Poker Stars Stole $600 from me

    • bogogota
      bogogota
      Basic
      Joined: 16.09.2014 Posts: 7
      Here are the simple facts:

      1. I have never played on Poker Stars and wanted to give it a try, opened an account and deposited $600 with my visa.

      2. My account was immediately frozen, I didn't play a single hand of poker or even sit at a table.

      3. They requested that I send documents that contain in my opinion very sensitive information and that could be used to steal my identity, so I said "No thanks, please refund my money."

      4. They refused to refund my money, at best this is extortion, at worst blatant theft.

      5. My advice, if you don't want to provide sensitive personal information or have your money stolen. Avoid Poker Stars.
  • 18 replies
    • thunderbird56
      thunderbird56
      Bronze
      Joined: 02.12.2007 Posts: 2,186
      Hi bogogota,

      PokerStars doesn't steal your funds.

      It is very a standard to check your identity after a big first deposit. If fact, PokerStars always performs ID-check if your first deposit is above like 300 USD, especially if you use a credit card. I myself got that check immediately after my deposit of $500 via Skrill. It's a good security method and I have no complaint against that.

      Stars is a trusted company, why not send in the requested docs if you are a good customer and not a fraud one?

      Anyways, if you want not to send your docs, you can always ask your card bank to cancel the transaction easily. PokerStars do not steal you anything!
    • MrMardyBum
      MrMardyBum
      Bronze
      Joined: 14.03.2009 Posts: 2,235
      Or this is very standard....

      Almost every Poker room requires a security check...
    • VorpalF2F
      VorpalF2F
      Super Moderator
      Super Moderator
      Joined: 02.09.2010 Posts: 9,410
      Hi, bogogota,
      Welcome to PokerStrategy.com!

      Sorry to hear you're having difficulty with PokerStars.
      Please bear in mind that depending on your country of residence, PokerStars actions may be required by law.

      It is common for ALL poker rooms to be absolutely certain of a player's identity. Most do it prior to withdrawal. From time to time, after playing for a while, a player will find he cannot withdraw his winnings due to some violation of the Terms and Conditions. At least, PokerStars is up front about it.

      You don't specify what they required by I have given photocopies of my birth certificate, passport, driver's license, and scans of several utility bills at various times to PokerStars, PartyPoker, Full Tilt, William Hill and Poker770. I've never had problems.

      Now to my advice:
        Send them the documentation they need.
        Patiently await their response
        If you end up talking -- or emailing -- an individual, be calm and reasonable. Remember that this person is the gateway to your money. You want them on your side, and getting angry prevents them being on your side.
        While waiting carefully and thoroughly read their terms and conditions. Do this ALWAYS before signing up with any room in future.
        After the dust settles, enjoy your play on PokerStars -- they are actually one of the best rooms out there for customer service.

      If for some reason PokerStars cannot approve your account, speak to the bank's Visa Customer service department.

      Best of luck,
      --VS
    • bogogota
      bogogota
      Basic
      Joined: 16.09.2014 Posts: 7
      I do not feel comfortable sending in what they asked for. If you do, that is your business, but I do not.

      It is theft when they charges my credit card $600 and refuse to return the money unless I send them documents that I do not feel comfortable sending.

      There is absolutely no reason for them to not refund the money.

      If they think there is something fraudulent, fine return the money.

      What do they stand to lose by returning the money?

      Sorry to disagree, but if you take money that does not belong to you that is theft.

      Why are you so defensive is the real question.
    • thunderbird56
      thunderbird56
      Bronze
      Joined: 02.12.2007 Posts: 2,186
      you don't want to prove your ID. OK, no problem. Ask your bank for the transaction cancellation. Simple. I'm on Stars's side in this case!
    • bogogota
      bogogota
      Basic
      Joined: 16.09.2014 Posts: 7
      Thanks Vorpal for your advice.

      The documents you mentioned are exactly what they asked for. I just don't feel comfortable sending those documents in.

      I just don't understand why they won't return the money and they have offered no explanation as to why not.

      I try to always remain civil with anyone and just merely told them what I would do if they refused to return my money, which is report my experiences on the forums and report them to my country's ministry of finance which has the power to block websites in my counrty, I am just following through on that promise.

      But I do have to say I have never had this problem on other sites, so I have to disagree and say Poker Stars has the worst customer service of any of the sites I have used.

      Thunderbird: it is a huge pain to make a complaint for fraud at the banks in my country, don't get me wrong that is what I am doing, but PS has now tied up my money for at least two months, for me that is a big inconvience, I am merely warning others
    • VorpalF2F
      VorpalF2F
      Super Moderator
      Super Moderator
      Joined: 02.09.2010 Posts: 9,410
      Hi, bogogota,
      A couple of points...

      First off, I'm not "defensive" exactly. I'm just relating my own experience. Bear in mind that you are not unique. PokerStars has required documentation of everyone of their customers at some point.

      The documents I sent were copies. I would never send originals. I'm not sure if I made that clear.

      They may not be permitted to return the money. I don't know all the laws -- or any, really -- in your country, but I *do* know that that if they need clarification of your identity, then they cannot just refund the money.

      They cannot tell you the reason, since doing so would expose their security procedures, thus weakening them.

      Best regards,
      --VS
    • bogogota
      bogogota
      Basic
      Joined: 16.09.2014 Posts: 7
      Sorry Vorpal I was referring to thunderbird as defensive, he seems really offended as if he has some stake in PS, hhmmmm.


      I completely understand what you are saying Vorpal. My point is if I had understood that is may have occurred, then I never would have deposited money with PS. Hence, my fair warning to others like me, so they can make an informed decision.

