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Online sports betting warning 

9 June 2015

NSW Fair Trading Commissioner Rod Stowe is warning consumers to be careful about investing in online sports betting schemes.

Mr Stowe said NSW Fair Trading had received a number of complaints about sports betting schemes that generally involved a large up-front payment and ongoing payments.

“These include complaints about a company operating from Vanuatu that prevented customers from accessing money from their accounts,” he said.

“Sports betting and gambling systems are often disguised as legitimate investment opportunities when they are just gambling and quite often scams.”

Mr Stowe said there were two different types of sports betting systems.

“Sports betting trading accounts set up individual accounts within a sports betting syndicate and ask for regular deposits into the account,” he said.

“They will offer to place bets on your behalf and promise to give you a percentage of the profits.

“Often no bets are placed, you can’t withdraw your money and the funds disappear.”

The other system involves computer prediction software packages promoted as being able to predict sporting results using historical trends and data.

“These are sold with the promise of very high returns but often the software package does not work as promised, no profits are received and you can’t contact the company to get a refund,” Mr Stowe said.

Fair Trading offered tips for consumers approached about such schemes

  • If you are asked to invest in a sports `investment’ scheme, be very cautious.
  • If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Get rich quick schemes don’t work and the only winners are the promoters.
  • Don’t be pressured to buy. Always get independent advice of your own choosing.

Mr Stowe said Fair Trading could intervene in matters where a customer enters into a contract for goods and services in Australia, but it may experience difficulty enforcing consumer rights under Australian Consumer Law when the contract is made online and the trader is located overseas.

Consumers should contact NSW Fair Trading on 13 32 20 or if they have any questions or are concerned they may have been scammed.

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