Consumer Action has warned Victorians to beware of spruiker of computer betting software First Global Pty Ltd (trading as First Choice), after it today issued legal proceedings against the company.
René van de Rijdt, Solicitor, said Consumer Action is acting on behalf of an elderly pensioner from Maryborough, who unwittingly purchased the computer betting software after being targeted with a number of high-pressure telephone calls.
‘First Choice sent our client unsolicited material in the mail about an ‘investment opportunity’ and followed this up with a number of phone calls’ said Mr van de Rijdt.
‘The spruiker told her that she would receive significant returns and that she would receive a discount, if she made immediate payment.
‘When our client received documentation in the mail, she realised that the product was not an investment opportunity, but software that facilitates betting on horse racing. She immediately telephoned First Choice and sought to cancel the purchase but it refused to provide a refund’.
Mr van de Rijdt warned all Western Victorian residents to watch out for scams targetting the community that are marketed as investments but are really just gambling.
‘Our client clearly didn’t understand what was being sold to her. She takes medication for an ongoing health condition that affects her judgment, said Mr van de Rijdt.
‘She actually thought she was dealing with Colonial First Mutual, the company which administered her deceased husband’s superannuation fund.
Consumer Action has launched the proceedings in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal alleging that First Choice engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct and unconscionable conduct, and failed to accept cancellation within the statutory cooling off period, in breach of the Fair Trading Act 1999 (Vic).
Consumer Action has seen an increase in the marketing of computer betting software in recent months and calls on regulators, such as the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, to ensure that consumers are not being taken advantage by betting scams.