Transaction masking

EkJR

Non-Gambler
MM
Joined
Feb 3, 2018
Location
Glasgow
Has anyone seen this before? Looks like non-UK casinos - dodgy or otherwise - use some weird third party payment processor for debit/credit card transactions in a lot of cases.

Example, UK player deposits on 123Offshorecasino by debit card. Transaction comes off with name of alleged retail company such as EnygmaShoes or similar. From what I read now there is a term for this - transaction Masking. Looks like the payments are not being coded correctly(I suspect it can't be coded correctly if non-UK) and is instead being coded under a retail merchant code by Visa/Mastercard. Has anyone experienced this before? There is a huge thread on it within another casino forum. Looks like it covers most of the ones in the Rogue section on here as well as I think they also use the same process.

Is this legal? Against money laundering regulations? I couldn't quite work it out but asking on here as sure someone would know.
 
This came up recently in another thread - Curaçao casinos changing merchant codes (and the older comments linked by Guntis in that thread are highly recommended).

A large number of Curacao casinos switched to crypto-only because of the hassle of using the card-based payment networks - the transactions are a blatant violation of the merchant terms and conditions, and it's only a matter of time before the account is closed.

Since an unregulated operator cannot meet the conditions for any of the Merchant Category Codes (MCCs) related to gambling, they have to submit fraudulent transactions to evade the checks and balances in place. Unfortunately this has a nasty side effect because anyone that utilises MCC-blocking at their bank may still receive masked transactions - which the fraudsters will happily exploit for their benefit.

It's been going on for a long time, it's a breach of the terms and conditions of the payment provider (which is why the company names get increasingly esoteric - because they will keep losing access when VISA or Mastercard realise that company is committing fraud), and seems to meet the definition of payment fraud (and thus strays into money laundering territory).

It's a tricky one for the payment providers because they want to provide ease of access to their (commercial) products, but similarly fraudsters will exploit that ease of access for money laundering purposes. The problem is further complicated when systems like 3DSecure are designed to increase security and thus protect the merchant from bogus chargebacks.
 
Some of the entries were crazy. 100 Euro deposits showing on bank statements as MyDates.com...Nigerian Tech companies etc. Why do they continue to do it if it is against T&Cs of Visa/Mastercard? Is it just that it is so profitable for them?
 
I think that they can't get any legally operating financial company that will process GBP payments to their payments provider. Plus, they mask it so that they can accept debit/credit card payments from players in countries where their gambling commissions ban or monitor it strictly.

I've seen even a crypto casino that offers bank transfers, but to Monica (likely a Polish name), and then she, it, or he tops-up the player account, lol
 
I think that they can't get any legally operating financial company that will process GBP payments to their payments provider. Plus, they mask it so that they can accept debit/credit card payments from players in countries where their gambling commissions ban or monitor it strictly.

I've seen even a crypto casino that offers bank transfers, but to Monica (likely a Polish name), and then she, it, or he tops-up the player account, lol
I did see one casino site(the one with the numbers, if you know you know!) which has a third party you pay with a debit card and they give you crypto deposited straight into your wallet.
 
The following graphic might give you some insight, they quote 130m "merchant locations" as of April 2024 -
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Any operator based in the UK will be an easy target for the UKGC and/or the FCA, so they will focus on other jurisdictions where they can fly under the radar.

Given the number of merchants, VISA (or Mastercard) are likely to be reactive rather than proactive, and until the alarm bells ring they probably won't have a reason to investigate. Furthermore, if the merchant jumps through the necessary security hoops (e.g. 3DSecure), then there is fewer limitations on the merchant regarding chargebacks - so when the penny finally drops, that money is long gone and the bank is on the hook instead. Rinse and repeat...


Putting this into the context of some of the recent threads - those customers have likely completed a OTP (one time password) check given the higher risk of fraud, which should disclose the name of the merchant (i.e. not the casino) and the amount to be charged.

At that point ignorance isn't an excuse because they've been shown the details and complied. It's only when the scam unravels they cry foul - and expect the bank to make good even though as far as the bank is concerned the customer willingly agreed to the transaction. It's also why banks tightened up considerably given they are now on the hook rather than the merchant.
 
I did see one casino site(the one with the numbers, if you know you know!) which has a third party you pay with a debit card and they give you crypto deposited straight into your wallet.
That with the little crocodile did a similar thing when they just started accepting fiat from countries besides Asia. This is where i noticed that Monica, lol. I don't know whether it still there now.

However, overall it just players like us for who such things look weird and mainly unacceptable - a day ago i was reading one affiliates blog on Telegram that there is a YT channel with 500k subscribers + a Telegram channel where players from countries where gambling is entirely banned or where they have payment problems, make sports bets for a small fee. This to me was like Wow.
 

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