I’ve been using and reviewing betting systems since 2012.

And I’ve noticed that many of the common sports betting scams seem to fall into three distinct domains.

So, if you’re trying to make money betting on sports.

Make sure that you don’t get caught out by these three sports betting cons.

3 Gambling Scams to Watch Out For

I’ve already covered things like roulette system scams before.

So in this post.

I’m going to focus on scams that are specific to the world of sports betting.

And these shams aren’t unique to the online betting world either.

Because I’ve personally received letters in the post from shysters trying to recruit me into their dodgy betting schemes.

And some folks have even been caught out by people they know personally.

Here’s what you need to watch out for.

1: Betting Syndicate Ponzi Scams

Today, I read about the Layezy Racing betting syndicate scam.

Where, according to The Guardian, around 5,000 people are thought to have collectively lost as much as £70 million.

It’s believed that Layezy Racing was a Ponzi scheme.

A Ponzi scheme is an illegal programme that typically promises to pay out generously on their clients’ investments.

Where money is taken from new investors to pay existing ones.

The victims of such schemes are typically oblivious as to what’s going on.

And the mastermind behind the scam will usually falsify statements to dupe participants into believing that they are genuinely making money.

When in reality, the vast majority of the cash is being pocketed by the scammer.

This video explains the difference between pyramid schemes and Ponzi schemes:

Video credit: One Minute Economics

Why Horse Racing?

One of the most notable examples of a Ponzi scheme is the Madoff Investment Scandal.

Where prosecutors estimated the size of Bernard Madoff’s fraud to be ‘$64.8 billion’ [source].

Fraudsters in the UK seem to have a particular affinity for crafting Ponzi schemes under the guise of otherwise legitimate ‘betting syndicates’ related to horse racing.

Possibly because betting syndicates ‘…do not require a licence from the Gambling Commission or British Horseracing Authority’ [source].

And the fact that there are legitimately profitable horse racing systems knocking about means that schemes can be crafted with a seemingly plausible exterior.

Warning Signs

If you’re considering getting involved with a betting syndicate.

Here are some common red flags:

  • You’re asked for money upfront;
  • Ongoing payments required;
  • You’re contacted out of the blue (spam email, snail mail, cold call);
  • It’s unclear how the system works;
  • Unrealistic earning claims;
  • Risk-free guarantees;
  • Not a registered company;
  • Has no tangible address (watch out for ‘virtual office’ addresses).

Have you bought low-quality betting systems in the past?

Then you could be on a ‘sucker list’.

A ‘sucker list’ is a database containing personal details of people that are viewed as easy targets for fraudulent schemes.

Even a simple response to spam emails, physical letters, or phone calls can mark you.

Because scammers spend a lot of time ‘cleaning’ databases to find out which records are ‘live’.

So, if you receive any form of spam correspondence.

Don’t engage with it.

2: Fixed Match Prediction Scams

Have you been contacted by someone on social media offering ‘free fixed match betting tips’?

Then you’re almost certainly being lined up for this ‘long con’.

Because despite the extensive media attention regarding match fixing across various sports in recent years.

It’s highly unlikely that there are ‘dozens’ of these ‘opportunities’ available ‘each day’ as many of the scammers claim.

Here’s how the most effective match fixing cons tend to work.

The Negative Correlation Trust Model

This scam can be run by anyone that understands basic maths.

Let’s say that a scammer approaches 100 people offering fixed matched betting predictions for an event with only two possible outcomes.

He will tell 50 people to bet on Outcome A and the other 50 people to bet on Outcome B.

Each person is blind to the involvement of the rest of the cohort.

(Cohorts can be divided proportionally for sports with multiple possible outcomes).

Normally, this initial proposition will be offered for free.

Because after the event has settled.

The scammer will be left with 50 people with increased trust because his fixed ‘pick’ won.

This marks the start of the 2nd round.

Where he will approach those 50 people with more fixed betting tips.

As before, half of the set will be offered Outcome A and the other half Outcome B.

But this time?

The scammer will ask for a payment.

After the second round has settled.

There will be 25 people who have not yet lost a bet.

And because their confidence will now be sky high…

The scammer can increase his prices for the 3rd round massively.

And as you can imagine.

The people that make it through to the 4th round will likely be falling over themselves to pay whatever the scammer asks.

Can you see the pattern here?

As the number of participants in the scam halves with each round.

The level of trust for the remaining cohort increases along with the amount of money charged for each set of tips.

Who’d have thought that you could run a prolific scam based on elementary level maths?

