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POV: Be alert for Olympic-themed scams

The author is the communications director for the Better Busines Bureau’s New York bureau.

The 2012 London Olympics are here and millions all over the world will spend all 17 days on the edge of their seats cheering on their country. From the moment the Opening Ceremony begins, excitement sweeps the nation and unfortunately, so do Olympic scams.

Reflecting back on the 2008 Beijing Olympics, it was reported they were on the receiving end of 12 million online attacks per day, and this year’s Olympics can count on receiving just as many or even more. In fact, officials at the 2012 Summer Olympics have already reported 124 known scams so far, most targeting enthusiastic consumers. Some of the hooks include:

Coca Cola London 2012 Olympic Games Promotions

The email contains a letter claiming to be from The Coca Cola London 2012 Olympic Games Promotions which tells the recipient that they won an email drawing. The letter invites the recipient to fill in an application form and promises a payment through an online transfer. It’s a scam.

2012 London Olympic Promotion or Claim Your Prize

The recipient receives an email purporting to be from a person who claims to be the “London Olympic Cash Officer” for London 2012, stating that the recipient was selected at random to receive a cash prize of $1.65 million. To receive the payment, they have to submit their personal bank account information to an email provided. It’s a scam.

Free Tickets or Olympic Weekly Drawing

The email informs the recipient that due to their company’s working partnership with the Olympics, they’ve been offered a number of complimentary tickets for the London Olympics closing ceremony. The email explains availability is limited and the offer expires in two days. The recipient is required to click the attachment for registration. It’s a scam.

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