Business warned to be alert for Olympic fraud
LONDON (Reuters) - London businesses should be vigilant against fraudsters looking to target the 2012 Olympics, the Metropolitan police said Friday.
With increased numbers of people visiting the capital during the Games, business could be more vulnerable to cheque and credit card scams, Detective Chief Inspector Nick Downing of the Specialist Crime Directorate told reporters.
"Everyone should be vigilant. Be prepared for an increase in custom ... but then you have to be aware that with that increase in custom there is an increase of opportunity for crooks," he said.
"As businesses get busier then we could see an increase in counterfeit credit cards being used to purchase goods, fake cheques flooding the market."
Criminal gangs could try and circulate different styles of cards and products which businesses may not have time to check, he warned.
Downing said his team of 36 detectives was working with banks, hotels, travel operators and the ticketing industry to ensure they had good systems in place ahead of the Games.
Downing also warned against ticket touts and criminal gangs looking to steal personal and credit card details.
More than 1,000 ticket touts, mostly British, are on his team's radar from previous sporting and cultural events.
Sports fans looking to apply for tickets when they go on sale on March 15 should only use the official London organising committee (LOGOG) website to avoid being conned, he said.
"For me it is horrendous to think that someone from China or Australia or America or Pakistan has come to the UK and don't get their hotel they have booked because someone has scammed them there and then they go to watch the event they have been saving up for, the trip of a lifetime, and be let down," he added.
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