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Sports Betting Scams

By Scam Awareness | July 13, 2019

Sports betting in the U.S. has been legal in all 50 states since 2018. With a long history of scams (the biggest involving the Cincinnati Reds and Chicago White Sox during the 1919 World Series), betting on sports attracts deep pockets-along with adept hustlers.

Computer prediction software is a common scheme. Promising accurate predictions based on weather, players and historical trends-plus odds from bookmakers and insider info-scam artists guarantee low risk and high returns. They ask for a large, one-time payment for the software (which underperforms) and may also get your personal information through malware or simply by asking.   Scammers might convince you to become a member of a betting syndicate by making a large contribution to a betting account. Others promote sports-related "investments" online, at trade shows and through unsolicited emails or phone calls, using vague technical terms like "sports trading", "sports wagering" or "sports arbitrage".   Look for red flags such as:

  • Pressure to pay
  • Requests for a large, one-time payment
  • Promises for large returns
  • Requests for personal information
  • Payment can only be accepted by wire transfers, prepaid cards or cryptocurrencies

When making a bet, make sure it is legitimate and research state restrictions. Find out as much as possible before getting fiscally involved and never give money if you're hesitant. Report fraud to the FTC.

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