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Selling Fantasies: The Rise of Instagram Scamdicappers

fantasy vs reality instagram handicappers

It’s never been harder for the average person to distinguish reality from fantasy on the internet. There are more online niches than ever before, and trolls and frauds have infiltrated every major social media platform. Forums, once the refuge of the hardcore devotee, are beset by the same problems as social media plus spambots. The distinction between legitimate sports handicappers and so-called “scamdicappers” in many ways exemplifies this dark aspect of the digital age.

What Is a “Scamdicapper”?

The reach of social media has led to a surge in the decades-old practice of sharp bettors selling their picks. But these picks are being peddled by both experienced, knowledgeable ‘cappers and complete and utter frauds, alike.
Given that central authorities are few and far between on social media, it can be hard to distinguish the good from the bad. After all, everyone behind social media-based pick services represents themselves as a sports-betting expert. They all curate their accounts to best represent their product: the ability to predict sporting events at an above-average rate.

instagram handicappers fraudulent accounts stacks of money inflated win records

Of course, what this looks like in practice varies from account to account, as self-promotional styles differ significantly. It’s the handicapping accounts that promote a flashy lifestyle while consistently over-promising and under-delivering on their betting picks that we deem “scamdicappers.”

We’re here to both alert you to the scamdicapper phenomenon – which is particularly endemic to Instagram — and explain just how scamdicappers operate. Once you have a bit of knowledge and the right mindset, recognizing the real and the fake in the world of sports betting isn’t as hard as you might think.

How A Legitimate Handicapping Account Operates

To understand how scamdicappers came into being, and why they’re able to sell fantasies so successfully, its necessary to know how legitimate sports-betting handicappers operate on social media.

The bulk of handicapping services start from regular bettors creating an account on social media, documenting their picks, going on a winning run, garnering some followers and then voila: they’re able to successfully sell their predictions. Usually, this comes in the form of a “VIP” membership, where bettors pay a fee to receive picks daily or weekly.

proliferation of instagram handicappers aggregated image

 

To get an insider’s view of the differences between the real handicappers and the fantasy scamdicappers, we spoke to @Kofsports, who runs a successful handicapping business that’s been lauded for its transparency, honesty, and above-average percentage of winning picks. He describes his business model as follows:

I have a daily blog that I post my picks [on] where all of my VIP members log in to read my picks. Doing so exposes me to the public eye, I [have] enough members that if I posted a video saying I went 5-0 the night before when I really went 1-4, people would comment and call me out. Additionally, I also keep an updated public google spreadsheet with all of my pick histories so that people can match it with my VIP blog. At any time, anyone who’s interested in my pick history … can match my spreadsheet to my blog and discover that every claim I make about my picks is legit.

Meet the authors

Matt McEwan
Editor-in-Chief
Dave F.
Sports Writer
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