Columbus man’s money stolen through sports betting app

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Ahead of Super Bowl Sunday, a Columbus man is warning people about the dangers of online sports betting.

Like a lot of central Ohioans, Ricky Compton downloaded and started using a popular sports betting app soon after it was legalized in the Buckeye state in January 2023.

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Compton said he never had an issue with his account, until one day in late December 2023, when he was seemingly hacked.

“After clicking on it, I scrolled through and I saw a charge,” said Compton. “And I’m like, that seems weird. I haven’t bet at all in a while.”

Compton said that charge, from the app, was for $200. As he kept scrolling, though, he saw several more, similar charges.

“$200 to $3,200 to $1,500, all in one day,” Compton said. “And then over the next, I don’t know, probably five or six days, it was a ton of $500s, $200s, $100. Like, there’s probably around 10 transactions or so.”

Those transactions totaled to more than $8,000.

“I’ve never ever put that much money in there like that,” Compton said. “Not even close.”

Compton first reached out to his bank to report the fraud, and was told an investigation would take place. Then, he reached out to the sports betting company through the app, and had a “live chat” with a representative.

“The person had responded with essentially two answers and ended the chat,” said Compton, adding that the representative told him they would get back to him.

After a few days, he did get a response.

“Got an email back where they refunded me $16,” Compton said.

The refund came after Compton said the company acknowledged he was in fact the victim of fraud. Then, communication stopped, and Compton’s bank denied his claim, putting the responsibility of a refund on the sports betting company.

That’s when Better Call 4 got involved. Better Call 4 reached out to the company, and within 30 minutes, got a message from a representative:

“We’re reviewing this with our customer operations team immediately and will revert back to you as soon as we can provide more information on the situation.”

Two days after that, Better Call 4 heard from Compton. The company agreed to refund his account for the full amount of $8,140. While Compton said he’s grateful it worked out for him, he knows that may not be the case for everyone, and offers this advice for anyone planning to put some money down on the big game.

“You know, make sure your passwords are secure, things like that,” said Compton. “And if you notice something at all, you have to reach out to your bank immediately and stop payment. I will never use that app again. Not even… no chance.”

Of course, there is always the possibility of fraudulent activity when using online accounts linked to a bank account. But there are steps one can take to lower the risk of becoming a victim.

Popular sports betting apps, like FanDuel and DraftKings, as well as the Better Business Bureau, all offer advice on ways to protect oneself.

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