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  #1  
Old 11-24-2007, 10:56 AM
whistleblower whistleblower is offline
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Default Beware of UB & Absolute insider phone & email scams

For those of you who won't read anything longer than two sentences:
Beware of scam phone calls and e-mails to Ultimate Bet and Absolute VIP players. There appears to be a security breach by an insider with access to your contact details (at least).

The rest of you: be warned, I'm gonna take my time telling this. Read it or not, as you wish. Just don't complain . . .

I have been - was until very recently - a high stakes player on UB for several years. Up to $300/600, my account balance usually in the mid five-figures. I won't say more than that.

Over two weeks ago I get a call out of the blue from someone claiming to be with UB. I reserve that particular phone for poker site contacts, and on those rare occasions when it rings it's always bad news. Like my account frozen for unwittingly playing someone who prints their own credit cards or wears a Bin Ladin T-shirt or something. So I really hate it when it rings.

This time it's a chirpy young woman who launches into some patter about bonus deposit offers and free tournament entry and so on, all on account of my being a UB VIP. Now I'm confused: a direct marketing call by a poker site - who ever heard of such a thing? Well, she did have the insanely upbeat manner of someone working on commission (or on coke). But no site does that to my knowledge (the phone marketing I mean - dunno about the coke). Anyway my UB account profile clearly says No to "Communications" from them.

This is all still running through my head when she asks: Do you play a lot of tournaments? Do you enter those pretty often? What kind?
Me (stunned): Huh?!
She just goes on and asks: How much do you usually deposit to UB?
Me: (disbelieving): WHAT?!
She expands cheerfully: When you deposit to UB, what amount might that buyin typically be?
Me: Are you ****ing kidding lady? (I think but don't say.)

Finally I understand (I can be slow, and she caught me off guard): it's some kind of scam. But I'm still not 100% sure. And how the hell did they get my name and (poker-specific) phone number? So I coldly tell her that I don't talk about about these things over the phone or with strangers, and if she really is from UB and wants to know anything she can go look it up on my account. Which throws her briefly; but then she's rattling on again about deposit-this and bonus-that and free seats in tournaments. So I interrupt to say that I don't want to receive such phone calls, and if she really does work for UB and has some offer, she can e-mail it.

She immediately names my UB-registered e-mail address: send it there? Um . . . yes. (S**t, how much do these guys know? UB are the only ones I use that particular address for.) And she says sure, she'll send me a mail right away. But meanwhile, if I'll just confirm my account details with her now, she can "guarantee" me the best possible bonus . . .

So the phone call ends pretty quickly after that. I wish I could say I closed with something witty or cutting or even semi-intelligent. But in fact the whole experience really threw me - I was shaken! Sure enough, a while later I get an e-mail to that (UB-specific) address. My anti-virus and phishing filter are all over it: scam mail, delete immediately. So I quickly do that, after noting down some details. Two addresses on her end:

grethel.k@ultimatebet.com
grethel.k@absolutepoker.com

Which is why I also warned about an Absolute scam, even though "Grethel" phoned in the name of UB. Mind you, those two poker sites are now so intimate, it looks like the shotgun marriage can't be far off. It didn't make me feel any more warm or secure to see the name of We-Absolutely-Read-Your-Hole-Cards Poker involved. (I won't touch the place myself.)

First thing I did of course, was start cashing all my money out of UB. Which, with my balance, took over a week. Next thing I did, when my cash was all safe, was tell UB customer services exactly what had happened. In fact I've written them several times since then, during the last ten days, and sent copies to member services and cashier and everyone else there I could think of. But I haven't had a single reply. No, not one!

That's it: end of story. Again, I wish I could say something all pithy and insightful, to wrap it up. But I can only say that it's one thing to read about such scams, and another to actually have one of these people talking to you on your own phone. The horrible feeling in your gut as it dawns on you what's happening, the fear because they already know who you are - and you have no idea how much more they may know or be able to do.

And of course, it's a great comfort that UltimateBet is obviously right on top of it. (Ha!)

Oh, by the way: No, these scammers didn't get my info from any AOL or AIM security breach, or from the contents of e-mails, or from loose talk, or any of those ways I hear about where people's personal information gets compromised. Virtually no one even knows I play poker - I like it that way - and I am extremely careful in every way about security. Which is why this 2+2 post is a one-time use of a temporary ID and I'm sending it from a machine and IP not my own. I'll never post under this name, or to this thread, again. So don't bother asking me anything!

