Monday August 27,2012 : AUSSIE POLICE INVESTIGATE ONLINE SPORTS BETTING SCAM COMPLAINTS
Provincial police squabble whilst alleged conman makes thousands
The Australian publication SC Magazine reports that while Australian provincial police forces argue in an apparent turf war, a Queensland man is making thousands of dollars in an alleged sports betting scam.
Police in New South Wales investigated a betting ring in neighbouring Queensland last year, exposing an active online betting scam that continues to suck in NSW punters.
Over a dozen sports betting related websites, all apparently linked to the Queensland suspect, were identified after a slew of complaints from gullible online gamblers who had deposited large sums of money on the promise of remarkably high returns.
Those returns did not materialise, and punters encountered problems when they tried to retrieve their money.
When NSW investigators requested authority to arrest the Queensland suspect, they were told to refer the case to the Queensland police in compliance with provincial protocols.
"The investigation, including a listing of more than a dozen websites, IP addresses, bank account details and residential addresses seen by SC were handed over to the Queensland Police fraud investigation unit in January this year," SC Magazine quotes NSW sources.
However, eight months on at least two of the sites continue to operate and the suspect remains free, prompting some NSW officers to complain that their counterparts in Queensland may not be pursuing the case with sufficient vigour.
Approached by reporters, the Queensland Police would say only that "…the matter is currently being assessed by the Fraud and Corporate Crime Group [and] it would be inappropriate to comment any further at this stage."
SC Magazine reports that complaints from victims impacted by the scam "…pour into NSW police on an almost daily basis. Late last week, it received separate reports of victims being scammed $60,000 and $56,000, and two cases of individuals losing $20,000 to the same betting scam."
The NSW police investigation revealed an intricate web of legitimate-looking scam sites operated by the Queensland man, which SC has published here:
Some of the sites are believed to have been actively duping victims for up 4 years. At least two known to police were still operating, and a further five were shut down earlier this (August) month.
SC identifies Tablink Sportsbet as active at the time of publication, alleging that it had scammed victims for hundreds of thousands of dollars, masquerading as a legitimate betting web site with a user portal where victims could deposit funds and bet on sports matches including AFL, Rugby League and Cricket.
Police sources said that the Excellence IV website, a so-called sports arbitrage portal, offered “high yield, short-term investment solutions that capitalise in fluctuations in the sporting market” with a minimum deposit of $5,000.
The site promised “the most effective returns” from trading on “global sports trading markets” using proprietary technology that “guarantees high profits” from “100 per cent risk free” investments.
Another web site, Proficient Sports, is also alleged to have claimed a string of victims, with individuals losing $90,000 and unwary investor groups as much as half a million dollars.
Sydney dock workers using the site claimed to be out tens of thousands of dollars, and web searches have unearthed many more victims and large amounts of missing money.