How to Avoid Being Scammed During Fantasy Football Season

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) – The NFL season officially kicked off Thursday night and with a new season comes avid fans glued to their phones choosing the best fantasy football team.

However, with excited and vulnerable fans ready for the new season, scammers are starting to target those players. There are a few things to keep in mind when signing up for sports betting that can deter scammers.

“Most importantly, this is a legitimate fantasy football league,” said Julie Wheeler, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Western Virginia.

Wheeler said to start with ESPN. He has a list of legitimate betting opportunities on his site.

“You have to be careful if you get a link in an email or something on social media that says, ‘Hey, be a part of my fantasy football league.’ You want to deal with people you know in these leagues and you want to make sure you’re dealing with the sites that are operating legitimately,” Wheeler said.

She said the start of the football season and March Madness are the two biggest times scammers take on sports bettors.

“When you download an app, make sure you download it from the app store and when you look at the app store, look for reviews of that app,” Wheeler said.

She said the app at the top may not always be the one you want because those companies pay for the top app.

“I may only be out a letter or two in the name,” Wheeler said. “You want to find the number of downloads, the number of comments, and the reviews.”

Wheeler said it’s best to read the terms of service before signing up because even legitimate websites can have clauses allowing them to withhold money.

“You want to know how your personal information is going to be used and you want to make sure your money is properly secured or your payment method is properly secured,” Wheeler said.

She said it’s best to do your own research, not only when it comes to which app or website to bet on, but also what teams and players you choose.

“There’s a lot of people out there saying they’re handicappers and they’re going to sell you inside information, you know if it’s for fantasy or some other type of bet and they don’t get paid because they don’t have inside information and they’re just trying to get their money.” Wheeler said.

Wheeler said many of these sites make money by offering you a free trial and then charging your card after the trial is over.

“Know who you’re dealing with, make sure it’s legitimate, again make sure first of all that it’s legal to do it and that you’re working with a site that’s properly registered,” Wheeler said.

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