BBB warns of March Madness betting scams

WASHINGTON, D.C. — March Madness is about to begin with the first games of the NCAA Tournament tipping off Tuesday. Experts warn it’s an opportunity for scammers to take advantage of your love of the game.


Sports betting has exploded in recent years and scammers are cashing in by fouling you where it hurts -- your wallet.

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The start of the NCAA Tournament means it’s time to come up with a game plan about the potential risks when you place your bets.

“There’s so much gambling that is associated with March Madness,” Melanie McGovern spokesperson for the Better Business Bureau, said. “You want to make sure that when you are downloading an app, read the reviews, check BBB, make sure that the app is legitimate.”

The BBB said its scam tracker is seeing reports from people who accidentally placed bets with websites or apps that end up being scams.

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Your money isn’t the only thing at risk here.

“You really want to check before you enter any kind of information,” McGovern explained. “A lot of these gambling apps will ask for banking information. If you win, you know, you have to deposit the money somewhere.”

So, as you’re filling out those brackets, there are some tips before tipoff.

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“You just really want to make sure that you know which one to deal with,” McGovern. Added. “You want to read the reviews. You want to read the complaints. You want to read how the company handles the complaints. That’s a huge one. You want to see, hey if this customer has a complaint or they’re trying to get money out and there’s a delay, how is the company handling it.”

If a site is promising you money or making any kind of guarantees, remember, nothing about March Madness is a slam dunk. Always read the fine print.

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