8 Simple Strategies to Protect Your Identity at a Sportsbook
Every year, over 16 million Americans fall victim to identity theft. Identity theft often occurs on the internet and can happen anywhere payment information is exchanged with an online merchant. Of course, this includes online sportsbooks.
If you’re using a trusted sportsbook, you shouldn’t worry, but fraudsters have a ton of other methods to steal your identity. Protecting your identity online is actually quite simple, and can be accomplished with some easy to follow strategies. Read on to keep your identity safe when betting online!
What Exactly Does Identity Theft Mean?
At its core, online identity theft is no different than when someone steals your wallet. The only distinction is that, with online identity theft, thieves acquire your financial information using online means.
Most frequently, thieves use spyware to access either your desktop or mobile phone. Spyware runs without detection, so in all likelihood, you wouldn’t even know that your device was infected. Using spyware, identity thieves can monitor your every move, watching and recording every keystroke you make. With this data, they can easily access your most sensitive accounts, (and thus all of your financial information).
Additionally, if the merchant you use – like an online sportsbook – is infected with spyware, thieves can access your information. Protecting yourself from spyware, however, is a lot easier than you might imagine.
Everything You Should Know About Keeping Your Identity Safe
If you’ve ever bet at online sportsbooks before, you know that when you withdraw, you’ll undoubtedly have to reveal some sensitive personal and financial information to your sportsbooks. Further, if you choose to deposit via traditional banking or with a credit card, you’ll have to disclose vulnerable details during both deposit and withdrawals.
Just follow our eight simple steps to safeguard your identity.
1. Never Use An Untrustworthy Sportsbook
This might seem obvious, but it’s worth mentioning. As we said in our guide to spotting fraudulent and untrustworthy sportsbooks, sportsbooks can entice bettors by offering too-good-to-be-true lines, as well as wildly unrealistic bonuses.
Don’t fall for scammers’ easy-to-spot traps. There’s a good chance they’ll not only make off with your money but your personal identity details as well.
2. Don’t Share Your Online Sportsbook Information With Anyone
This one is easy. Under no circumstances do we recommend you sharing your sportsbook login information with anyone. Friends, officemates, family, you name it: This is still one of the most common ways that people get their identity stolen online. Don’t be careless with your login information, ever.
3. Never Write Down Your Sportsbook Account Details
Our third strategy of avoiding identity theft is very much similar to our second. Never write down your username and password, even at home. There’s always a remote chance that this information could be stolen, or be discovered by another set of eyes.
Of course, the risk of this happening is minimal, but when it comes to personal information, it’s better to be too cautious than not.
4. Never Give Login Information to Your Sportsbook’s Customer Service Department
If you use a sportsbook that isn’t expressly fraudulent (but isn’t highly-ranked), you might have to deal with some sketchy customer service employees. While the sportsbook might not be trying to rip you off, the people under its employ could.
Many sportsbooks don’t have the same vetting process for their employees as higher-ranked ones with longer tenure in the industry. As such, they might hire some employees with nefarious intentions.
The most common way sportsbooks employees try to scam bettors is to ask them to provide their login information (like their username and password) via phone, email, or live chat. Under no circumstances should this be required by a customer service department, even if they work for the sportsbook you’re betting with. Your login information is for your eyes only.
5. Don’t Reveal All of Your Credit Card Information When You’re Verifying (if Possible)
Though it’s a necessary component of successfully withdrawing from your sportsbook, avoid revealing all of your credit card information during the identity verification process.
Of course, when you’re depositing with a credit card, you’ll have to give your sportsbook your complete credit card information to process your payment. However, some sportsbooks will ask for your whole credit card number again during withdrawal.
Sportsbooks should be able to verify your card by using the last four digits, expiration date, card, type, and/or issuing bank. They shouldn’t need the 3 Digit CSC (Card Security Code) to verify your card. Avoid giving out unnecessary information if you can, as it’s always best to abstain from sending your financial information over the internet unless it’s completely unavoidable.
6. Make Sure Your Internet Connection is 100% Safe and Secure
When you’re using your sportsbook, it’s essential to be on a safe and secure internet connection. Don’t use a public or shared wifi connection when you’re betting on sports, as it’s entirely possible that someone can monitor your every move. Simply put, there are fewer barriers between you and spyware-using thieves on an unsecured connection.
When using your own internet connection, we recommend using an ethernet cable, as this is the most secure internet connection commercially available.
If you’re using a wireless network, turn on all of the associated security features, including WPA encryption. Further, change the default password and customize your service set identifier (SSID) on your router. These straightforward features will make your internet connection a lot more secure.
7. Use Different Passwords Across Your Online Accounts
Using a unique password for each account that contains sensitive information online mitigates your risk if an identity thief manages to get their hands on your data.
Say you have about five different online sportsbook accounts and they all have the same password. In the event that a thief accessed your login information at just one of them, they would likely try using the same password to log into 30-40 other sportsbooks, just to see whether there was any money to steal. If each of your sportsbooks had the same password, well…it wouldn’t be very difficult for them all.
By using a different password for each of your accounts, a thief wouldn’t likely be able to wreak any more havoc than draining and accessing login info at one sportsbook. Sure, it’s not ideal, but an identity thief stealing from one of your sportsbook accounts is a lot better than having them snoop around all of them.
If you need a hand generating and remembering a unique, secure password for all your online sportsbook accounts, we recommend using LastPass or KeePass.
8. Always Log off Between Betting Sessions
This is the most obvious strategy to prevent your identity getting stolen, but it’s still necessary to point out. When you’re done betting, log out! This ensures that you – and only you – have access to your sportsbook account and all the sensitive details associated with it.
This is especially crucial if you end up doing some betting at an internet kiosk or internet café. The last thing in the world you’d want is someone coming to the computer you were just using and discovering your unprotected online sportsbook accounts. Don’t make life easy for any would-be identity thieves!
Secure Your Identity and Secure Yourself Some Profit!
With the above strategies listed above, we’re confident that you should be safe from any malicious online activity. The next step is to make sure that you’re productively growing your bankroll!
We’ve got you covered in that regard, too. Check out our guide to learn about the sharpest betting strategies in sports betting today!
If you’re curious to learn more and the nuances of your sportsbook experience, check out the rest of our articles of interest guide.