BBB: What you need to know about sports betting scams
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - It’s a big day in the world of college football as Georgia and TCU play Monday, Jan. 9 for the national championship.
After that, there are many other important games like the Superbowl and March Madness. Now that sports betting has been legal in Louisiana for a year, it’s opened up a door for scammers.
Carmen Million, President, and CEO of the South Central Louisiana Better Business Bureau said as people are placing bets, everything seems normal. But as soon as you try to cash out your winnings, you find you can’t withdraw a cent. Scammers will make up various excuses. For example, they may claim technical issues or insist on additional identity verification. In other cases, they may require you to deposit even more money before you can withdraw your winnings. Whatever you do, you’ll never be able to get your money off the site. And any personal information you shared is now in the hands of scam artists.
How to avoid sports betting scams:
- Look for an established, approved service. Look for “white-listed” sports books that have been approved by your area’s gaming commission. In the United States, ESPN has a list of where sports betting is legal.
- Don’t fall for tempting ads. Ignore gambling-related pop-up ads, email spam, or text messages.
- Read the fine print on incentives. Gambling sites and apps often offer incentives or bonuses to new users and around major games. But like any sales pitch, these can be deceptive. Be sure to read the fine print carefully.
- Even legitimate sports betting sites have the right to freeze your winnings. Gambling companies can restrict users’ activity for “seeming to have an ‘unfair advantage’ or ‘irregular playing patterns,’” reports Lifehacker. Be sure to check the terms of service.
For more information
Check out BBB’s tips for spotting a lookalike websiteand downloading apps. Visit BBB.org/ScamTips to stay alert to new and commonly used scam tactics.
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