Last year, an Auckland-based company by the name of Excel Trading NZ spent several months cold-calling local businessmen, offering them a place in a sports betting scheme that revolved around a local internet bookmaker. The sign-up fee for the scheme was $5000, with a further $1000 required to open a trading account with an online sportsbook in New Zealand. Excel guaranteed to double their clients’ money in 6 months, offering a full refund if they did not fulfill their promise.
The New Zealand Commerce Commission has so far received 20 complaints about Excel Trading. Those who signed up for the scheme have not seen a return on their investment. In fact, punters have not been able to contact Excel to find out what is happening, because all phone lines associated with the company have been disconnected. It is estimated that Excel has made away with more than $100,000.
Now just weeks after an investigation began into the suspicious dealings of Excel Trading, a new round of cold-calling has begun, with another company offering a very similar deal. This time a group called the Simcom Group is contacting local businessmen, asking them to invest thousands in an internet sports betting scheme. One New Zealand business owner who was contacted by the group remarked about their professionalism. “They were positive in their presentation of the sale and reiterated a number of occasions during my phone call with them that here’s an opportunity for $1000 investment and a $4000 license to earn between $17,000 and $34,000 a year”.
This familiar situation is of course raising alarms. The Commerce Commission has already received eight inquiries about Simcom, and is warning locals that this and similar schemes are not wise investments. While the callers present their system in terms of precise calculations and guaranteed returns, punters are basically throwing away their money by investing in these illegitimate systems. While internet betting in New Zealand is legal, punters are advised to do the work themselves, rather than entrusting their money to an unknown group to do their betting for them.