Olympic fans fall victim to online ticket scams
Sports fans around the world were duped by websites that offered thousands of fake tickets for the Beijing Games.
Olympic officials have filed a lawsuit with federal courts in a bid to shut down two online companies suspected of stealing money, credit card information and passport numbers from people who thought they were buying tickets to Beijing Olympic events.
It's believed that the internet scam involved thousands of fake tickets being sold through the fraudulent websites. Families of Olympic athletes in both Australia and New Zealand were among the victims of the scam, with others in the United States, Japan, Norway and even China also reported being conned.
Late last month, the International Olympic Committee and the U.S. Olympic Committee won a restraining order in Phoenix that shut down one of the websites, www.beijing-tickets2008.com. They now plan to ask a federal judge in San Francisco for an order that would shut down www.beijingticketing.com, which still remains active.
Both professional-looking websites illegally used Olympic trademarks in connection with their fraudulent activity.
Other websites named in the lawsuit include:
Credit card providers have advised customers to call banks to have their ‘charge back' scheme activated if they suspect being duped.
'Anybody buying tickets for the Olympic Games should be careful to buy from an official source. Sadly, there are some fraudulent dealers, known as `scalpers, who are out to cheat fans,' said the IOC in a statement.
Olympic tickets are only distributed through official national agents or the official online ticket store - www.tickets.beijing2008.cn.