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2012 London Summer Olympics Scams

2012 London Summer Olympics Scams - The Beacon


By: Jackie

2012 London Summer Olympics Scams

With the 2012 London Summer Olympics coming July 27 through August 12, consumers should be on the lookout for spammers, malicious Olympic-related websites, and other attacks.  The 2008 Beijing Olympics reportedly received 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 that have targeted millions of consumers.

According to the official site of the London Olympics, one nasty scam comes as an email made to look like a London 2012 press release.  If the recipient clicks on it and they don’t have virus and malware protection, the email will try to download a Trojan horse keylogger designed to steal their information when they access their online banks and e-commerce websites.  Official London 2012 volunteer and supporter emails are always sent from either or

Here are some of the scams to watch out for.

Lottery/Sweepstakes scams saying that you have won a sizable amount of money and asking you to send them details like your bank account numbers, credit card numbers, etc. in order to claim your prize.  Some of the offers even displays the logos of the IOC, the London 2012 Games, and the UK National Lottery. Of course, you will never see any winnings, and now the scammers have all your financial information.

Scams using names of real companies are also showing up.  Scammers use names of real companies in hopes that consumers will be more likely to trust the offer.  Here are a few of the fraudulent prize offers.

Other types of scams using the Olympics as a hook include:

  1. ticket scams telling consumers they have won free, complimentary tickets and ask consumers to click on an attachment in order to register.  In the registration process, consumers are asked to provide personal details.  Some of the offers also tell consumers that all winners outside England have been granted an automatic waiver of their travel visa.
  2. offers of employment as laborers and construction workers, equestrian ring stewards, etc. and ask applicants to supply personal details.  One scam even requires applicants to send a copy of the front page of their passport.  All such offers ask applicants to send an application fee.  There are jobs available at the Olympics, but they are only listed on the official site
  3. phony offers sent to businesses telling them they can bid on contracts for various products such as lighting, hotel products, licensee merchandise, etc. all with a fee, of course.

The bottom line is never submit personal details unless the site is secure and you trust it.  Look for a padlock symbol in the browser window. The website address will begin with ‘https://’.  If you receive an email that looks fishy, don’t click on any links and make sure to delete the email and run a virus scan immediately.

For more information you can trust, visit

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Jackie is the Operations and Education Foundation Assistant with the BBB. She assists consumers with business inquiries, and does presentations to senior groups and high school students. She is a regular contributor to the blog.