Justin White was vacationing in New York on Sunday night when his wife Lisa noticed something was wrong with the couple’s bank account. On the bank’s app, she saw five consecutive withdrawals of $500.
White, a 40-year-old from Tennessee, was surprised. It came from “DRAFTKINGS INC. BOSTON, MA.”
“It was deducting it from my bank card that I used for my deposits,” White said.
He went to his DraftKings account. He tried the login three times. It locked him out. He asked for a new password. DraftKings said it sent him a text message to the number on file.
And that’s when he realized he was definitely hacked. They changed his phone number so he couldn̵[ads1]7;t get back in.
He searched for a customer service number for DraftKings.
He couldn’t find one. There was a link to click for a live chat. It said it took him to another page that wasn’t a live chat. He was asked to fill out a form promising to get back to him.
He went to DK_Assist on Twitter, a customer service site, and saw this message. At least one of the responses appeared to be from a hacker, telling people how to do it and exclaiming “free money!”
“Not only could I not get to anyone, but you make the hackers happy,” White said.
When White went to his email to see if he could see evidence of the withdrawal; his email he gave to DraftKings was filled with spam.
“They had 500 to 600 emails in there to hide their withdrawals,” White said.
DraftKings’ co-founder Paul Liberman told Action Network in a statement that approximately $300,000 in customer funds were affected, but that they intend to “make whole every customer that was affected.”
“We currently believe that the credentials of these customers were compromised on other websites and then used to access their DraftKings accounts where they used the same credentials,” Liberman said. “We have seen no evidence that DraftKings’ systems were breached to obtain this information.”
Rocky Anderson, a 35-year-old commercial real estate lender from Kansas, was watching his beloved Chiefs on Sunday Night Football when he saw the email come in: $437 had been withdrawn from his DraftKings account.
He was mortified when he saw that a hacker was trying to cut a check to a Houston apartment, but the check was in Anderson’s name. Anderson took to Twitter and sent details of the transaction to Houston Police.
“I’ve been to Houston twice in my life, and the third time might be to meet this guy,” Anderson said half-jokingly.
On Sunday night, Alvin Byers, a 31-year-old bank consultant in Colorado, was notified that he made a $5 deposit into his DraftKings account. A minute later, he said he received an email deleting his entire account.
Byers went to his account and entered his email and password and two-factor authentication.
“They said they sent a code to a number ending in 8687, which is not my number,” Byers said. “So even though my password wasn’t changed, my phone number was.”
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Byers was able to email DraftKings and the company acknowledged that his account had been frozen.
White, Anderson and Byers say the episode will force them to give their business to someone else.
“I feel like I’m exactly the person that DraftKings is targeting,” Anderson said. “I do every boost and long shot parlay hoping to make some money on the weekends. As soon as this is over, I will retract everything.”
For White, it is also about principle.
“I just can’t do business with a company that doesn’t have a clear customer service hotline,” White said. “I didn’t think it was possible with a company of that size.”
Shea Curran, a 35-year-old from Denver, was watching the Chiefs game on Sunday when he received an email saying there was a request to withdraw $4,500 from his account.
Somehow his password was not changed so he could log in and stop the withdrawal.
“But then I thought I should probably change my password, and that’s when I noticed the two-factor authentication was going to a phone number that wasn’t mine,” he said.
Curran said recent events have suddenly made him more skeptical of digital accounts.
“When you think about funds that you have in an account that you trust, and then something like FTX happens, it changes you a little bit,” Curran said.