If you have been affected by this, or know anybody that has, please get them to contact us as we want to put an end to this scam. Send us as much information as you have.
1st warning sign – Unsolicited contact
You will have no doubt become familiar with online scams and phone text ‘phishing’ messages. Basically messages designed to dupe you into parting with your username, password, access to key services or sometimes your cash.
Usually, these are easy to spot and the best advice is to not reply to any of them. Not even ‘STOP’ will work. Once they know they have an active number or email account you will be upgraded to a primary target. The incoming emails and texts will then be relentless.
Recently, websites related to Betfair have become targets for these scams. Somehow these people are finding the mobile telephone numbers of people who have made some kind of contact with a Betfair or betting related website. They will then send a text message along the lines of:
2nd warning sign – Unrealistic claims
‘BETFAIR TRADERS. Earn RISK FREE profit on your online account daily using our team of specialist traders. For more info on the FREE TRIAL text back (YOUR NAME)’
Firstly, there is no such thing as RISK FREE profit. So your scam antennae should be quivering. Secondly, if people were able to trade profitably, they would do so with their own money not somebody else’s. Read the blog for more information.
However, it seems that quite a few people have innocently replied these texts to express an interest, please don’t. This will result in a phone call from a very nice chap who will try and sign you up. He tells you he is from a reputable company and will direct you to a legitimate looking website. The issue here is that the web site has nothing at all to do with the scam, it’s a trick. We know of several Betfair related websites and blogs are being used as proof that they are legitimate. It tends to be the well presented and respected sites that are targeted. The scam artists are simply using the website as cover. If you get an unsolicited approach by somebody, you should contact that website immediately to query the contact.
3rd warning sign – Asking you for personal information (and money)
The scam artist will use the web site to convince you do deposit some money in your Betfair account, give them your Betfair login details, including password and during the day he will trade your account.
If you get this far you need to be aware of what this entails:
1 – A complete stranger now has access to your Betfair account.
2 – Your Betfair account is presumably linked to your bank account.
3 – A complete stranger can, not only empty your Betfair account, but could also access your bank account details.
At the end of day one, when you eagerly log in to see how much profit your new trading buddy has made on your account you will be greeted with a zero or close to zero balance. What they have probably done is place your entire balance in one market on one bet and using the magic of the exchange system put an opposing bet on their personal account. In effect, simply transferring the funds to themselves. If the bet wins they can legitimately claim more funds from you until such time as the bet looses, when your account balance shrinks to zero, they win.
When you try and contact the nice chap he has mysteriously disappeared along with your money. When you approach the legitimate looking website they will tell you they have no idea what you are talking about.
And at this point the penny probably drops. You’ve been had.
The key advice is:
- NEVER share your Betfair password with anyone
- NEVER reply to unsolicited emails or text messages
If you do get stung then you need to change your password straight away. Inform Betfair and the police and the innocent website owner who had been used. Check your Betfair ‘my security’ area as this will record the IP address of anyone who logs into your account. This could be useful for the police in tracking down these criminals.
But it is likely you will never see your money again. And the fact that you gave your password to a complete stranger will win you little sympathy with the exchange.
I’m pretty sure given enough information Betfair must be able to link the activity of the scam artists, but up to this point there doesn’t seem to have been much effort made. If anybody reads this and has been affected, feel free to get in contact. If I can establish a pattern, I’m happy to try and champion the cause for those who have been affected.
But the basic message here, is don’t get caught in the first place.