Olympics 2012 – Which scam will come out on top?


With the Olympics well underway, security may be tighter than ever but this certainly hasn’t stopped the fraudsters trying to cash in the action.  With so many scams occurring on every medium – phones, email, social networking etc – sometimes it can certainly be hard to keep up with what is legitimate or not.   With all eyes currently on the Olympics, its a great time to refresh your memory about the current Olympics scams which are going round at present.

Olympic Lottery

Currently a favourite of the scammers is the Olympic Lottery fake email.  The victim is sent an email claiming to have won a won a prize/ticket to the Olympics and in order to obtain this they must provide their bank details or even pay an up-front payment to release the full prize.

The scammers may also try and entice their victims to go to a particular website which may look similar to the official Olympic site, but in actual act is either hiding an assortment of malware/viruses or the form you fill out with your personal details will end up straight in the hands of cybercriminals.  An official statement from the London Olympics 2012 website states the following:

London 2012 will only ever use a secure website to collect personal or bank card details. Look for a padlock symbol in the browser window. The website address will begin with ‘https://’. If you click on the padlock, your browser will either give our full title (London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Ltd), or identify our sites as part of london2012.com.   If you don’t see a padlock, or if the site name is not what you are expecting, then you should not enter personal or financial information into the page.

Olympic based scams have proven to be so popular amongst the scammers there is reportedly over 120 different variations! The official site for the Olympics 2012 have also released a full list of all known email scams.  Download the full list here. (11 pages worth!)

It’s important to note that most fake websites and products are found by scammers advertising using banners, popups and links on social networking sites.  Are you searching online for the Olympics and a banner pops up encouraging you to download free software? DON’T DO IT! It is most likely a scam.

Some other common scams include:

– Emails/letters informing the recipient they have won an ‘Olympic lottery’ that they haven’t entered.

– Emails/letters to manufacturing companies, asking them to pay large fees in order to provide items for the Games.

– Emails/letters informing the recipient that they can apply for a job being involved with the Games for a fee.

– Fake websites offering counterfeit, non-existent or fake tickets

– Fake websites not collecting and transmitting financial information securely.  Only enter your credit card details into sites which use https://.  Clicking on the bar (or padlock) will display the full title on the certificate as “London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Ltd”.

Resources:

Olympics 2012 – Official Olympics site

ActionFraud – UK Police

Online Investigations are private investigators based in Melbourne, Australia.  Our aim is to identify the current scams trending across Australia and alert individuals to prevent further victims.