/ Travel & Leisure

Olympics tickets warning – don’t be caught out on the road to Rio

Olympic tickets

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.

Bookriogames2016.com uncontactable

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?

Comments
Profile photo of william
Member

Isn’t it about time people were made to take a test before they can start using the internet (for their own safety) . The website in question has registered behind an anonymous providing service. Why would any legit company do that?

Profile photo of malcolm r
Member

Yes William. And there are many areas where people need to learn how to do things. Many will make the effort. Many require initial guidance. Some are not able and need others to help. And some just won’t make the effort but will complain. It is a life of learning by application and experience; I don’t see why we expect someone to continually protect us from ourselves.

Profile photo of Ian
Member

I presume this is part of Which?’s educational remit? It’s doubtless a dodgy site – so many are – so presumably Which? can complain to the relevant authorities and have it taken down. But I admit I’m also a little curious.

If I’ve been following things correctly, the Olympic Games for 2016 start sometime next week, to be precise eight days, eight hours and a few minutes away. Anyone sufficiently motivated to attend the games will – surely – by now have booked their ‘plane tickets (and they’ll get seats inside the ‘plane since no Irish low cost airline is doing the trip), their accommodation and, I would have thought, any tickets they wanted. So this advice is a little late if its intention is to protect the Darwin award competitors. And since it’s simply another of many scams (presumably), which have been debated to death in here, I’m a little unsure as to what the purpose of this topic actually is.

Profile photo of Vanessa Furey
Member

Hi Ian, I get your point but as with London there will be people who once they get to Rio, or who are about to fly, that fancy picking up some extra tickets. Our concern comes from how high this site ranks when you are looking for tickets, meaning someone could go to this one rather than the official seller.

We’ve been talking to the authorities about it for a little while and have seen the site come down at least once. But aware it pops back up again. We’ve also been talking to other consumer associations, including France, Brazil, New Zealand and Australia as this site is available globally. We’ve all be contacting our various Olympic teams and bodies to but coordinated pressure on authorities to take action.

Profile photo of malcolm r
Member

Quite, Ian.
The intro says ” but more must be done both in the UK and internationally to ensure ticket restrictions are made clear to consumers.” Such as? Any suggestions?

Profile photo of John Ward
Member

This being the South American winter the temperature is not too high in Rio right now compared with Norfolk so I was thinking of getting some tickets and enjoying some fun and Olympic games. This Conversation has put me right off. With a clutch of dodgy tickets I thought I could work the streets and have a good time, but what if they didn’t turn up in time? I am devastated . . . but grateful for the warning. The Copacabana is not a patch on Cromer Beach anyway, and it doesn’t have a pier.