Betting sites urge caution after fraudulent activity
- Joined ESPN in 2014
- Journalist covering gambling industry since 2008
Online sports betting operators on Monday were encouraging customers to take steps to protect their accounts, after multiple companies saw fraudulent activity in recent weeks.
DraftKings said Monday that a “small number” of betting accounts were accessed by unauthorized users, leading to approximately $300,000 in customer funds being withdrawn in an attack the company believes was caused by login information being stolen from third-party sites.
Sports betting media site The Action Network reported that at least one customer was locked out of their DraftKings account Sunday and had money withdrawn from the bank account that was used to make deposits with the sportsbook.
“DraftKings is aware that some customers are experiencing irregular activity with their accounts. We currently believe that the login information of these customers was compromised on other websites and then used to access their DraftKings accounts where they used the same login information,” Paul Liberman, DraftKings co-founder, said in a statement. “We have seen no evidence that DraftKings’ systems were breached to obtain this information. We have identified less than $300,000 of customer funds that were affected, and we intend to make whole any customer that was impacted.
“We strongly encourage customers to use unique passwords for DraftKings and all other sites, and we strongly recommend that customers do not share their passwords with anyone, including third party sites for the purposes of tracking betting information on DraftKings and other betting apps.”
Ryan Butler, a journalist who covers the game industry, wrote on Twitter on Monday that his DraftKings account was hacked and that FanDuel emailed him that there was an attempt to gain access to his FanDuel account.
FanDuel reported increased activity from unauthorized actors attempting to gain access to accounts, but “thus far customers have not been impacted,” a company spokesperson said Monday afternoon. Caesars Sportsbook also said Monday that it had not been impacted.
The unauthorized access at DraftKings came just weeks after multiple professional poker players reported having unauthorized betting accounts being set up in their names with BetMGM and used to withdraw money from personal checking accounts. Todd Witteles, a well-known poker pro from California, said someone set up a sports betting account with his name in late October in West Virginia, deposited $10,000 out of his checking account to the sports betting account and withdrew $7,500 to a Venmo debit card on the same day. Witteles estimates upwards of 50 poker players experienced a similar issue at BetMGM that mostly occurred in late October and early November. BetMGM said it is actively investigating the situation.
“The security of our patrons’ accounts is of the utmost importance to us,” a BetMGM spokesperson said in a statement to ESPN on Friday. “We encourage any impacted patrons to contact our customer service department directly.”
It is not known whether the incidents at DraftKings and BetMGM are connected.
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