Powerball "bogus" scam

23 April 2010

SCAMwatch alerts consumers to a company, Powerballwin.com.au Pty Ltd, that claimed it had a secret method to predict future Powerball draws. The Federal Court today found that it had engaged in false or misleading conduct following Australian Competition and Consumer Commission action.

The scammer, Constantine 'Con' Barris, and his company, Powerballwin.com.au Pty Ltd, set up a website and distributed 163,000 leaflets to households around Australia claiming '...an amazing discovery that disputes the theory of random probability and has totally shocked the experts'.

The scheme asked consumers to pay a $59 subscription fee in order to receive a series of predicted numbers to help win all divisions of Powerball. The predicted numbers failed to produce any dividend for subscribers.

Attempts to predict future draws based on previous draws would fail because each Powerball draw was independent of previous draws. Additionally, the chaotic nature of the Powerball machine meant that a draw of the Powerball lottery cannot be predicted in advance, using any method whatsoever.

SCAMwatch reminds consumers to be wary of schemes which claim to predict accurately and reliably the outcomes of any form of gambling. Whether the schemes claim to be able to predict the outcome of lotteries, horse-racing or other sporting betting schemes the golden rule is—if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

For more information about this case, refer to the ACCC media release.

Protect yourself

  • If it looks too good to be true—it probably is.
  • ALWAYS get independent advice if an offer involves significant money, time or commitment.
  • Remember there are no get-rich-quick schemes: the only people who make money are the scammers.
  • Be sceptical if you are asked to ‘invest’ in lottery, sports and/or other investment scams.
  • Don’t be enticed by reports of past performance or graphs showing high returns. Scammers lie!

Report

Report the matter to the ACCC Infocentre on 1300 302 502 or visit the report a scam page on SCAMwatch.

More information

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