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Alert: Fraudsters taking advantage of the Rio Olympics 2016

22nd June 2016

As the start of the 2016 summer games in Rio de Janeiro approaches, the increase in media coverage provides an opportunity for criminals to take advantage of people’s familiarity with the Olympic brand for their own gain.

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) has analysed reports from Action Fraud and found that the Rio 2016 Olympics’ name appears in frauds such as Lottery Scams, Financial Investments and Tickets.

Lottery Scams 

Fraudsters are sending letters and emails informing victims that they are the winner of a cash prize and a trip to the Olympics in Rio courtesy of the event organisers in Brazil or the International Olympic Committee.

Never respond to any such communication. 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. Find out how to protect yourself.

Ticket Scams

There will be very high demand for tickets to the Rio Olympic Games and that dedication from buyers can be exploited.

Always check the authorised sellers list which is published for the Rio Olympics. The authorised sellers list can be found here and the legal ticket guide relating to the resale of tickets can be found here

According to security firm Kaspersky, cybercriminals are also registering domains with names containing "rio" and "rio2016". These well made fake websites use cheap SSL certificates to provide "https" web addresses to make them appear legitimate, so be on the lookout.

Online ticket fraud rose by 55% last year, costing the UK public £5.2 million. Find out how to protect yourself

Investment Fraud

The local construction and infrastructure projects that accompany hosting the Olympic Games usually require the purchase and sale of significant amounts of land that can sometimes be marketed as an investment opportunity.

Anyone considering making land investments or any type of investment with the promise of big returns should complete some simple checks before entering into any agreement.  

The Financial Conduct Authority's (FCA) new campaign is encouraging anyone who is considering an investment to check its ‘Scamsmart’ website and seek independent financial advice from a regulated professional before going ahead.

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.

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