Unlicensed lottery rips off Oz Lotto name and entices WA consumers (Oz Lotto Service)
Consumer Protection is urging Western Australians to ignore emails from an overseas betting agency which is not licensed in Australia and entices people to buy “Oz Lotto” tickets with promises of higher prize money.
An investigation by Consumer Protection’s WA ScamNet has revealed that Oz Lotto Service (www.ozlottoservice.com) is one of many websites operated by Ad Management Ltd and Net Group NGL. The companies are both registered in Malta but the website is registered in Costa Rica and hosted in the Bahamas.
These companies operate numerous gaming websites which mirror the names of government-authorised and licensed lottery outlets in many countries, including www.uklottoservice.com, www.kiwilottoservice.com and www.irishlottoservice.com.
Commissioner for Consumer Protection David Hillyard said unlicensed overseas gambling websites like Oz Lotto Service offer no protection for Australian consumers.
“We know the company behind this online gaming site is sending unsolicited emails to people in WA and probably around Australia directing them to their website, hoping unsuspecting consumers will think they are taking part in the legitimate Australian lottery,” Mr Hillyard said.
“But that is far from the truth as consumers are placing a bet, not buying a Lotto ticket. The website is inviting people to gamble on the outcome of these lotteries and, without the protection of the licensing system, those who take part are not guaranteed to get any money if they win.
“Also concerning is that consumers are required to give up personal information, including their bank account details, if they sign up. We have had previous cases where unauthorised deductions have been made from bank accounts after details were provided to unlicensed online lotteries.
“Signing up on this website is a huge risk for consumers, especially when we don’t know who are behind these companies that are registered in a country which doesn’t have strong consumer or corporate regulations. So we recommend to consumers to stay clear, ignore the enticing emails and don’t take part in these gambling websites if you stumble across them on the internet.”
Mr Hillyard encourages consumers to support authorised government lotteries in Australia and only deal with online gaming products that are licensed.
“While some of the gambling products currently on offer in Australia may have ‘Lotto’ in their name, consumers need to be well aware before paying their money that they are betting on lottery outcomes, not actually taking part in an official lottery.
“They also need to be aware that proceeds from the gambling websites will usually go to an overseas company, rather than be re-invested in the WA community in the form of grants from LotteryWest which last year totalled $283 million.”
Consumers wishing to report a suspected unlicensed gambling or lottery website can email WA ScamNet on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1300 30 40 54.
Media Contact: Alan Hynd, (08) 6552 9248 / 0429 078 791 / email@example.com
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