Portals, SMSes: Olympic-themed frauds mar Games spirit

Beijing, May 30, | Updated: May 31 2008, 05:40am hrs
Tricksters are setting up fake Olympic ticket websites, selling Olympic bonds that do not exist and running fraudulent Olympic-linked competitions, state media said Thursday, warning people not to be taken in.There were eight common Olympic-themed frauds, the official Xinhua news agency said. In one, text massages are sent out claming the recipient has won a prize from the Beijing Games organisers, but then the person is told they have to pay tax upfront to get the prize, Xinhua said.

In another, people are told that a warehouse containing Olympic medals caught fire and several medals are missing, but that the government was offering rewards for their return, though the report did not explain exactly how the fraud was carried out. A third involves the setting up of a fake Olympic ticket website which offers to sell unclaimed pre-booked or reserved tickets, and a fourth offers to sell special Olympic bonds or financial funds. They spin a web of lies to tempt and deceive people, and carry out their frauds by taking advantage of victims' desire for a small gain, Xinhua said. The Police are warning people to be cautious and not to let their guard down.