As the world’s most superior athletes gather in London to participate in the 2012 summer Olympic Games, the last thing on the minds of consumers should be becoming the target of a scam. Unfortunately, scammers have begun to victimize consumers under the false pretense of official Olympic organizations.
The most recent scam comes in the form of mysterious e-mail correspondences, claiming the recipient has won free tickets to Olympic events. These e-mails appear to be from businesses directly associated with, or in sponsorship of, the 2012 London summer Olympic Games.
One of the telltale signs that an e-mail is not legitimate is the use of improper English in its content. Most veritable businesses will ensure their correspondences are free from common spelling and grammatical errors, prior to their dissemination. Consumers are advised to look for the overuse of homophones in any suspicious e-mails received. Homophones are words that sound alike, but are spelled and defined differently. In addition, consumers are also warned not to click on any links which might be included in these e-mails. It could lead you to a scam site which appears to be authentic.
The e-mails may even contain factual information regarding the Olympic Games. They will have official contact information; however, the content of the message will actually be the key component to the scam.
In conjunction with the Olympic e-mail scam, retailers have been attempting to profit from all the “hype” surrounding the games by manufacturing unofficially licensed team merchandise. It can be difficult to know if merchandise is officially licensed by a reputable Olympic team or organization. The BBB suggests ordering directly from an organization’s own website, a well-respected online company, or from a licensed retailer. For example, all Team Canada Olympic merchandise is licensed and distributed by The Bay.
As for merchandise sold in stores, consumers should look for a hologram logo featuring the Olympic symbol on the tag of each item purchased. Any official gear will have these tags on them, which are difficult to reproduce. These tags are developed by the manufacturer as a way to authenticate the merchandise.