|An international team of con artists has successfully targeted horseracing bettors in the UK. Working with Scotland Yard, Northumbria fraud Police officials are hunting down a group known as David Harrison Racing that has duped UK residents out of thousands of dollars.|
Detective Constable Ray Canham of Northumbria's new Economic Crime Unit cannot yet be sure just how many victims of the scheme there are: Inquiries are at an early stage at the moment and the full extent of the scam is not known. It appears on the face of it that these people are past masters at convincing others to take part in something against their better judgment.'
The scheme seems to run all too smoothly with victims first being targeted via mail. The fraudsters introduce themselves as a group of racehorse owners that offer the chance of easy money if the victim merely places a bet. Once punters are hooked they are contacted by phone and persuaded that they cannot afford to miss out on what seems to be a no lose situation.
All the mark needs to do is open an account at Ladbrokes through which they place a minimum bet of roughly £1500 on a specific horse and race. For this tidy investment they are assured that if the horse loses their stake will be reimbursed in full with an additional 10 percent on top. Conversely they stand the chance of keeping the stake plus 10 percent of the winnings if the horse wins – the remaining profit goes back to the David Harrison group.
Despite the fraudsters using Ladbrokes as part of their scam the high-street bookies are in no way implicated. Spokesman Sean Boyce encourages customers swindled by the scam to let them know: 'This kind of scam has been with us forever but we only hear about it if our customers ring us and that isn't often because people feel embarrassed that they have been taken in.'