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Investment Scams and Gambling Systems

Jet looking at a bingo wheel and some lotto ticketsInvestment Scams

Telemarketing, in the form of cold calling, can be used to promote scams. To attract and hold the victim's curiosity, some scammers will pretend to be investment advisers, stockbrokers or community workers from a religious organisation.

The calls often come from overseas and offer you above-average returns on your money. They sometimes make an appointment for a “senior advisor” to ring you back. They generally offer share, mortgage or real estate “investments”, “high return” schemes, option trading or foreign currency trading.

The scammers are persistent and play on your emotions, making you feel like a fool if you say “no” to them.

Some scammers target people with specific religious or community interests, enticing them with promises to send profits to charity or worthy causes.

Gambling systems

Ask yourself why would anyone sell you a system to make money if it was a certainty? It is like finding a goldmine and then giving the location to everyone else to mine the gold.

Gambling systems are often promoted as business opportunities or investments. Often they promote a system to reap money from horse racing, lottery syndicates or share investment systems. Professional people, retirees and others with funds to invest are often targeted.

More often than not the word gambling does not appear in the glossy brochures and promotional material. The promoters go to great lengths to portray the systems as legitimate business opportunities, even recruiting well-known personalities to help sell the systems.

The promotional material promises huge returns, supposedly based on past results. But these so-called results are worthless because they are manipulated to prove a particular outcome.

In fact, these are high-risk schemes.

Equipment supplied varies from a single disk for use on your computer, to a calculator, to a whole computer system. Prices range from about $1000 up to $15,000, with some systems requiring ongoing costs.

The schemes may involve a SMS service to your mobile phone to tell you what horses or teams to bet on. Many systems require you to open a TAB account and maintain a balance in that account to gamble on horses.

Invariably, to comply with the instructions within the system, many hours of detailed data entry and slavishly obeying instructions are required. This is partly designed to ensure that if you don’t get a return (and we predict you won’t), the promoters will blame you for making a mistake.

Ask yourself how a computer can make accurate predictions on horse races based on weather conditions, the barrier draw, and the state of the horse and jockey? How can a computer predict what numbers will be drawn in games of chance like lotto? Past results cannot assist in predicting these variables. How can a computer predict what shares will go up and down when their performance is based on various economic factors?

Why would anyone sell you a system to make money?

Consumers who have purchased these systems have often discovered that:

The systems do not work;
The money back guarantee is not honoured;
Requests for refunds are rejected because of clauses in the contract that the consumer was not aware of or did not fully understand;
The consumer is blamed for not correctly following the criteria to use the system.

Telemarketing, in the form of cold calling, can be used to promote scams. To attract and hold the victim's curiosity, some scammers will pretend to be investment advisers, stockbrokers or community workers from a religious organisation.

The calls often come from overseas and offer you above-average returns on your money. They sometimes make an appointment for a “senior advisor” to ring you back. They generally offer share, mortgage or real estate “investments”, “high return” schemes, option trading or foreign currency trading.

The scammers are persistent and play on your emotions, making you feel like a fool if you say “no” to them.

Some scammers target people with specific religious or community interests, enticing them with promises to send profits to charity or worthy causes.

 Fight back

We all work hard for our money - take time not to lose your money through investment scams

  • Work out the risk first.

  • Always investigate moneymaking schemes very carefully before parting with your money. Take time to seek professional or legal advice.

  • Don’t be pressured into making a decision on the spot.

  • Check Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s register of authorised financial representatives before you deal with unknown financial advisers. You can check their details online at www.fido.asic.gov.au or call ASIC.

  • Ask for published INDEPENDENT substantiation of projected earnings, current financial statements, and prospectus. Ask for proof of testimonials of financial success.

  • Ask the scammers these questions and they'll probably hang up in embarrassment:

  • What is your Australian securities dealer's licence number?

  • Who is lodging your prospectus?

  • [If it's a foreign caller] What is your Australian Registered Body Number (ARBN)?

  • What is your Australian Business Number (ABN) and your Australian company number (ACN)?

  • What is the name of your company? Who owns your company? What is your address?

  • If they're game enough to answer these questions, take the time to confirm their details with ASIC.

  • Alert WA ScamNet.

Gambling systems are often promoted as business opportunities to reap money from horse racing, lottery syndicates or share investment systems.

  • These are high-risk schemes and are not worth wasting your money on.

  • Resist the high-pressure sales tactics and slick presentations.

  • Do not be enticed by reported past performances because these “results” are easily manipulated. It is very easy to claim that you predicted that a particular horse won a race after the race has finished.

  • Ask yourself how a computer can make an accurate prediction on a horse race based on weather conditions, the state of the horse, the jockey, the track, the draw and luck? How can a computer predict what numbers will be drawn in a game of chance like Lotto?

  • Avoid “get rich quick” schemes. Higher returns mean higher risks. If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.

  • If you do receive offers to buy into gambling schemes, send the material to WA ScamNet so we can warn others.

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