Online betting is awesome. You get to sit at home, in your comfy slippers, watching TV and relaxing. At the same time, you can have your laptop on your knee, and be online, betting on your favourite sports teams.
Since online betting was made secure thanks to advanced cryptographic techniques, now everyone can enjoy safe betting online. Before, online betting was a bit of a minefield - you couldn't be sure which websites were secure and which weren't, so you just had to place your bet and hope no-one managed to sneak a look at your credit card along the way.
So, although online betting is now extremely safe, there are still a few pit-falls than can catch out new or unsuspecting bettors.
Online Betting Scam #1 - Fake sites
Some websites which claim to be official bookmakers are actually little more than a guy sat in his basement, gleefully robbing his "customers" blind. When you enter your credit card information, the website will email it to the attacker who will either use the card online to make fraudulent transactions (maybe even betting online at real websites!), or create a fake credit card, copy the details on and use it to withdraw money.
To avoid fake websites when you're betting online, do a search on Google or another search engine for the website name. Usually, fakes get spotted straight away. If there's lots of results with people talking about how fake and scammy the site is, don't use it!
Online Betting Scam #2 - Bad security
Some online betting websites are real, but don't have good security. You can check out how touch their protection is by looking at their "About" pages or "Company" pages, or even just on the home page. It will say somewhere about how they keep their customers safe, and if it doesn't, don't use them.
Most high street betting companies put the time and effort into proper security, so stick with brands which you recognise, and you'll be OK.
Online Betting Scam #3 - Wrong odds
This is a cheeky one. Here, the scammer will set up a website offering you seemingly amazing odds for your online bets. When you place the bet, he'll either just keep the money, or he'll pass the bet on to a real online betting website at much lower odds, and pocket the difference.
To avoid these scam, only place online bets directly with the bookmakers website, not through third parties.
Online Betting Scam #4 - Bad advice!
Finally, the last common pitfall for new online bettors - bad advice! Betting online can seem a bit overwhelming at first - there's so many different types of bet, types of game, places to bet, odds, amounts... And unfortunately, there's a lot of people charging a lot of money for some terrible advice.
If you're going to start betting online, or you want to improve your online betting skills, sports betting is amongst the simplest type of betting to get into. There's plenty of free and paid advice, most of which is excellent.