Olympic Scams

Cyber crooks are well known for their changing strategies and abilities to use different opportunities to gather profits, utilizing deceptive and highly treacherous scams to reach the goal of fooling thousands of unaware people online. The most recent window of opportunity to embezzle money out of their hands is the London Olympic Games, and even though scams, revolving around this international sports event, have started emerging months ago, the peak of highly criminal activity was recorded just a few weeks before the Opening Night.

The Metropolitan Police, which has been managing and monitoring the transparence behind the London Olympic Games, has been working efficiently at taking down fake online ticket selling websites, and reporting latent mass spam email attacks. So far, such devious sites as britainolympics2012.co.uk, 2012-londonsummergames.org, and 2012-londonsummergames.com have been deactivated. All of these sources were self proclaimed official London Olympics ticket vendors, and thousands of visitors were trapped into scams, making money transactions for the tickets that never reached their addresses. There are tens of fictitious ticket sellers out there, and the most recently updated list of deceitful websites can be found here.

Liveolympictickets.com website is one of the most cunning sources as it seems to be completely legitimate, and is yet to be taken down. The site is completed with professional looking interface, controls, and reliable-looking support system. Despite this deceitful website’s exterior, schemers behind it have already collected an uncountable number of identifying data, exposed through logging in to the site activity, and tricked thousands of people, desperate to purchase last minute tickets to their favorite sport events taking place in London between July 27th and August 12th. Cyber criminals have also taken the opportunity to utilize the high demand of cheap accommodation services at the time of the Games, and it has been noticed that websites offering fake tickets were also advertising fictitious accommodation.

These scams will no longer be fueled after the major event comes to an end, but representatives of the Metropolitan Police state that people should be wary of purchasing tickets even after the Olympics start. Supporting this, UK European Consumer Center also warns:

  • Thoroughly read the terms and conditions, which may include consumers’ obligations.
  • Check the website for the company’s address and full contact details. If it is not easy to find, ask yourself why?
  • Ensure the site is secure - look out for the ‘s’ in https. A padlock on the payment screen is also a mark of security.
  • Use Howard […] when purchasing goods online.
  • Beware of buying tickets once an event is ‘sold out’.
  • If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.