Australians have lost nearly $120,000 to the Olympic ticket scammers, according to the latest update by the NSW Office of Fair Trading.
Since setting up a helpline at 8:30am yesterday , Fair Trading has reported the total dollars lost to the scam has nearly reached $120,000 with 45 individuals registering as victims.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) who yesterday said it was investigating the scam said it has no further updates but is continuing its investigations.
Furthermore, it reiterated that the only authorised Australian ticketing agent for Beijing Olympic tickets is CoSports and it is no longer selling tickets.
The perpetrator sites beijingticketing.com and beijing-tickets2008.com are no longer accessible and appear to be shut down.
Meanwhile, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, (ABS), Internet scams are a growing threat and Australians are regularly duped.
In its first National Personal Fraud Survey released just last month the ABS found that one billion dollars was lost as a result of personal fraud in the 12 months leading up to December 2007, with 36 percent of Australians over 15 exposed to a range of selected scams.
According to the report, the rapid expansion and availability of internet technology and the increase in electronic storage, transmission and sharing of data, is a contributor.
However, Soula MacFarlane, report speciallist and director of the National Centre of Crime and Justice Statics said it’s not just the internet where fraud is occurring; people will try all sorts of things including landlines or mobile telephones.
“The research is showing once a scam is identified they’ll try different methods to undertake it,” said MacFarlane.
The Chair of the Australasian Consumer Fraud Taskforce, Louise Sylvan said: “The key message for consumers is not to respond to 'out-of-the-blue too-good-to-be-true offers', keep up the protections on your computer, and keep credit cards in sight."
Security experts have warned of the likely surge in Olympic related attacks all year. Most recently, a spam email purporting to be a real news story claiming the Olympics were cancelled was detected.
Australians lose millions to fraud annually not just during Olympics
By Negar Salek on Aug 5, 2008 2:45PM