Friday, January 29, 2010

Avoid Olympic Games Scams

Better Business Bureau
Warns Of Olympic Scams

The 2010 Olympics are approaching, but the scams have already arrived and more are expected to emerge over the coming weeks.

The Olympic Games begin on February 12, 2010 in Vancouver-Whistlers, British Columbia and BBB expects to there to be a rise in frauds related to counterfeit tickets, bogus Olympic merchandise, rental properties, problems with travel packages and possibly other scams.

“The Olympics are such an exciting time of year for the entire world. They provide an amazing opportunity for athletes, tourists, residents and local businesses, ” says BBB spokesperson. “Unfortunately scam artists are very tuned into the opportunity this event poises for ripping people off. The Olympic Committee can only do so much to protect people from fraudulent activities related to the event. We all need to become educated and aware of what we can do to protect ourselves from disappointment and becoming a victim of fraud during the Olympics.”

BBB advises consumers to be aware of the following common scams related to the Winter Olympics:

Counterfeit Tickets: Just about every sporting and entertainment event has issues with counterfeit tickets. If you are in search of last minute tickets to an Olympic event be very wary of the source from which you are purchasing your ticket. Authorized fan-to-fan tickets can be purchased by Canadian and U.S. residents via the 2010 Olympics official website at VANOC will also host regular public online auctions for tickets remaining prior to the event. Click here to see more in-depth information about Olympic Tickets.

Bogus Olympic Merchandise: Be aware of knock-off Olympic memorabilia, including collectibles and sportswear being sold near sports venues and online. Not every product with the Olympic logo on it is necessarily an authentic, licensed Olympic product. Consumers are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the official 2010 Winter Olympics logos, graphics and branding and consider shopping directly from the, the official 2010 Games website. Click here for more in-depth information on Olympic merchandise.

Rental Property Scams: Phone ads for British Columbia rental properties are popping up on Craigslist and other online classifieds. Scams typically require the victim to wire a large deposit of money to the supposed landlord in order to receive the keys to the rental home. The money is wired and communications stop. Victims lose their money and a access to place to stay during the event. If you are looking or accommodations during the 2010 Games, the Olympics has an Official web site that provides a list of hotels, bed and breakfasts, private home rentals and rooms on cruise ships that are available. Click here for more in-depth information on Olympics accomodation.

Problems with Travel Packages: Millions of people are expected to arrive in Vancouver-Whistler for the Olympics, making accommodations and travel options limited in the area. Before making travel plans be sure you know who you are doing business with. Check Canadian tourism businesses out at Travel agencies should be licensed with Consumer Protection BC and Property Management fires with the Real Estate Council of B.C. To ensure your trip is a success be sure to confirm all reservations for hotels, rental cars or other similar rental arrangements before arriving, and bring all confirmation numbers, record of price or rates quoted, or other verification with you.



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