I thought I should report what I consider to be a structured arbitrage trading scam that has been operating in Canberra ACT. Unfortunately, I am a victim of this scam. This scam involves two companies, Spectre Trading Pty Ltd and Blue Point Trading Pty Ltd. There may be others connected and only time will tell. The situation can be briefly summarised as follows:
Throughout July and August 2007, Spectre Trading Pty Ltd, ABN 35-112-908-620, were offering what they called 'sports arbitrage trading licences' for $7600.00. The licence fee was $6,600 and the remaining $1000.00 was your bank balance from which they would commence trading on your behalf.
Their bank account was with the Australian Commonwealth Bank BSB: 064-433 account no. 10809932 in the company's name.
The service offered was that they would compound trade your account up to a limit of $10K over a six month period, then each month you could withdraw the surplus from which they would receive a 5% commission. The theory appeared sound and the company appeared to be a structured operation. I did some preliminary research into them, but there wasn't much info around at the time except for a few skeptics, but nobody had any structured critical information on the company or their activities, and they appeared to be a legitimate business. They were based in Canberra ACT and, apart from their glossy brochure, their secondary promotion was their current ASIC certificate, which they included in their advertising material. They were, in effect, using the ASIC flag to promote and legitimise their business. So I took the risk and gave them a go.
They had a website www.spectretrading.com.au and provided login details so that you could see the progression of your trading balance associated with their so called arbitrage trades, however you were not allowed to withdraw any funds until you had been trading for 6 months. It was set up in a manner similar to internet banking.
Over the 2007 Christmas period, I noticed that trade records ceased on the 16 December 07 (about five and a half months into the 6 month waiting period). The trade records were usually entered weekly, so by the time I became concerned it was already Xmas. I telephone Spectre's customer support however all their calls were diverted to voicemail indicating that they were on holidays until February 4, 2008.
I checked the company's current status with ASIC and discovered that on February 5th, they also moved their registered office interstate from Canberra ACT to Mermaid Beach QLD and the following day appointed a liquidator and voluntarily wound up the company. OK, I took the risk and I can accept the loss, and that they were either a scam, or a badly administered business. So I took the liberty of checking further into their activities.