March Madness is here and so are the schemes

Reporter: Andryanna Sheppard
Published: Updated:

From sports betting to game tickets, fraudsters are using their schemes to steal all of your excitement, money and financial information.

Sports betting schemes

The Better Business Bureau advises before you place any bets on an app or website, make sure you aren’t sending your money to a con artist. The BBB said one common sports betting scheme is you try to cash out your earnings after you placed a bet on what you thought was a trustworthy online service, but you can’t. The con artists then make up excuses like technical issues or that they need more identity verification. In some cases, they might make you deposit more money before you withdraw! Now any information (and money) you’ve shared is in the fraudster’s hands.

Here are some steps you can take to protect your money and identity:

  • Use a trusted, approved app or website. If you find one you think is trustworthy, look it up with the words “scam” or “complaint”
  • Ignore any gambling-related email spams, texts or pop-up ads
  • Read the fine print on incentives or bonuses
  • Read the terms of service. The BBB said even legitimate sports betting sites can freeze your winnings.
Credit: via WINK News.

Ticket schemes

If you’re trying to see one of those March Madness games in person, there is only one official ticket exchange website.

Consumer Affairs said fraudsters are posting all over social media claiming they have tickets for sale. They’re also scouring the comments to message anyone bummed they don’t have tickets in order to give them an “offer.”

If someone reaches out to you and asks that you pay through a peer-to-peer app, don’t do it. Only pay with a credit card for your protection and only use the NCAA’s official ticket exchange website.

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