BBB issues warning for Olympic scams

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCT) With the anticipation of the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro building, Better Business Bureau (BBB) serving Eastern North Carolina is warning consumers about the scams that could potentially occur in conjunction with the worldwide event.

“The Olympics are an incredible worldwide event that gets everyone excited for their countries’ chances at winning gold,” said Mallory Wojciechowski, president and CEO of BBB serving Eastern NC. “Unfortunately, scammers know this and will use any avenue they can to take advantage of fan enthusiasm and scam consumers whether it be through fake apparel, phony tickets or rental house scams.”

BBB serving Eastern North Carolina offers the following advice to protect consumers from Olympic scams that can occur during the Games:

Fake Olympic apparel: It is important to only purchase merchandise from the official Olympic or Team USA online stores. Phony online stores will pop up as it gets closer to the games. These fake websites often take your money but never send the merchandise. If you happen to be attending the Games, be sure to buy from pre-approved vendors. While it might be tempting to purchase cheap counterfeit merchandise, remember that doing so diverts funds away from the Games and into the hands of crooks.

Phony tickets: If you decide to attend the games, you should purchase tickets from the Olympic site or from a trusted online ticket seller. If tickets aren’t purchased on a legitimate site, there is a chance they could be a fake. If someone is offering tickets at a price lower than they are being sold through official sites -it’s likely a scam.

Rental house scams: Most attendees have already made their hotel accommodations, but, if you are waiting until the last minute, keep in mind scammers are zeroing in on you. Scammers can easily hijack legitimate online listings and make it look like their own. To avoid getting caught up in a scam, its best to deal directly with the property owner or manager.

For more information on Olympic scams, visit

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