Media release: Very Long Odds – elderly pensioner pressured by horse race tipsters

Consumer Action Law Centre (Consumer Action) has warned Victorians to be wary of services offering horserace betting tips, after launching legal action against two companies involved in selling a betting system. The companies are Prosperity Wealth Creation Pty Ltd (formerly trading as Red Back Gaming Pty Ltd) and Australian Tipping Service Pty Ltd (formerly trading as Track Whispers Pty Ltd).

Consumer Action is acting on behalf of a retired pensioner who purchased the tipping service for $6,000 in July 2008, after responding to a newspaper advertisement.

Consumer Action Senior Policy Officer, Zac Gillam, said that a company salesperson allegedly told his client that the betting service was very successful, and he would be able to supplement his pension with the profits he was going to make.

‘We are instructed that our client advised the salesperson that he could not afford to purchase the service, as he would soon be reliant on the pension,’ said Mr Gillam.

‘The salesperson then allegedly suggested that he pay using his credit card, and that he could pay off the debt with his winnings.’

The legal application alleges that the service was supposed to run for two years, but in less than five months the consumer stopped receiving tips.

‘Even during the period our client was receiving tips, it appears the service was not successful and that as a result, our client has suffered significant financial loss.  He is not in a position to pay off his credit card,’ said Mr Gillam.

The application seeks damages of $6,000, plus interest, and alleges both misleading and deceptive conduct and unconscionable conduct under the Fair Trading Act 1999 (Vic).

‘This is not the first time Consumer Action has represented a vulnerable consumer in an action against a company offering betting advice, or tips.’

‘Pressure telephone sales tactics appear to be used to sell these services.’

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