PointsBet is resuming email marketing after a hack into a third-party provider filled customer inboxes with cryptocurrency phishing scams Thursday.
Marked urgent and riddled with spelling errors, the email urged users to send “any amount of cryptocurrency” and PointsBet would send back “double the amount” in celebration of its “record-breaking profits season,” encouraging them to act within the next 24 hours or risk losing out.
PointsBet responds to hack
PointsBet quickly halted all customer email marketing, including its daily newsletter, the PointsBet Hustle. An hour and a half later, a follow-up email from the same email address warned users not to engage.
“An email was sent this morning by a third-party provider that was NOT an official PointsBet communication in relation to cryptocurrency. Please delete this message and do NOT click or respond in any way,” the email said.
A spokesperson with PointsBet confirmed Friday the email pause is now lifted. They declined to comment on the number of users impacted by the scam.
Emails marked safe
The company again sent an update less than two hours later, assuring users their email addresses had not been compromised.
“Thank you for your patience as we quickly resolved an issue related to a phishing attempt this morning. PointsBet would like to apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused to customers.
We can confirm this was a phishing attempt made to our mailing list and the 3rd party did not have visibility of individual email addresses. There was no breach of core player account management or internal systems.
We again apologize for any inconvenience.”
Sports betting cyberattacks on the rise
It is hardly the first time hackers have made prey of online sportsbooks and their customers.
Last year, BetMGM and DraftKings each suffered cybersecurity attacks, which led to compromised user data, leaked Social Security numbers, and, in DraftKings’ case, more than $300,000 in stolen funds.
The rise in online sports betting data breaches has even caught the attention of the FBI, according to an ESPN report.
PointsBet circling US sale
The attack on its user database adds to an already busy last few months for the company.
At the end of April, CEO Sam Swanell confirmed the company is in advanced talks to sell its North American business, which is live with sports betting in 14 states, but has lagged behind the top five sportsbooks in market share. The company recently cut 12% of its workforce in an effort to save $4 million, and cut ties with its last college partner amid growing regulatory scrutiny.
Despite the hack, PointsBet’s stock price saw a 7.8% bump in Australia Thursday, though it was down 3.9% Friday afternoon amid rumors of an imminent sale.