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Nigerians, beware of scam Facebook account impersonating betting platform SportyBet and offering fake bonuses

IN SHORT: A Facebook page impersonating a popular sports betting platform is offering bonuses of N30,000. But the company says it doesn’t offer such bonuses.

“If you have a Sportybet account that have been active, there's a 30,000 NGN bonus for you and of course it's free. To Claim yours kindly send us a message now. Thanks for choosing sportybet,” reads a 7 June 2023 post on Facebook.

The account uses the name and logo of SportyBet, a popular betting platform in Nigeria. The platform allows users to fund their accounts, predict match results and place wagers with the hope of making money.

The post features a photo of Kanu Nwankwo, a former Super Eagles and Arsenal football player. The retired footballer signed a 10-year ambassadorship contract with SportyBet in 2016.

The post has attracted over 200 comments. Similar posts can be found here, here, here, here, here and here.

But is SportyBet offering N30,000 bonuses? We checked.


Signs of a scam

The suspicious page is named “Sporty gift”, not SportyBet, although the platform has a Facebook page verified by Meta called SportyBet

The official account has over 28,000 followers, but the look-a-like only 11. 

SportyBet operates in different countries in Africa and has different Facebook accounts for each country. The one for Nigeria is SportyBet Nigeria, which has over 150,000 followers.

Sports betting companies are regulated by the National Lottery Regulatory Commission and SportyBet is on the list of approved sports betting permit holders in Nigeria. 

The suspicious page asks users to send a private message in order to claim their bonuses, a method often used by scammers to steal personal information or money.

SportyBet gifts and bonuses

SportyBet does sometimes offer gifts and bonuses to its customers, but they are not as easily won as the post suggests. 

On Twitter, SportyBet said customers might receive a bonus if they won a multi-bet with two or more qualifying selections.

The betting platform has also tweeted that customers could participate in social media campaigns to win gifts and bonuses. 

We asked SportyBet Nigeria about the messages circulating on Facebook. A representative told us: "Please note that there is no such bonus offered by SportyBet."

The rep also said any bonuses would be advertised on the company’s promotions page.

Africa Check has previously investigated similar false schemes here.

To help protect yourself against online scams, read our guide to Facebook scams and how to spot them.

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