Damian Dunlop

Punters warned to watch out for scams ahead of Cup

PUNTERS have been warned to avoid online betting scams this racing season, as the gambling world readies for its biggest day of the year - Melbourne Cup.

The warning from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said scams could start with a phone call, email or letter "out of the blue".

Commission deputy chairwoman Delia Rickard said fake betting syndicates were peddling scams as "legitimate investments", but they did not deliver the promised returns.

"If you sign up for one of these 'guaranteed' betting schemes, odds are you will never see your money again," she said.

"Almost $3 million has been reported lost to sports betting scams this year, with the ACCC receiving over 800 complaints.

"Unfortunately, these figures are likely to rise as the spring racing carnival approaches and punters are more willing to try their luck."

Ms Rickard said the scammers often use high-pressure sales tactics to convince people to sign up, such as claiming limited places.

"Remember that gambling is a game of chance - there is no such thing as a fool-proof bet," she said.

"If you fall for one of these scams, it won't be long before your money and the culprits disappear

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