Sports Betting & Investment Scams in Nigeria: What You Should Know

Since the legalization of sports betting in Nigeria, it became a legitimate form of entertainment that the general public embraced and while well-intentioned sportsbooks began to appear in greater numbers as organized and professional businesses, betting scams jumped on board just as swiftly. 


The online gambling business continues to evolve at an exponential rate in Nigeria, attracting a great deal of interest from cybercriminals and fraudsters alike, fostering betting scams like never before. And Scammers continue to invent a number of ingenious sports betting strategies which they use to exploit people.


To a considerable extent, the sport betting sector is unregulated, with numerous defining factors and grey areas that need resolution. At this time, anyone with a fresh startup company or product can pose as a self-proclaimed, seasoned “handicapper.” This is a word used in the sports betting industry to describe specialists who analyze games and other variables in great detail in order to generate regular profits, and then sell their knowledge to those willing to pay for it. 


This post will review the most current sport betting scams, some obvious signs to look out, as well as what to do to stay informed and protected.


Common Sports Betting and Investment Scams in Nigeria

  1. Scams-based on Sports Prediction Software

Betting has progressed beyond gut instinct and into a very sophisticated fraud. Gamblers have evolved seeking tried and reliable algorithms to create bets, similar to the stock market, where traders continuously skim vast volumes of data to estimate which direction numbers will move. Tools of the trade include the latest and best “betting predictive software” or “sports prediction software” programs, which are closely tied to data mining.


The scammer will try to offer you a piece of software that claims to be able to reliably forecast sporting outcomes, often in team sports or horse racing. They will offer large profits or returns as a result of using the software.


The idea is that team sports betting systems can spot possibilities based on past trends and the varying odds supplied by different bookies. Weather circumstances, the status of the horse, the draw, and the condition of the jockey are all common claims made by horse racing software. They could also claim to be able to track the money bet on a race by professional betters.


Frequently, the information utilized in these programs may be found for free in the betting pages of your local newspaper. Threat actors can use phishing, fraud, and impersonation strategies here as well, despite the fact that these “tried and true” resources can undoubtedly pose as such and make enticing promises.


Predictive software’s claims provide the ideal entry point for cyber criminals to commit betting fraud. These technologies claim to be able to forecast a game’s outcome based on historical trends and expert views, and more are rising with promises of employing Artificial Intelligence to do so.


With so many models and forecasts offering to precisely anticipate sports and game outcomes, it’s even more important to “buy-in” cautiously as new approaches to recruit betters sprout up everyday. Those who buy into this argument may never have access to the suggested program, leaving them susceptible to downloading dangerous files such as malware.


  1. Sportsbook Betting Scam

A “sportsbook” is an entity or company that accepts bets on anything that can be gambled on, from sports to politics, and it is essentially free to operate as it sees appropriate. Some people find these platforms to be entertaining, while others find them to be overly hectic. Once they have your buy-in and your money, these sportsbooks will have you exactly where they want you. When betters are given means to obtain inside winning knowledge from software, systems, or organizations, the lines start to blur.


Most users must buy in to participate, pay big fees for information access, or are urged to pay high purchase costs for “smart” software. A string of wins seldom covers the price of the first investment. In these situations, eager bettors are easy prey; once the money is on the table, you may never hear from the company again. The sportsbook-turned-sports betting scam is a simple technique for criminals to lure you to place bets, pay to play or utilize software, and then get nothing in return.


  1. Scam Websites

There are a lot of fake sports betting websites on the internet. They appear appealing, and you may be able to cash out and receive your bonus at first, but as you opt to place more bets with more money, you won’t be able to withdraw a penny.


Scammers invent a variety of justifications to prevent you from taking your funds. For instance, money processing delays, technical problems, and misleading assertions that your original deposit was not received… Alternatively, they may demand that you invest even more money before you can withdraw any of your wins! You will never be able to get any of your money off the site, no matter what you do!


It’s possible that you’ll lose more than money. Your personal information on the fake site might be exploited to steal your identity!


  1. Scamdicappers

Scamdicappers acting as real sports handicappers are here to take advantage of people! There isn’t a single social media site that isn’t affected, and forums that were once a great way to meet others with similar interests are now prime targets for cyber criminals.   Cyber criminals communicate with unwary users, creating rapport through direct conversations before seeking payments or bank account details, taking advantage of the natural trust that social networks generate between users.


Soliciting money, forming betting syndicates, and selling prediction software are some of the most common betting scams on social media. Investment scams resemble the common money-flipping scams that abound on social media. They necessitate an instant commitment with the promise of significantly higher returns than the initial money.


