Have you come across this post because somebody has been singing the praises of Stratsol? And are you concerned it could be a scam? Well, you’re right to do some digging because there’s no such thing as free money.
A few days ago I was reading an article online in the Daily Mail about young people being caught out by get-rich schemes across social media. Yes, I read the Mail, but only because it’s free. Anyhow, the comments from readers are always amusing, so I went straight to them. There were only a few though and one mentioned the ‘stratsol fb group’. Intrigued, I thought I would do some digging.
A quick check on Google didn’t reveal much, except for a video where a lady tells you a couple of times to listen carefully and that Stratsol is a genuine company.
So, I took a look at the Stratsol website to find out what they were all about and was left just as confused. They mention free cash, earn from referring others and a VIP club. But there are no specifics on there to tell you what’s involved. That kind of thing should automatically start you thinking that something isn’t quite right.
Who is Stratsol?
Stratsol is also known as Strategic Sporting Solutions. According to their website, they have an office in an industrial park in High Wycombe. These buildings usually contain multiple companies who can rent an office for any length of time.
A check on Companies House didn’t reveal anything for Stratsol, However, looking through the Facebook group, one of the admins sent a private message to a member (which was then published) saying that they operated under Perspective Data Limited. Following the link, you can see the company was formed on the 3rd April 2018 but there are no accounts available.
And according to tools available on the internet, the Stratsol website wasn’t created until the 4th February 2019.
Who owns Stratsol?
There are 3 people listed on their website:
Leah – Sales Manager
Laura – Verification Administrator
Paul – Senior area verification rep
Companies House shows that Edward Philip Leo Janes as the person with significant control over the company.
Interestingly, Mr. Janes also ran a company called Evolution Sports Trading Limited. This company is listed as in liquidation on Companies House.
Looking through the Facebook page and the site, it appears that Evolution offered the same services as Stratsol.
However, the website is still running and Evolution Sports and Stratsol share the same office and email address.
I have to question why Mr. Janes moved from one company to another so quickly. In fact, Stratsol’s website was created only a couple of weeks before Evolution went into voluntary liquidation.
The Facebook group
Stratsol claims that you can only join their Facebook group if you have been referred by somebody else. However, I joined without a referral, just by providing an email address.
Currently, the group consists of over 3.1k people. Scrolling through, there are plenty of posts about people receiving money from Stratsol and posts about verifying your ID. However, I still couldn’t find out how I could make money. So, a quick post on the board to say I was interested and the instructions were sent to me by a private message.
What is involved?
Here is the message I received:
The company is called Stratsol, have you heard of it? If not, you might have heard of ‘matched betting’ ? (completely risk free and legal) Basically, They register members to sign them up to online bookmakers like Coral, Ladbrokes, Paddy Power etc., and turn the welcome bonus they offer into cash, we have all the correct software and equipment to be able to do this!
They don’t ask for any money from you, they trade using there own. They use your name and basic details (the same as any bookmaker would require) to set up accounts to place bets with and pay you for this. All They need you to do is prove that you are over the age of 18 by sending in Photo ID and a proof of address. This offer is only open for 1 person per household.
This is a really QUICK & EASY way to make simple cash.
You get £100 for joining once you send the prepaid card back.
You send the prepaid back to stratsol so they can use the bonus on your card. This is not a credit or debit card you can only add money on to it.as soon as we receive your card back you are paid £100.
For every person you refer you get another £50!! Some people have made £1000’s by referring.
We like to look after our members – They always offer incentives to make sure YOU are happy,
If you refer 10 friends you will get £50 per referral plus £500 incentive bonus!
All we need is
Driving license or passport
Showing all 4 corners.
Selfie of you holding your ID next to your face Utility bill or bank statement dated within last 6 weeks
Payments are made within approximately 1-4 weeks
Would you like me to add you to the Stratsol Facebook page to see members receiving their cash.