      As for other sites, all I can say is PS is the only site to have done this to me.
    • VorpalF2F
      VorpalF2F
      Super Moderator
      Super Moderator
      Joined: 02.09.2010 Posts: 9,410
      Oh, OK, I understand now.

      Yes, your warning is quite true -- everyone should always read the terms and conditions of any poker site before depositing.

      Be aware that all poker sites that I have ever dealt with have required documentation of identity. If others have not, then I'm guessing that it is "not yet". Be prepared.

      Best of luck -- I hope it does work out for you.
      --VS
    • pokerprons
      pokerprons
      Bronze
      Joined: 30.09.2009 Posts: 421
      @bogogota

      I actually think they don't need all the information on your documents, so you can probably paint over the important numbers and just send pictures where your name, adress, country and stamps/ holograms are shown. That way you don't give them the essential information that you believe will lead to stealing your identity, but you give them enough to prove who you are.
    • bogogota
      bogogota
      Basic
      Joined: 16.09.2014 Posts: 7
      That is an interesting point Poker, I even thought of it too. Covering the number on my ID, coving the sensetive info on my card statement, covering the exp. date on the card. etc.

      The problem was when I tried to talk to them it went more or less like this:

      What if I.....?

      Send the requested documents.

      How about .....?

      Send the requested documents.

      I don't feel comfortable with....?

      Send the requested documents.

      Sorry but my experience with PS customer service has been horrible. I would not play there if you paid me.
    • pokerprons
      pokerprons
      Bronze
      Joined: 30.09.2009 Posts: 421
      I would still do that. Just send them those documents with covered ID numbers etc and say " Hero you go" And wait for a reply.
    • SokAr85
      SokAr85
      Bronze
      Joined: 08.03.2007 Posts: 59
      I have always found there support to be very good

      The information you are so worried about giving out you already give out all the time. You need the same kind of documents for your drivers license, passport, utilities, phone and Internet etc etc. Its not like your sending them to some shotty company with a few employees hidden away on some remote island, your giving it to one of the biggest companies in the world, so i really wouldn't worry about them stealing your info.

      These steps are actually protecting you, lets say i managed to aquire your credit card info and made an account on poker stars. I could max your card out depositing before you even realized, however thanks to poker stars security, this would not be possible.
    • bogogota
      bogogota
      Basic
      Joined: 16.09.2014 Posts: 7
      Not sure where you are from, but that is definitely not how it works in my country. Here, you never give out that information.

      It is not like I think PS has a side business of stealing IDs, but employees do things, hackers, etc. What about all the people who had their CC info stolen from I think it was Target or Amazon last November.

      With the info they want, you could completely recreate my ID. Maybe it is different for you cause you have SS numbers or whatever. That is not the case here.
    • bogogota
      bogogota
      Basic
      Joined: 16.09.2014 Posts: 7
      I did read the T&C. Here is the section that apparently means if you do not provide sensitive personal information they will refuse to refund your money:

      4.3you will need to provide us with certain personal details about yourself (including details regarding your methods of payment) as well as (for the purposes of using the Service via the Mobile Software) consenting to our use of location-based services (LBS) to detect your geographic location, for the purpose of using the Service. PokerStars will process your personal details in compliance with the data protection laws and regulations of the Isle of Man, all in accordance with and as set out in our Privacy Policy. By the way here is the T&C section that apparently means if you do not provide sensitive personal information they will refuse to refund your money:


      Not even broadly interpreted does this section imply that.
    • biogas
      biogas
      Gold
      Joined: 22.07.2010 Posts: 413
      Sending ID with some info hidden wont work. Tried, failed. I also wanted to give them as little as possible, was writing different stuff, trying to cite the law of UK etc. I ended up sending them driver license copy, as this does not have as much sensitive info as ID card. You can try citing your local law which states that You cannot provide your ID to Stars, and see if they offer any workaround.
    • 4s4s4s
      4s4s4s
      Bronze
      Joined: 12.09.2014 Posts: 225
      Yes,I think Pokerstars is worldwide and got very big security form and reputation from many people. It happened because you tried to deposit a lot of money and they need to check you. Also check all information,is it real, is the money yours and etc.
    • Stu24023
      Stu24023
      Bronze
      Joined: 31.05.2012 Posts: 407
      They are asking for that info as that is what the regulations of the country they operate from require.

      In terms of why they wont refund the money without proof of who you are it is simple to explain but not ideal if you are a normal person! They wont refund as the money is over a certain threshold and as such proof is required as per money laundering laws.

      Big companies have to protect themselves from a few individuals in the world who try to launder money so that it becomes legal and usable. For example an unknown person deposits $600 then transfers via player transfer the money to someone else also not verified. That money is then withdrawn and the credit deemed legal and clean.

      I know it is crap for you but this is why it is done, otherwise lots of criminal types would use these sites to move money around and make it legitimate.

      It is the same for lots of casinos esp in london. You go in dont have to join can put down as much as you want, but try to cash out over a certain amount and boom you have to join and show id.

      In these days we have to be careful about giving out personal information, but sometimes we need to ie to get a phone contract or flights to another country. There comes a time when you need to have faith in what is being done and why even when we dont like it.

      It doesnt help get your money back but i hope explains a bit why they wont give it back to you as they dont want to unknowingly support or do something illegal, regardless of how legitimate you say you are to them.

      If you start to go through banks and government officials your end, at some point they will ask you to prove who you are, how the payment was made etc.

      Financial laws can be painful and i am sorry you feel hard done by. I have had money tied up before and it sucks.

      BTW i do not work for stars or any poker site, i just know a little about some laws.