Betting cons taking an average of $18,000 from marks – Choice

Sports betting and investment scams have cost people – mostly men – $1.6 million this year
alone with fancy brochures and confusing jargon used to
make the schemes appear legitimate, says Michael McCormack, Minister for Small

“The average loss is very high at more than $18,000 compared to about
$6500 for all scams,” he says. “These scams are sophisticated and
convincing which is why it is vital people should know the warning signs.”

The most popular scam types involve some form of betting.

One involves scammers selling computer software that can allegedly predict
winners. “If someone can accurately predict gambling results,” says minister McCormack, “why would they need to sell it to you to make money?”

Another requires people to pay fees that are often in excess of $15,000 to join a
betting syndicate. The marks are told bets are being placed on their
behalf, but in reality the money is going into the pockets of the scammer.

Then there’s a third scam known as a sports investment, where con artists
use the lure of business deals and terms like “sports arbitrage” to persuade
people to deposit funds into an investment that does not exist.

“Do not believe anyone who says they have foolproof systems that can
‘guarantee’ a profit through betting,” says the minister.

“If you are contacted by someone trying to sell you ‘investment
opportunity’ or ‘prediction software’, hang up the phone, delete the email
or toss the glossy brochure in the bin.”

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