Basketball fans experience scam through text messages during March Madness craze

March Madness.PNG
Posted at 6:02 PM, Mar 15, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-15 20:03:14-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — March Madness is a time for basketball lovers to watch the big screen.

“I heard on the radio. You have a better chance to win a lotto ticket than winning the March Madness bracket,” Lirone Speaks said. 

Speaks and his friends have been talking about the craze of March Madness. He likes to join different brackets. 

“When you are doing brackets, you want to make sure you trust the website," Speaks said. "You want to make sure it doesn’t have any other advertisements that look fishy. That’s when it’s more likely to be a scam."

It's during this time fraud mitigation experts warn sports fans about the types of scams happening. 

Chris Drake, the senior vice president of iconectiv, told Action 10 News scammers are using text as a vehicle for fraud because people are more likely to see texts than any other form of communication.

“They’re recycling things they’ve used on different topics," Drake said. "There may be prizes or promotions that will bring you great fortune. There could be choice tickets that are hard to come by. This is false for the most part.”  

Despite that, Drake said 97% of people will take a moment to look at a text, even if they don't know who sent it. That’s when things turn ugly. 

“Never download a file because they’re going to install malware to infect your device. They’ll start key logging so they can steal your accounts and your identity,” Drake said. 

But there are ways to protect yourself from March Madness scams. 

“Freeze your credit and that will protect you from March Madness scams and back up your phone,” Drake said.

Iconectiv has other ways to avoid being scammed. 

If you experience a scam you can report that to local police or to the Federal Trade Commission.