Do you think you might be interested? Any questions please ask
So, from the looks of things, Stratsol is acting as an agent between you and the bookies. They make bets in your name and split their profits with you.
This may sound far-fetched to some, but there is a method known as matched betting which can guarantee you a return by using free bets from bookies. It can potentially be very lucrative.
You will need to provide Stratsol with photographic ID (including a photo of you holding the ID) and a recent utility bill with your current address. In some cases, a member of the Stratsol team may be required to meet you at your house…
Do bookies mind?
Bookies have fairly standard terms and conditions, so I decided to take a look at Bet365’s.
2.1 bet365 allows all its customers to choose their own Username/Password combination for their account and also a 4 digit Passcode for accessing bet365 apps on their mobile devices. Customers must keep this information secret and confidential as you are responsible for all bets/wagers placed on your account and any other activities taking place on your account.
2.3 If, at any time, you feel a third party is aware of your Username, Password and/or Passcode you should change it immediately via the Website. Should you forget part or all of your combination, please Contact Us.
As you can see, Bet365 don’t seem keen on anyone other than yourself having access to your account.
Is it legal?
Matched betting is legal, but bookies don’t like you doing it. They believe that guaranteeing you make a profit goes against the spirit of gambling. In other words, they don’t want you making money.
But how Stratsol operates is a VERY grey area when it comes to a legal standpoint. You could argue that they are just acting as an agent between you and the bookie. But conversely, you could say they have adopted your identity to give them an unfair advantage over the bookies. My guess is, the bookie does not know that Stratsol is acting on your behalf.
But there’s very little in the way case law to determine whether a company is allowed to act on people’s behalf in this way, generally because bookies prefer to just close your account rather than take legal action against you.
However, in 2015, Darren Woods was jailed for 15 months for fraud after he made almost £1m by using different people’s names to play Poker. Although it differs from matched betting, it goes to show that you can be charged in extreme cases.
Again from Bet365 T&C’s
5. By accepting these Terms and Conditions and/or placing bets or wagers and/or making use (whether authorised or not) of the facilities offered by bet365 (whether through the Website or otherwise) and/or by using, visiting and/or accessing any part (including, but not limited to, sub-domains, source code and/or website APIs, whether visible or not) of the Website, you irrevocably agree that the courts of England and Wales shall have exclusive jurisdiction to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms and Conditions. Notwithstanding the foregoing, bet365 shall be entitled to bring a claim against a customer in the court of the customer’s country of domicile.
But ask yourself this. Why does Stratsol only tell you what is involved by private message? If this was all above board, why not have it listed on your website or the Facebook group?
What’s the harm anyway?
Well, it’s still free money I hear you say. What’s the worst that can happen?
First of all, what do you do if they decide not to pay you? Who do you contact and who are they regulated by? But, that should be the least of your worries.
Here is the worst-case scenario.
Bookies are a great place for laundering money. If you have a stash of money from illegal activities, running the cash through bookies is a good way to make it appear legitimate.
But doing this all through one identity will look suspicious. How many people can afford to gamble £100,000s at a time? No, the best way is to do it through 100’s of identities which will attract a lot less attention.
Are you happy that your name could potentially be linked to something like this? That the money you’re making is linked to the drug trade of human trafficking? And don’t think that claiming ignorance is a defense when it comes to court. You have willingly given your name and details to be used by somebody else.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not accusing Stratsol of being involved in crime. However, I’m just highlighting the consequences of giving your ID over to somebody else.
Should I sign up to Stratsol?
In short, no. The fact that you’ve read any of this means that you were sensible enough to know that something didn’t sound quite right. Giving your ID over to anyone, let alone complete strangers should be a big no no.
Yes, you could make some money in the short-term, but you should really be worried about the long term consequences.
16th August – A few days after publishing this post, I was blocked from the Stratsol facebook page. I’m not sure why, unless they have extra things to hide since I joined there…