Scamwatch is warning Australian gamblers not to part with money they didn't plan to during Spring Racing Season, today issuing an alert that confidence tricksters are on the hunt for more victims. Australians have lost over one million dollars to con artists pushing sports investment scams in 2016 to date.
Betting and sports investment scams convince victims to invest in "foolproof" systems or software that can "guarantee" a profit on sporting events. These scams are often promoted as a legitimate investment.
Scamwatch says people who "invest" in these schemes report an average loss of $10,000.
"These scams are particularly effective over the spring carnival period as racing fever takes hold," ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said. "Scammers offer software packages or syndicate betting with guaranteed returns when you follow their system for placing bets on horse races. Scammers are quick to capitalise on every opportunity and the Melbourne Cup is no exception."
"The scams are often promoted as legitimate investments but these schemes simply do not deliver. The odds are that you will never see your money again."
Scammers will use high pressure sales tactics such as claiming that places are strictly limited or they may even claim their system is safe because it is backed by government regulations.
Participation requires the payment of large upfront fees for software or access to so-called expert advice. Betting syndicates may also require the use of a sports betting account. These accounts may show winnings during the "trial period". However, this money cannot be accessed and will soon disappear along with the scammers.
If you receive a phone call, email or glossy brochure out of the blue about a sports investment opportunity, just hang up, delete the email and bin the brochure.
Always get independent financial or legal advice if an offer involves significant money, time, or commitment.
And if you think you have provided your account details to a scammer, contact your bank or financial institution immediately.