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Do Not Subscribe To Any Horse Racing Tipster Service Without Reading This

Jan 25, 2008
This piece starts with an email I received not too long ago from a new member to my racing advice service. in the mail the new lady member informed me how she had fallen victim to one of the oldest tipster scams around. Unfortunately this type of con is all too commonplace, and in this case made a victim of a lady with little knowledge of betting. What is more concerning, is that for the con-artists to continue using these methods means there must be a never-ending supply of unwary people forming a queue to be exploited.

I write this article hoping I might at least make a few people aware of what to look out for.

The story starts with the typical piece of junk mail which regularly gets posted through our letterbox. It contains incredible promises of huge profits to be gained from following this guy's betting advice. As 'proof' of this guy's expertise there is a page of simply brilliant results, of dozens of horses winning at big prices.

Now admittedly, I myself guarantee a significant income to members of my betting service. However, what I do offer any potential member is the opportunity to try my service first hand, with a free trial. This tipster was looking for the initial month's membership fee up front, sent to an anonymous PO Box.

So, my first piece of advice would be "never send a tipster any money, until you are satisfied of his credentials." Ask for a trial period with his service before you agree to send any money. If he replies with a 'no' then you have not lost anything.

More often than not, you will find no way of getting hold of the tipster to put this question to him -- no email address, no telephone number, only the anonymous PO Box address. This strange wish to remain incommunicado should also tell you a lot about him!

Returning to the story of our friendly neighbourhood tipster and his glossy piece of marketing copy -- after sending off a cheque for a not insignificant amount of money, the lady in question received a 'newsline' telephone number, and it was suggested she call the number every day for the tips. I know what you are probably thinking, but in this case it did not turn out to be a premium rate number that costs goodness only knows how much to call each day. This is an often used trick, and everyone should be very much aware of the high costs involved when calling telephone numbers pre-fixed '090' especially if they have already paid a membership fee.

After following the tips for a week or so, the results were only poor to average, and certainly nowhere near those advertised by the convincing marketing literature.

The next piece of advice may be a cliche, but is still holds true -- "if it seems too good to be true, then it most probably is!"

After about a week, this lady received another letter, telling her that if she wanted to hear about a 'sure-fire winner' in Australia's Melbourne Cup, then she needed to call another number. When she called she spoke to a man who explained that for her to receive details of the horse, she must first agree to place some money on it, on behalf of the tipster. His lame excuse was that because he had been so successful with his betting in the past, all the bookmakers had closed his accounts, and he now finds it difficult to place bets himself.

The lady was asked to put 200 on for this tipster, and in addition whatever she could afford to wager herself. The horse in question, if we were to be taken in by the hype from this tipster, "categorically could not lose".

She placed her money with her high street bookmaker, and I suspect you are well ahead of me and can guess exactly what happened. In fact, she lost 300 in total.

Two things to bring to your attention here -- firstly, the tipster takes absolutely zero risk in this transaction. If the horse fails to win, then it is just you that loses money. If it happens to win, then you will be forced into mailing the con-man his share of the profits. Secondly, as if you didn't know, there is no such thing as a 'sure thing' in any race. Even more so in such a high profile race as the Melbourne Cup -- its the biggest race of the year in Australian horse racing, and each and every one of the horses will have been entered with a chance of winning.

This kind of scam is even less believable nowadays. What with the betting exchanges, the situation where various bookmakers have closed your accounts is now completely irrelevant. Companies such as Betfair have no concern that you are a winning customer, and they will never shut down your account.

Whenever you are shown a set of 'incredible' results from a tipster, the first thing you should do is ask if these results include ALL the selections given. In other words, try and find out if the tipster trying to hide any losers which would subtract from his results? The previous lesson also applies here: can you easily contact the tipster, and how quickly and positively does he give his response?

If the results are actually complete, then we can analyse them a bit further: note down the total number of bets. This is the total we would have laid out. By way of an example let's say that there are 100 bets -- you would have placed 100 points in bets.

Let's say that when you add up all the claimed winners, the returns add up to 203 points. So, you would have invested 100 points in 100 bets, which returned 203 points to make a profit of 103 points. Outstanding profits.

But now let's take a reality check! 103 points profit on an investment of 100 points gives us a return on investment of 203% This is calculated by dividing the 203 points returned, by the 100 points originally invested.

If you were to ask any professional punter, they will suggest a good return is 120% -- very good is 130% -- and anything over 140% is at best unsustainable, and at worst an outright fabrication. Myself, I give myself a pat on the back when I achieve over 130% ROI for any particular month, and more likely I will only achieve around 120% - 125%

To summarize,

1. Be wary of any service that asks you to call a premium rate number for your selections. You should be aware that you will be spending over 100 every month on telephone calls BEFORE you have even started to make any profit.

2. Do not be fooled by someone who suggests they have a 'dead-cert' winner that cannot lose. Every horse, in every race has some chance of coming first, and so you will never find a horse 100% certain to win.

3. Never be afraid to question a tipsters results -- never take them at face value.

4. Do not send a tipster any of your money until he has proven himself to you over a period of time, or he has been recommended to you personally by a trustworthy person.

5. Be cautious of any tipster who hides behind an anonymous PO Box number, or proves awkward to contact. Does he reply to your questions promptly and credibly?

6. If it seems too good to be true, then it most surely is.

7. Never allow yourself to be persuaded to place a bet on behalf of a tipster. His excuse that he cannot place bets personally does not hold water when we can now take advantage of betting exchanges, and only means he is hoping you will take all the risk in placing his bets.

8. Is the tipsters claimed Return On Investment realistic -- you would be wise to suspect anything over 150%, which you will probably find is an exaggeration.
About the Author
Max Redd has been making a living betting on horse racing for over 10 years. He runs the Redd Racing betting advisory service which offers members a FREE trial and a 60-day money-back profit guarantee. Find out more at www.ReddRacing.co.uk
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