To prevent possible credit card claims once identified, most online betting scams require the user to send money through wire transfer or to share direct account information. Individuals are not the only ones who may be targeted; by presenting these scams as business opportunities, entire organizations can be targeted.


They advertise their businesses on social media sites such as Instagram and Reddit, promising guaranteed rewards based on “inside knowledge” or “expert analysis and prediction” of game outcomes.  They may pressurize you to place a wager right away, stating that “limited slots” are available.


  1. Betting Syndicates

Another popular social media scam involves betting syndicates. Scammers, like scamdicappers, utilize social media to persuade you to join their professional betting syndicate.


These scam activities claim that you will be invited to join a pool of bettors and that an expert will place your bets on your behalf. In these scams, you will be requested to pay money up front with regular installments over time in exchange for a share of the profits. In actuality, you will never see a return on your investment and will lose all of the money you put in up front.


When everyone claims to be a sports betting expert or advisor, it may be difficult to distinguish between those with good intentions who want to stay in the profession for a long time and the “flashier” scamdicappers who thrive on promising the most and delivering the least. The proliferation of hacked and impersonated accounts appearing on social media, which serve as the foundation for many sports betting scams, exacerbates the problem.


  1. Sports Investment Scams

Here, the scammer preys on small business owners, professionals, retirees, and those with money to ‘invest.’ These schemes are frequently advertised as business opportunities or investments at trade events, conventions, and on the internet. An unsolicited phone call, email, or letter can also be used to contact people.


To make these frauds appear genuine, the scammer will utilize technical or financial words such as “sports arbitrage,”sports betting,”sports wagering,”sports tipping,’ or ‘sports trading.’ Glossy, sophisticated pamphlets or websites with graphs or diagrams promising enormous returns for little or no effort are common promotional materials.


The scammer can also pretend that their business is registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) of Nigeria.


Protection From Sports Betting Scams in Nigeria

Scammers have attempted to exploit legitimate bettors and their money for as long as sports betting has existed. With the growing use of social media and digital platforms, these scams have gotten more prevalent and complex. To protect yourself and your business, be aware of warning flags before participating with any betting entity.


Here are some recommendations:

  • Never share sensitive financial or personally identifiable information (PII) on social media. Legitimate companies should never request that you send sensitive information over social media platforms; be suspicious of any account that requests this.


  • If an offer appears to be too good to be true, it almost certainly is. Instant or guaranteed profits are a warning sign, especially when it comes to something as unpredictable as sports betting, where there is no assurance of success.


  • As with any online activity, conduct research and use caution while interacting with posts and profiles.


  • If you notice fraudulent or malicious behavior, the Nigerian law enforcement authorities encourage anybody with knowledge about illicit sports betting operations to come forward and report it.


  • Phishing assaults, which have increased rapidly in recent years, are a common denominator in most betting scams. Whether you are a professional gambler or not, anybody may profit from learning more about these sorts of attacks because they present cyber criminals with an abundant opportunities. While phishing attacks are not new, their number and complexity have increased to the point that even the most inept threat actors may deploy these approaches successfully.


Recovering Your Money after Being Scammed

You might be able to get your money back, but this is highly dependent on the type of scam, and whether or not you receive a refund is determined by what happened. You may need to speak with a sports lawyer to determine how likely it is that you will be able to recover your funds, which may include contacting your bank for assistance. A lawyer will also assist you in properly reporting your case to the appropriate authority and possibly taking the most appropriate legal actions to recover your funds.


We have skilled and experienced cyber and sport lawyers at Olisa Agbakoba Legal (OAL) who can provide legal support and advice in cases involving sport betting money recovery, cybercrime and cyber security. Our Cyber and sports lawyers handle cybercrime cases that involve individuals, organizations, or the government, as well as cases involving e-commerce, e-contracts and digital signatures, intellectual property rights, cybersecurity, and other topics. They collaborate with stakeholders to protect against today’s sports-related cybercrimes and to develop more secure and resilient infrastructure for the future.


Please contact Our Lawyers if you do have any questions about sports betting scams or cyber crimes in Nigeria. You can meet with “Beverley Agbakoba-Onyejianya”, the head of Sports Practice Unit at Olisa Agbakoba Legal (OAL), recognized as Nigeria’s Leading Sports Lawyer by Who’s Who Legal (WWL) 2021.



Written By:
Josephine Uba

Lead Digital Strategist, OAL