Sunday, 1 March 2015

The Voice - Consumers Voice

A lottery warning

Good day. I have been playing a lotto for some time now. I have always wondered who can help me how to find if this is a legal lotto or one of the scams. Please may you check and advice if this is scam. Their website is Please send your findings and also advice others people if this is a scam lotto as they will also fall for it. I have been paying US$14.99 for more than 5 years now.

Here’s a simple question. You’ve been paying about P150 every month for five years for a lottery that has “free” in its name? That doesn’t sounds free to me. You’ve paid a total of around P9,000 over the past few years and I guess you’ve not won a single thebe in return?

The site you mention makes some extraordinary claims, including that they have “already awarded $103,141,469.00 in cash and prizes to lucky FreeLotto® lottery-style game players”. That’s a truly extraordinary amount of money but I can find no real evidence that their claim is actually true. And did you spot something else in that claim? “lottery-style game”. This isn’t a lottery at all, it’s a form of online gaming.

If you do a quick Google search you’ll find that there are many complaints and criticisms of this site, suggesting that you have to pay to win prizes. As your experience shows, they’re not free in any way.

I suggest that you do your best to cancel your monthly payments although I’ve seen comments online that suggest getting them to stop taking the money can he difficult. Good luck!

Can they search me?

Is it rite for security guards to search our bags when we leave a shop?? I was told either I leave my handbag at the door or I’ll be searched when I get out.

You’re not the first person to ask us this questions and I know you won’t be the last. So many people contact us asking this, usually because they’ve felt violated and insulted by a guard who has insisted on searching either them or their belongings when they go shopping.

So let’s make this perfectly simple. Security guards have no right to search you. They can only do so if you agree to being searched, otherwise they can’t touch you. The only exception to this is if they have a good reason to think you’ve committed a serious crime like theft but even then all they can do is detain you and then call the Police. Only a Police office can insist on searching you or your belongings. Security guards are just civilians like you and me. Think of it this way. If I come to your house or office and when I leave you think I’ve stolen your laptop all you can do is to detain me until the cops arrive.

A couple of years ago a woman was stopped by a security guard at a major supermarket in Gaborone. The guard insisted on searching her handbag even though he had no evidence to think she was a thief. This brave woman got extremely angry and took the security company to court and was later awarded P60,000 in compensation. The judge explained that she deserved this ”considering the humiliation embarrassment and impairment of her dignity as an honest member of society”. What made that case worse was that the Managing Director of the security company told the court that he thought his guards had the same rights as police officers. Not so, the judge told him.

Those of us who are honest members of society have a right to exercise our freedom unimpeded by security guards who have been told they have special rights and powers. While we all understand how much stores lose to shoplifters they have to learn that the vast majority of us, the ones who are decent and honest shouldn’t be treated like criminals.

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