Olympic scams warning

Beach volleyball venueYui Mok/PA Archive/Press Association Images

As Olympics fever mounts, the scam artists have seized upon it as a brilliant way to get their foot in the door, with a whole host of different sorts of scams and frauds. Trading Standards have warned about the spread of these scams.

So what do you need to beware of?
They take a number of guises. We reveal five of the most prevalent.

The Olympic Lottery

This is a common fraud, which is now arriving in homes around the country by letter. They illegally use the Olympics logos and tell recipients they have won £205,000. Recipients are asked to fax back their personal details - at which point the identify fraud can kick in.

The lottery approach accounts for the vast majority of Olympic scams. Previous incarnations have generally come by email, variously promising prizes of up to £1.5 million. They should be avoided at all costs.

Employment scam

These come as emails, phone calls or letters claiming to be from LOCOG and offering employment to those who provide the right personal details. The 2012 website warns that this is a scam designed for ID fraud, and that any job opportunities will instead be listed on www.london2012.com.

'Chance to bid' scam

One twist on this scam is the odd-sounding 'building bid' scam. Bizarrely, recipients get an email claiming to be from the president of the IOC.

The email asks for a payment of several thousand euros, in return you will have a chance to bid to supply things for the Olympics - which can be anything from lights to hotel rooms. This is, of course, a scam. Any money sent on will simply be stolen.

Free tickets scam

This was particularly prevalent at the time when people were hearing about the tickets they failed to receive. It's an email claiming to be from Company Offers which claims that because of a working partnership with their company, recipients have been offered free tickets for the closing ceremony. All they ask is for you to double-click the attachment in order to register and send your personal details.

This, of course, gives them two opportunities to attack - by using your details and by attaching a virus to the email.

London 2012 press release

This is an email made to look like a London 2012 press release. If you click on the link it will download a Trojan to your computer, which will steal information when you log on for internet banking or buy anything online, and send details to the criminals behind the scam.
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