I'm just telling you: this scam had to originate from someone inside UltimateBet. Beware of any "VIP" contacts you may get from them or their good ol' Absolute buddies. Believe it or ignore it, as you wish.

Whistleblower
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  #2  
Old 11-24-2007, 12:04 PM
Niediam Niediam is offline
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Default Re: Beware of UB & Absolute insider phone & email scams

Ummm lots of players here have recieved that call. It's legit.
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  #3  
Old 11-24-2007, 12:05 PM
HiLLDiStRiCt HiLLDiStRiCt is offline
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Default Re: Beware of UB & Absolute insider phone & email scams

Absolute poker and Ultimate bet is the same company basiclly the security for ap handles ub the same way.Of course they are cheating and scamming i feel alot of these sites are dishonest.All these sites are about is rake how much can a player make for us and that will base what cards a player gets.If a site feels u raise alot then u will get the better cards
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  #4  
Old 11-24-2007, 12:37 PM
Marlow Marlow is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: going deep into the tank...
Posts: 980
Default received the following UB email scam today

Jesus, that's scary.

I haven't played at either UB or Absolute in over a year, but I just got the following email today. FWIW, I'm a pretty casual mid-stakes player.

email came from memberservices@ultimatebet.com

*********************************

Dear xxxxx,

Thanks for contacting us!

We take the security of your personal details and password very seriously. Please note that your password is encrypted in our database and we are unable to retrieve and provide you with the information requested.

We have on file the password hint you provided us at the time of registration. [what you read]. If this hint assists you in remembering, please try to enter your password (remember - they are case-sensitive) in the appropriate field when you try to log into the software.

If your password hint didn't assist you in remembering your password, please click on the link below. You will be directed to a page where you can change your password safely and securely. If the link below is not clickable, you may need to cut-and-paste the URL into the address bar of your web browser.

https://game.ultimatebet.com/verify_chng...36cfba83fe90a3d

See you at the tables,
Customer Support.
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  #5  
Old 11-24-2007, 12:44 PM
Carnite Carnite is offline
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Location: New Zealand
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Default Re: Beware of UB & Absolute insider phone & email scams

[ QUOTE ]
Ummm lots of players here have recieved that call. It's legit.

[/ QUOTE ]

Ditto. I wrote to UB support quoting the email and got a reply within 24 hours telling me it was completely legit. That was right in the final part of the AP scandal though, and the relationship between AP and UB didn't make me thrilled enough to rush out and put $2.5K on UB.
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  #6  
Old 11-24-2007, 01:09 PM
Marlow Marlow is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: going deep into the tank...
Posts: 980
Default Re: received the following UB email scam today

I should add here that I never contacted UB for or about anything over the last 12 months.
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  #7  
Old 11-28-2007, 05:20 PM
beanie beanie is offline
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Posts: 517
Default Re: received the following UB email scam today

I got the call too. Let me do some checking.

I am hearing the call is legit but I have some contacts at UB, let me see if I can get official confirmation.
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  #8  
Old 11-28-2007, 05:35 PM
Abbaddabba Abbaddabba is offline
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Posts: 827
Default Re: received the following UB email scam today

i have received a call with respect to reloads before. it was legit. i think they tend to give these out for people who have in the past played a lot, but have stopped playing.

last time i got a phone call from AP support out of the blue, it was them giving me an aruba main event package for being a high volume player. that was also legit.
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  #9  
Old 11-29-2007, 06:47 AM
xxSTWxx xxSTWxx is offline
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Location: England
Posts: 83
Default Re: received the following UB email scam today

yeah its legit, I've had this like 4 times. Just deposit, play a few hundred hands, play the free tourney, then withdraw the free money they gave you.

Never had any problems and cashed for $1800 in one of the tourneys as well [img]/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]
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  #10  
Old 11-29-2007, 01:02 PM
Alex Scott Alex Scott is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Isle of Man
Posts: 64
Default Re: received the following UB email scam today

I've had similar phone calls from UltimateBet and other poker sites, usually to try to get me to come back and play there (I play on pretty much one site only these days).

They're a little annoying but I didn't think they were a security concern, as they never asked for any private information whatsoever. Sounds like the woman who called you was just a little green and didn't think about why her questions might concern you.
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