Olympic Games Foster Sporting Scams

August 03, 2012

CHICAGO, IL- August 2, 2012 – With the Summer Olympics in London off to an exciting start, the Better Business Bureau is warning sports fans and general public to be wary of scams that target consumers immersed and excited about the Olympic Games.  


“Everything old is new again and these scams are no different than they have been in the past,” said Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “It is vital that people are aware of these scams, and take the necessary steps in protecting their personal information.”

The BBB warns of the following Olympic-related scams to watch out for:


  • E-mail “press releases”. According to the official website of the London Olympics, one nasty scam comes as an e-mail made to look like a London 2012 press release. If the recipient clicks on it and they don’t have proper virus and malware protection, the e-mail 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 support@london2012.com or support@london2012.org.


  • Lottery and sweepstakes scams. Watch out for scams saying that you have won a sizable amount of money and asking you to send them details (bank account numbers, credit card numbers, etc.) in order to claim your prize. Some of these offers even display the logos of the IOC, the London 2012 Games, and the UK National Lottery. If you respond, the scammers will gain all of your financial information and you will never see any winnings.


  • Name-borrowers. 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: Proctor & Gamble Olympic Promotion, Coca-Cola Company and London 2012 Official Award Notification, Ford Olympic 2012 Promo, London 2012/Microsoft Online Email Draw and VISA Europe Company Olympic Games Official Promotion. For more detailed information on these and a complete list of all known scams related to the current Olympics, visit: http://www.london2012.com/mm/Document/Documents/General/01/25/71/46/Detailsofknownscams_Neutral.pdf.


  • Ticket scams. Some scams will tell 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.

In order to avoid falling victim to these scams, 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 consumer tips you can trust, visit www.bbb.org


As a private, non-profit organization, the purpose of the Better Business Bureau is to promote an ethical marketplace. BBBs help resolve buyer/seller complaints by means of conciliation, mediation and arbitration. BBBs also review advertising claims, online business practices and charitable organizations. BBBs develop and issue reports on businesses and nonprofit organizations and encourage people to check out a company or charity before making a purchase or donation.