Social Media

Omaze: Too good to be true? A critical look at the suspect company

Omaze has resumed promoting its raffle on Google and TV.

They are advertising an opulent six-bedroom waterfront home in Cornwall valued at a mind-blowing £4.5 million, complete with furnishings and £100,000 to help the winner settle in.

Since the house is expected to bring in between £5,000 and £7,000 per month in rental income, the winner may be able to secure a substantial passive income. Early participants also have the chance to win a Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Coupe, valued at nearly £110,000.

Is Omaze a scam?

Omaze’s business model and methods of operation have drawn criticism and claims that it is a scam. Despite its claims to be a platform for charitable giving, the group has been charged with deceiving the public about its track record, conducting unauthorized lotteries, and keeping a sizable portion of its earnings.

The business model of Omaze entails selling entries into large-scale raffles where participants can win opulent homes, vacations, or celebrity experiences. The hundreds of millions of dollars it has raised since 2012 have gone to charities like UNICEF, Save the Children, and Comic Relief US, among others. However, detractors contend that a small portion of the revenue goes to charitable organizations, with the majority going to cover expenses and Omaze keeping a sizable portion as profit.

As an illustration, only 15% of the proceeds from tickets for a chance to win a dream vacation to the Maldives go to the International Medical Corps. Costs like the prize, advertising, and fees associated with payment processing are typically covered to a degree of 65 to 75 per cent. As a result, the charity will only get a small portion of the money raised overall.

Omaze Board and Directors

Oakwood Corporate Secretary Limited is a UK limited company, appointed as the Secretary on 18 June 2019. The company has four active officers, including James Allan Oakes, who is a Director with the title of CIO, and Matthew Pohlson and Nina Sen, who are Directors with titles of CEO and CFO, respectively. All officers were appointed on the same date, 18 June 2019. More info here:

Omaze has also been charged with running unauthorized lotteries

Along with being criticized for using a for-profit business model, Omaze has also been charged with running unauthorized lotteries, deceiving the public, and violating the terms of conducting free prize draws. The California attorney general looked into the organization in 2019 to see if its fundraising efforts amounted to an illegal lottery or “raffle” under California law. Omaze settled the claims in January 2020, forking over $30,000 in late fees and penalties for “operating without being properly registered,” as well as $90,000 to cover the cost of the investigation. According to the settlement, Omaze has not “admitted wrongdoing. “.

Additionally, Omaze has been charged with violating the guidelines for holding no-cost prize drawings. The organization has been accused of failing to clearly and prominently advertise its free entry options although it does offer them. Because the free entry route was not made clear, the UK’s Advertising Standards Agency upheld complaints that the promotion of a house raffle was deceptive. “.

Omaze fake winners

Omaze still runs and collaborates with nonprofits despite these accusations. The organization’s for-profit business model and methods of operation, however, are criticized for possibly misleading the public and taking money away from charitable causes. Therefore, those thinking about making a donation to Omaze or taking part in its prize draws ought to thoroughly research the company and its history before deciding to support its initiatives.

Settlement Agreement between the California Attorney General’s Registry of Charitable Trusts and Omaze

Accounding to the Settlement Agreement between the California Attorney General’s Registry of Charitable Trusts and Omaze, Inc. concerns Omaze’s compliance with California’s charitable fundraising and raffle laws. The agreement includes requirements such as offering free entries on the same terms as paid entries and prominently disclosing that no payment is required to participate in a campaign.

Omaze will need to comply with all applicable California rules and regulations related to fundraising for charitable purposes and will be exempt from the raffle registration and reporting requirements of Penal Code section 320.5 while it remains in full compliance with the requirements of Penal Code section 320.5, subdivision (m). The settlement also stipulates that Omaze will deposit 100% of each contribution it receives in an account that is solely in the name of Charities Aid Foundation America within five working days.

The terms of the agreement apply to Omaze, its successors, assignees, and any entity owned or operated by Omaze, and to every registration issued by the California Attorney General. If Omaze violates the agreement, the Registrar may assess penalties and take additional action authorized by law. Omaze will need to reimburse the Attorney General’s Office in the amount of $90,000 in attorney fees and costs incurred in the investigation of this matter pursuant to Government Code section 12598.

David Lintott is a freelance journalist, covering culture, sport and society. He hails from the decaying seaside town of Eastbourne, which he considers the source of his world-weariness.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *