My partner and I live in New Zealand and in Oct 2007 we were contacted on the phone by a New Zealander called Dean Walker based in Australia who worked for AFL Arbitrage Pty Ltd. He explained all about how we stood to make heaps of money by investing in an investment by using the arbitrage system in sports betting. We said that we needed time to think about it and in the meantime, we searched the Internet about the concept of arbitrage and how it worked. We found out that if used and managed properly, this was indeed a system that would work to the advantage of the investors.
Dean kept calling us repeatedly obviously wanting to sign us on and told us about friends and family members who had signed up. He used the "Hey, I wouldn't rip off a fellow New Zealander, would I?" card. He seemed willing to part with whatever information we wanted in order to hook us into parting with our money. We wanted something more tangible than a few promises over an international phone line, and what we were sent to allay our fears was a very impressive looking, obviously expensively produced brochure which basically explained what Dean had spoken about. This same material is currently reflected on the company website aflsystems.com.au
The next thing we asked for was some proof of past trading results, which Dean promptly sent us by e-mail. It was a Word.Doc and seemed legit enough. In the same email he sent us an ASIC Report (Australian Securities & Investments Commission) which was basically an index of the company's trading history. One thing about this report struck us as rather odd: AFL Arbitrage Pty Ltd seemed to have changed its name and address quite a few times in the recent past. The report also listed the names of Information Brokers who could be contacted for further information about the company. Accordingly we contacted and paid Dun & Bradsheet Australia Pty Ltd for a detailed report on AFL and the report came back saying this was an "average risk" company in terms of pay-outs. The report also noted the Director's name and the fact that in the past one company which he had been one of the two directors of, had been liquidated.
However, we remained a bit sceptical for the following reasons:
1. The figures and the returns thereof that Dean mentioned seemed too good to be true.
2. This was a company based overseas operating out of a business suite.
3. The persistent and persuasive phone calls from Dean and co.
We asked Dean about the reason why the company had moved so often in the past and he said that the business had been growing steadily and so naturally, had the staff numbers, therefore they had moved into larger premises to accommodate the staff members. The reason he cited for the Director's past liquidation incident was that he had a falling out with his partner over the fact that the partner was caught trying some company tax evasion tactics and therefore they parted ways and liquidated the company.
We finally decided to go ahead and sign up with AFL bearing in mind all of the above and the important fact that the report categorically stated that the company had not had any legal proceedings brought against it, which it would have had, if they had duped anyone in the past. We paid AUD7328 by credit card on October 24, 2007 by filling out an application form and received a receipt number. They then signed the contract copy and faxed it back. Out of this amount $6000 was supposed to be betting agency fees and $1000 was supposed to be our investment for betting. The concept was that as the winnings were credited into our account, all of the winnings would be outlaid or "exposed" as they call it, towards more bets.
Our suspicions were aroused when our first statement seemed to make no sense. We called and were told that the customer services person would contact us to clarify. Ever since then it has been a nightmare trying to speak to someone at AFL other than the receptionist who claims that "Jeff" the customer services person, is either busy on another call, or not in the office and will return our call. After months of continuously wasting our time and money on international calls to AFL in Australia, Jeff finally returned our call and said the amount mentioned in the statement as the exposure amount was in fact the amount currently outlaid on bets. Jeff said he would explain it all when the next statement came out and that certain alterations they were making in the format of future statements would cut out some of the confusion.
Well, the next statement seemed even more confusing, as it became clear we were steadily going backwards and losing money rather than gaining.
Subsequent phone calls have not been returned, with the receptionist only telling us that they would now be sending out quarterly statements instead of monthly ones, with the next one due in March.
Well, today March 15, we received a statement dated march 10, 2008 which mentions our current closing balance at a shocking low of $146, along with a letter to inform us that "it is necessary to rebrand the service which we supply you. Consequently, as of March 17, 2008, we will be called Kent Woodhouse & Associates Pty Ltd A.C.N 129014393. The service we have provided to you remains unaltered as do the conditions and terms upon which your account is conducted".
We felt sure that we had been fully duped by this company despite all our efforts to safeguard our interests. We got onto the Internet and googled "AFL Arbitrage Pty Ltd" and to our shock and horror came across the complaint filed by a lady in Cairns, Australia, just last week, which scarily mirrored our own fears of what was happening to our investment.
At the same time, we also saw a ray of hope when we noted that she had subsequently been contacted by AFL after having received an email from you guys at complaint and that she had been told that she would get all her money back, that was hoping for a positive outcome and that she was withdrawing the report.
We cannot afford the luxury of believing in AFL's lies any longer, as they have once again changed their name and details, and would like our money refunded.