3: Social Media Tipster Scams

I’ve reviewed my fair share of tipsters over the years that simply do not work.

And whilst some of them were blatant rip-offs designed to take your subscription fees.

The majority genuinely seemed like they were trying to make money for their customers.

But the bottom line is that they just weren’t good enough.

However, social media tipsters are a different kind of evil.

Profiting When You Lose

I’ve already exposed a few of the most common social media tipster scams.

And they all tend to work in the same way.

Because whilst these ‘tipsters’ may be able to keep themselves out of trouble with their disclaimers.

It’s a proven fact that some of the affiliate deals offered by the bookmakers are based on the ‘revenue share’ agreement.

‘Rev. share’ deals mean that the affiliate takes a percentage cut of their referrals’ cumulative net losses at the end of each month.

The BBC reported that there are 3rd-party claims of social media tipsters who allegedly post losing tips deliberately to make money via such affiliate deals.

And even if such claims are untrue.

The optimist in me struggles to trust anyone who’s regularly posting ‘accumulator challenges’.

Where the bookmakers’ overrounds for such bets are mathematically proven to increase exponentially with each selection added:

Accumulator Overround Exponential Increase

Graph: exponential effect on the net overround per leg added (5% per leg).

This potentially allows rev. share affiliates to piggyback off their referrals’ losses at a proportionally greater rate.

And anyway.

If someone really has enough skill to beat the odds in their chosen sport.

Why would they give their tips away for free if they don’t have a premium service to upsell?

Recovery Room ‘Double Scams’

This applies to all kinds of scams.

Not just sports betting cons.

Remember the ‘sucker list’ I talked about earlier?

Well, if you’ve been pegged as someone who’s already lost money to a scam.

You could potentially end up being ‘re-targeted’ via a ‘recovery room’ scam.

Recovery room scammers often pose as ‘liquidators’ or someone who is able to ‘get your money back’ from the original scam that defrauded you.

This can happen both online and offline.

For example, you’ll often see scammers offering ‘help’ on Trustpilot reviews of known ‘broker’ bucketshop scams:

Recovery Room Scam Example from Trustpilot

Their friendly gesture to help often belies their true intentions.

Which is usually to force an upfront payment from you.

And then disappear with your cash.

How to Actually Make Money From Sports Betting

So, is it even possible to consistently make money from betting without getting scammed.


How do I know?

Because I’ve done it myself.

Here are three strategies that could potentially work for you.

1: Bonus Hedging

This is more commonly known as matched betting.

Matched betting has been one of my top earners over the years.

And no.

Matched betting is not the same as the ‘fixed matches’ scam I mentioned earlier.

Instead, you use the Betfair Exchange website to bet against the bookmakers’ free bets to make a ‘guaranteed’ profit.

To be fair, matched betting does sound too good to be true.

But it really works.

Check out my full Matched Betting Guide to see an example of how matched betting can make you money.

2: Use a Trusted Tipster Stable

I’ve reviewed a lot of tipsters over the years.

And some of them do work.

However, if avoiding getting ripped off is your main concern.

Then I’d suggest signing up to a professional tipster management platform.

Because rather than pushing their own in-house service, these platforms seek out and proof independent tipsters to see if they are as good as they claim.

Take the Betting Gods for example.

All of their featured tipsters must pass a 16-week testing phase and are then subject to ongoing quality control.

Plus, the Betting Gods are a registered company.

And they offer a 30-day full money-back guarantee.

3: Learn How to Trade Sports Yourself

This is probably the most difficult option.

Because in order to consistently take money off the bookmakers.

You’ll need to know enough about your sport to beat the bookmakers’ overrounds and carve out a legitimate edge over the odds.

Alternatively, you could try beating the other punters on the betting exchanges.

Because you’ll not have to worry about stake restrictions.

Unfortunately though, there are plenty of scam artists out there that will try to fob you off with a ‘cookie-cutter’ trading ‘system’ that lacks any intrinsic edge.

Personally, I think the only way to crack ‘Betfair trading’ is to put the hours in and really study the markets to find your edge.

However, a trading school like Goal Profits may help give you a head start and cut the learning curve.

Conclusion: If In Doubt – Bail Out!


You’re now more aware of the most common types of sports betting scams out there.

But they’re not the only ones.

So, my parting advice would be to simply walk away from any ‘opportunity’ that you’re unsure about.

Because it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to the scam-laced world of ‘betting systems’.

Have You Been Scammed?

What happened?

Did you get your money back?

Let me know of your experiences in the comments section below.

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