21Investigates: Scam Tracker -- High school sports streaming scams

Published: Sep. 21, 2023 at 5:16 PM EDT
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA) - We’re in the middle of high school football season and instead of going to the games, you may decide to stream them at home.

The surge in sports streaming picked up in 2020 when only a limited number of fans, if any, were allowed at games. You can watch on your TV, tablet, or on your phone. However, if you pick the wrong website, you could be fumbling away your money and personal information.

“One common tactic is to share deceptive links on social media platforms, which promise free access to high school sports events,” Better Business Bureau of Northern Indiana President Rick Walz said.

Walz says these bogus websites will prompt you to put in your personal info and then you’ll realize there’s no stream. Like many other scams, Walz recommends you do your research. A very easy way is to search the name of the company with the word ‘scam.’ If you decide to pay for a stream, Walz suggests you pay by credit card.

“Credit cards offer you the advantage of dispute options if you want to contest the charges,” Walz said.

With the rising popularity of streaming, Walz says this scam is likely here to stay.

“These scams are growing exponentially with the technology that’s out there right now and with the advances of AI, I expect these scams to continue to grow and it increases the need for consumers to be suspicious,” Walz said.

Another way to spot a potential illegitimate site is if the URL is missing the letters “https.” The ‘s’ stands for secure, which generally means the site is safe.

If you get scammed, here are some resources:

Do you have a scam you want us to look into? Reach out to 21Alive’s Tylor Brummett. You can send a message on Facebook or send an email to tylor.brummett@gray.tv.