fraudulent activity on your account(s) since then, and it was you who initiated the contact with them, what they're asking for is not totally unreasonable, nor is it all that unusual. MANY companies require you to provide account/routing info to do financial business with them, which doesn't automatically equate to nefarious purposes, so don't let yourself go down that rabbit hole unless there's some other serious red flag to the situation which you haven't shared with us.

It is a bit odd they'd send you a check for a portion of the winnings, but maybe that's to demonstrate good faith on their part as to why they need you to provide them information to send the remainder of your winnings.

That being said, the suggestion to open a bank account solely for purposes of receiving your winnings is a good one. I would go a step further and, once the transfer is made, go to the bank in person and withdraw it in cash. Then you can deposit it into your regular bank account without there being any possible connection between the two, just in case you decide to indulge your fears about this.

Good luck!

  • Taking out in cash won't help you at all. If the e-credit is reversed, you will be on the hook for the money, and they will pursue you for it. If you stubbornly refuse to pay, you will at the least get a ChexSystems blacklist. Possibly also jail. – Harper May 16 at 22:03
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Someone online asking for your bank account info never has your best interests at heart. They can send you a check and while it may take a while to really clear, they can't use it to suck money out of your account.

Be very cautious.

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    It is possible that it is a scam, but it certainly isn't true that anyone asking for your account number and routing number is a thief. If someone legitimate did need to wire you money, they would need your account number and routing number. – Ben Miller Oct 7 '16 at 3:32
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    Asking for account info is the usual way to send money in Europe, and it is safe. Your answer applies solely to the USA, where there is still no security against abuse of the number. – Aganju Oct 7 '16 at 12:27
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    Writing someone a cheque gives them your bank details and routing numbers. That information, on its own, is not enough to commit fraud, or 'Suck money out of your account'. Otherwise everyone who has ever written a cheque could be defrauded by the person they wrote it to. – Grade 'Eh' Bacon Oct 7 '16 at 15:36
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    @Grade'Eh'Bacon: Uh, my understanding is that they can do exactly that (in the US). Certainly I have sucessfully authorized electronic payments by providing only my name and address and my routing and account numbers to the payee, without ever contacting my bank. – Nate Eldredge Oct 7 '16 at 15:43
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    @Grade'Eh'Bacon The weird thing is that in the US, this is precisely what can happen. This includes everything from check washing to check printing, to using online services that only require routing, account, and personal information to make a charge. The protection is that in the US all accounts are tied to a known (theoretically) identity, and it can be traced back to the person committing fraud in the country and the person can be imprisoned form any years for the federal crime of bank fraud. Technical protections are few - but do exist in the form of "unusual transaction" detection. – BrianH Oct 7 '16 at 15:51

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