Monday January 26,2015 : THIRD PARTY CHAT WHILST PLAYING POKER CAN BE HAZARDOUS
Fake Russian contact a wake-up call for online tournament players.
A fake Skype call during an online tournament from a Russian source pretending to be a regional manager for Pokerstars may be a cautionary warning to players, according to comments on the twoplustwo forum over the weekend.
Player JW, who uses the same internet handle for online poker and other activities, was playing on the final table of a Pokerstars Turbo Championship of Online Poker and using Skype simultaneously when he received a call from a Russian address professing to be a Pokerstars regional manager.
In what seemed to be an attempt to extract the player's email address, the faux manager told him that a suspicious attempt to access his account from Germany had been made.
A Pokerstars rep later posted in the thread, confirming that none of this was true, and that in any case Pokerstars managers have the ability to directly contact a player through the client software if they encounter any problems.
Fortunately the player in this incident was too smart to be fooled, and the would-be scammer signed off after trying to pass his actions off as a joke.
But, as contributors to the thread observed, there is perhaps a lesson for online tournament players here: use a unique handle when playing poker and don't use extraneous third party communication channels whilst playing – stick to the facilities provided by the operator.
JW had won some money for a fourth place and could have been vulnerable, but as some posters pointed out it may have been an attempt to link his user name and email with other information in order to launch a fraudulent attack at some future point.