Online poker scandals of the past decade: Poker Forum Scams part 1

  • Comments: (0)
  • Published August 13th, 2010 in Poker

Money attracts greed, and while the vast majority of poker players are trustworthy individuals there is a small subset of people who would like nothing more than to take advantage of an all too trusting individual, whether it’s for $20 or $20,000. In this installment I’ll look at a common online poker forum scam many people have attempted, but few have put in the time and effort of our case study: Nick L. Gaskin.  It truly amazes me the lengths people will go to steal a few thousand dollars.

The Crime

The scam employed was a very basic one, but one that takes some form of reputation in the poker world to pull off. Basically, the scammer photoshop’s their poker account to make it appear as if they have more money/more FPP’s than they really do. The scammer then offers to purchase high-end items from the online poker site’s store in exchange for cash. Obviously, few people are going to ship someone $700 or more on their word, so the scammer must have some type of credibility.

The Setup

Nick Gaskin, who used the handle ngaskin at online poker forums, probably spent more time and effort building up a false persona on the Internet than anyone I have ever seen. Ngaskin arrived at a few of the major poker forums in 2008, and quickly set about being a prolific poster, and absolutely incredible at slinging the BS, as myself and a few other posters at one forum were quick to realize. My contact with Nick on the poker forums was minimal, since I never cared for, or believed, his over the top posts and comments, and I went so far as to question the veracity of one such claim [click here to read the thread] and was 99% certain it was a lie based on his answers to my questions.

Unfortunately, not every member of the online poker forum community was as quick to smell something rotten in Denmark with Nick’s posts.

With numerous “doctored” screenshots of bank-accounts, poker accounts, as well as a number of “brag” posts about big wins, Nick started building his reputation as a mid-stakes poker pro. Nick also created a nice back-story for himself: he was a top amateur golfer in Australia; he owned several properties including a multi-million dollar penthouse style apartment; and he was a something of a jet-setting Playboy travelling the globe and playing in poker tournaments.

The Execution

After the fact, people realized that the FPP scam was a backup plan, and Nick had bigger targets in mind when he started his Internet persona. There was a point where Nick came on the Internet forums stating that his accounts had been hacked, so if anyone had asked for money it wasn’t really him that was asking (which of course it turns out it was). Unfortunately, a straight up money transfer is often denied by most poker players, so Nick needed to quickly clean up his mess by clearing his name -which the hacking excuse did.

There are also a number of threads where Nick tried to execute a few 4-figure transfers, sold action in the Aussie Millions and more.

So, after a year and a half of lying, pulling off a small scam here and there -one player staked him some money in the Aussie Million poker tournament, and who knows how many others were bilked of a few hundred dollars or more-and building up his false identity, Nick realized that his master plan wasn’t going to happen, and settled on a few thousand dollars instead.

The title of the thread has changed, but this is the how it went down on the 2+2 Poker Forums [click here to read the thread]. Nick claimed to have 1.1 million FPP’s that he would sell for $3.50 per 1000 points (a total of $3,850). For complete details on what was actually stolen and how he was caught I highly suggest reading the thread, it will also give you an idea of the lengths this man went through to steal $3,850!

The Fallout

Unfortunately it’s unlikely the players who lost money will ever be compensated, but the ngaskin saga actually ends pretty well for the good guys. Reputation completely ruined -the first result of a Google search for Nick Gaskin brings up the Nick L. Gaskin is a scammer thread on 2+2–Nick was eventually brought up on charges in the UK -where he had relocated to-and later fled back to Australia; after missing his court date a bench warrant was served for his arrest. With a warrant out for his arrest, Nick Gaskin will constantly be looking over his shoulder and worrying about prosecution… Oh, and of course the possibility of someone he scammed spotting him!

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google
  • Posted in: Poker
  • Comments: 0

What do you think? Join the discussion...

Community Poll


Recent Readers