Groups warn of rise in gambling scams related to the Super Bowl

Fishing hook going through credit cards representing phishing
Image: Shutterstock

Just about everyone agrees this year’s Super Bowl will be the biggest ever for US betting ever…including scammers. According to cybersecurity firm Proofpoint, football-focused scams are up 20% while Super Bowl-related messaging is up over 860%.

Proofpoint looked at numbers reported for spam and junk text messages and noticed a number of scams trying to entice people to enter a Super Bowl squares pool to win an iPad or iPhone. Other messages offered users free bets on Super Bowl contenders. Users who clicked the links included with these texts were directed to malicious sites.

“Sporting events are an attractive target for cybercriminals– they drive wide public interest and have a huge following, giving fraudsters countless opportunities to trick people into clicking on links related to key sports news. Be suspicious of mobile messages from unknown or unexpected sources,” warned Proofpoint’s director of its CloudMark division, Stuart Jones.

Sports fans and bettors are not the only ones under attack these days either.

According to The Hacker News, an Israeli cybersecurity firm, Security Joes, is tracking a cluster of activity related to hacking into sportsbooks.

The way the scam works is the hacker pretends to be a customer having an issue and initiates a chat with a customer service person. The hacker then urges the representative to open a Dropbox-hosted image of what they claim is the problem. Once the representative clicks the link, it essentially deploys malware to gain access to the operator, including passwords and files.

News of hacking attempts on sportsbook customers has been making headlines for a few months, but this is different in that the hackers are going after the operators themselves rather than taking from individual customer accounts.