Which? is warning anyone planning a trip to the Rio Olympics to be aware of suspicious sites selling tickets to the games. Would you know what to look out for?
Following on from our work on ticketing scams for the European Championships last month, we’ve been looking at websites selling Olympics tickets. We’ve uncovered one website in breach of official ticketing restrictions for the games…
Olympics tickets warning
The site in question is Bookriogames2016.com – and it isn’t an authorised ticketing seller listed by the organising committee of the Rio 2016 Olympics.
However, it ranks higher in internet searches than official sites like CoSport – the Rio 2016 authorised ticket seller for Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Even though the website states ‘you’re protected with us’, people buying from them risk not being allowed into the event. The Rio 2016 Olympic Games terms and conditions strictly forbid entry if your ticket is purchased from an unauthorised source.
But we actually have a number of other concerns about this website and the risk it could pose to Olympics ticket buyers.
Our concerns are:
- Tickets sold in breach of terms and conditions – this site also allows customers to buy as many as 20 tickets, even though official rules only allow 4 tickets per customer.
- Vague contact details – the site lists no office address. We found it’s hosted in India but its actual address is hidden.
- Unsubstantiated review claims – we can’t find any evidence of online reviews, although the site claims to have five stars.
- Consumer-unfriendly terms and conditions – the site ‘reserves the right to deliver tickets at any point between the time of purchase and the day of the event’ meaning some fans may have to travel to Rio before receiving their ticket.
- Imitation website design – the site design, graphics and fonts are very similar to that of the official Rio Olympics ticket site which may be an attempt to confuse consumers into thinking that it is the official site.
- Dodgy domain – the site is registered using a domain service which has been linked to several scams.
We tried contacting Bookriogames2016.com using the email address and phone number listed on their website to discuss our concerns. We’ve had no reply and the telephone number has since been removed from the website.
We’ve reported our findings to Action Fraud, but more must be done both in the UK and internationally to ensure ticket restrictions are made clear to consumers.
Action Fraud is also warning against potential scams linked to the games. With over a week to go until the opening ceremony they’ve already received reports of fraud relating to the Rio Olympics with victims losing a total of nearly £300,000, mainly due to ticketing and lottery scams.
Our advice is simple. If you’re planning to buy a ticket for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, make sure you buy from one of the authorised ticket sellers listed on the Rio 2016 Olympics website, otherwise you risk being turned away at the gates.
But is it that easy, would you know how to spot an unauthorised site or would you be tempted to run the risk?