Don’t be horsed around by scammers this spring racing season

5 November 2012

SCAMwatch is warning punters not to be fooled by scammers peddling sports investment scams this spring racing season.

‘Foolproof’ gambling schemes and betting prediction software trap more people during the spring racing season as the racing fever takes hold. Often promoted as legitimate investments, these schemes simply do not deliver – the odds are you will never see your money again.

Remember: There are no guaranteed get-rich-quick schemes. The only ones on a winning streak are the scammers.

How these scams work

  • You receive a call, email or letter out of the blue from someone offering you to invest in a sports betting syndicate or software package that is ‘guaranteed’ to provide high returns.
  • The promoter claims that the scheme is able to predict results based on historical trends, track or horse conditions, or different odds offered by bookmakers.
  • The promoter will try to convince you that this ‘investment opportunity’ is legitimate through sophisticated brochures or websites that contain graphs or diagrams showing large returns.
  • You are also likely to be subjected to high pressure sales tactics to try and get you to sign up on the spot, such as claiming that places are strictly limited.
  • In order to participate, you are required to pay large upfront costs and ongoing fees and charges. Betting syndicates also require you to put money into a sports betting account so that promoters can place bets on behalf of the syndicate, with participants receiving a percentage of the profits. Often no bets are actually placed.
  • If you sign up, you may initially find your account shows winnings during the ‘trial period’. However, it’s not long before all of your money and the promoters disappear.

Protect yourself

  • If you receive a phone call or email out of the blue about a sports investment opportunity, just hang up or press delete.
  • Always get independent financial or legal advice if an offer involves significant money, time or commitment.
  • Don’t be enticed by reports of past performance or graphs showing high returns, and don’t let scammers push your buttons by pressuring you to sign up on the spot.
  • Ask yourself: if a stranger knew a secret to making money, why would they share it?
  • If you think you have provided your account details to a scammer, contact your bank or financial institution immediately.

Report

You can report scams to the ACCC via the report a scam page on SCAMwatch.

More information

Stay one step ahead of scammers, follow @SCAMwatch_gov on Twitter or visit http://twitter.com/SCAMwatch_gov

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