First of all, you should not be scared, the steps I recommend are easy and choosing a safe online casino takes only a few minutes. Even if it would take longer, think like this: the time you invest in searching will come back in money you win by playing in the chosen online casino.
First you should take a good look on the homepage of the casino. Is it well designed? Is it welcoming? The land based casinos want to impose with their buildings; online casinos want to impose with their websites. So, if the website does not look good, it might mean that the casino is a scam, and scams usually can not afford a good web designer.
You should also check what happens to your winnings if you get disconnected in the middle of the game. Serious casinos can restore your game to the exact same point where you left it, without losing any money. This might be an important matter, if you did not test customer support, you can ask them this question.
After checking all this, you might want to check who made the software the casino is using. If you find a well known name, like Microgaming, you chose well. Do not be scared if you find an unknown name, but the casino is audited by a third party. This means that you are in the right place. If your casino is not audited by a third party, it is not a problem, since auditing is not mandatory, casinos choose themselves if they want to be audited or not.
As a last check, you should read a few customer testimonials from the casino's homepage, and check a gambling forum. Gambling forums might be slightly better than customer testimonials, since the forums are not moderated by casino employees, and they can give more accurate information.
This is all you have to do in order to find a safe online casino. Compared to the money you can save by not joining a scam these few minutes seem nothing. If you want to save some time, continue reading, because I will list a few safe casinos.
Now, as I promised, here is a short list of safe online casinos: Prime Casino, Casino Las Vegas, Casino King, 50 Stars Casino, Swiss Casino, Magic Box Casino, New Casino, Best Bonus Casino, and Gambling Casino. What things these casinos share? These casinos all offer good quality games, they are all audited by a third party: eCOGRA and other auditing companies. They all offer 24/7 customer support, some of them even have a toll-free number and they offer many types of bonuses. All in all, these casinos I listed are all safe; they are customer oriented, so you can join them without any reservations. If you do not like these casinos, you can find another website, which lists safe online casinos. These lists are made by grouping the online casinos by software type, by auditing companies or they might be grouped by various other characteristics.
It is not hard to find a safe online casino, you just have to know what to look for and what to avoid. Choose wisely, otherwise the casino will close down and disappear with your money! Once you have found the perfect online casino for you, you can gamble in safety, they will not trick you in any way. Good luck in finding the perfect casino and good luck playing!