IN SHORT: Several Facebook pages posing as SportyBet are offering instant bonuses to users. But this is a trap to get your sensitive information.
The accounts use the name and logo of SportyBet, an online betting platform that allows users to place bets on various sporting events.
A typical post found on these accounts reads: “If you have an active account with us and have not been credited with the N30,000 instant Bonus and gift, kindly send a message immediately.”
But are the offers legit? We checked.
Fake Facebook pages
Considering that the Facebook pages are supposed to represent a business serving millions of customers, it seems suspicious that they have few followers and little activity on their timelines.
Africa Check has found SportyBet’s official Facebook page. It has over 200,000 followers and was created on 10 January 2018. It is also verified by Meta.
The company's website provides links to SportyBet's official social media pages, including its verified Facebook page. However, we were unable to find any links to the suspicious Facebook pages.
Risk of identity theft
Africa Check sent a message showing interest in the N30,000 (about US$33) instant bonus. We were sent a link where we were told to “register”.
The registration form asked us for our name and SportyBet details, including account number, password and PIN.
On 30 September 2023, the company warned users not to share their SportyBet account details.
SportBet said: “Your OTP (One-Time Password), PIN, and Password are the keys to your SportyBet account. They should be guarded like treasure. Never share these details with anyone, not even friends or family members. SportyBet will never ask you for these sensitive credentials via email, phone calls, or messages. If someone asks for them, it's a red flag!”
In another post on X (formerly Twitter), the company said that there was no specific pattern or criteria involved in rolling out gifts because they wanted to surprise people.
The company then encouraged users to visit its promotions page to access online promotions.
In another post, the company said it did not have a WhatsApp line: “Please do not reply to the message & help us in preventing scams by reporting the number. All our official communication channels are listed on the App & Website.”
Fact-checking helps protect users’ personal and sensitive information. Providing such details to a suspicious page can lead to identity theft, financial loss, or unauthorised access to your betting accounts.
To help protect yourself against online scams, read our guide to Facebook scams and how to spot them.
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