Action Fraud is warning members of the public about potential scams, as we fast approach the start of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero.Â
So far, Action Fraud has received 47 reports of fraud relating to the Rio Olympics with a total reported victim loss of Â£299,935. Most of the reports relate to ticketing fraud and lottery scams.Â
Fraudsters have told people that they are going to be receiving tickets for the games, only to find that these promised tickets do not exist. People should be wary about buying tickets at the last minute and should always check the authorised sellers list, which is published for the Rio Olympics along with the legal ticket guide.
Fraudsters have also exploited people via lottery scams; sending letters and emails informing victims that they are the winner of a cash prize and trip to the Olympics in Rio courtesy of the event organisers in Brazil or the International Olympic Committee.
Members of the public should protect themselves by never responding to such correspondence. If you have not entered a lottery then you cannot have won it. Genuine lotteries thrive on publicity, if they ask you to keep your win a secret; it is likely to be a fraud.Â
It is not unusual for fraudsters to take advantage of sporting events; earlier this year 54 people reported that they were victims of ticket fraud prior to and during the UEFA Euro 2016 Championships.Â
Director of Action Fraud, Pauline Smith said: â€œIt is absolutely key that everyone is wary of the fraudsters who are clearly using an iconic sporting event to exploit innocent victims.If people are thinking about buying last minute tickets, they should be particularly careful about where they buy them and it is crucial that they check the genuine seller list published by the Olympic organisers.Â
â€œPeople who think they may have been lucky enough to have won tickets through a lottery should be wary and always protect themselves by asking simple questions around whether or not they have entered in the lottery in the first place.Â
â€œIt is a shame that what is normally such a brilliant summer event is being exploited and we must do everything that we can to beat the fraudsters and stop them ruining peopleâ€™s enjoymentâ€.Â
To report a fraud and receive a police crime reference number, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use our online fraud reporting tool.