Many players that deposited by debit card or credit card onto Merge Gaming have been reporting suspicious charges on their bank statements. These players deposited onto Lock Poker, Carbon Poker, and other Merge Gaming skins. While Lock Poker has their own cashier, players could also use the Merge Gaming cashier shared by other skins. Lock Poker has since left Merge Gaming to form the Revolution Gaming Network, which includes former Cake Network skins Cake Poker and Intertops.
Players first discovered this fraud by finding a small amount charged to their bank card, presumably to make sure the account was open. These charges would typically be for $1 or less. Once the fraudster confirmed the account was valid, they would then make bigger purchases. Some players reported large gift card purchases, while others reported online cell phone purchases. Reported fraud charges have been as high as $1500.
If you have ever used your credit or debit card on Merge Gaming, you should check your bank account to make sure that you are not a victim of fraud. If you are a fraud victim, you need to contact your bank immediately. In most cases, the fraud victim will not be liable for any of the charges.
It is best to have a separate bank account just for online poker. Either buy a prepaid credit card, or set up a bank account just for online poker deposits. Only keep the required minimum in any bank account associated with online poker to prevent this fraud from happening to you.
Many players reporting this fraud did keep a separate bank account just for Merge Gaming deposits. This made it easy to identify the source of the fraud. It seems very likely some player banking information was compromised by Merge Gaming, one of their processors, or employees.