London 2012 tickets: Essex police warn about touting and fakes
ESSEX POLICE is warning sports fans to be wary of bogus websites to make sure it’s the criminals who miss out when tickets for the Olympics go on sale next week.
More than eight million tickets will be available for the Olympic Games on March 15 but fans are urged to think carefully about where they buy them. Taking a few simple steps could prevent you falling victim to criminals selling fake or non-existent tickets and accommodation packages or stealing personal and credit card details.
Essex Police is linking up with the Metropolitan Police to crackdown on bogus websites as part of Operation Podium, an operation led by the Met to stop organised criminal networks benefitting financially from the games at the expense of the millions of visitors to London and Essex in 2012.
Chief Inspector John Walker, from Essex Police’s Olympic Planning team, said: “The 2012 Games will be the biggest sporting event this country has ever hosted with Essex hosting its own event, mountain biking at Hadleigh Farm.
“Criminals will be looking for ways to benefit from the Games, either through selling fake tickets or setting up professional looking sites offering accommodation and other services which may look genuine, but could leave you a victim.
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“We’re really keen that the people of Essex participate and enjoy the Games and that criminals do not take advantage of the five million additional visitors anticipated to visit London and the South East for the Olympic Games in 2012. Our message is that there are only limited ways to purchase tickets. If you are offered something that appears to be a bargain and too good to be true it probably is.
“There is some easy-to-follow advice which will help keep you safe and ensure you can enjoy the Games next year.”
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If you’re buying a ticket for the Games:
The London 2012 ticket application process opens on the 15 March and you have until 26 April to apply for tickets through LOCOG as tickets are not allocated on a first come first served basis.
The only way to apply for a ticket in the UK is at www.tickets.london2012.com. This is London 2012’s official site. You can also get a postal application from any Lloyds TSB branch, or from any public library in Northern Ireland. Don’t buy a ticket from an unauthorised website or tout. You risk being scammed, and not getting the ticket you wanted and paid for.
If you get a ticket for an event you can’t attend, you can return your ticket to get a refund through the London 2012 official ticket exchange. Your ticket will then be officially resold. Details of this will be announced in due course.
There are only three official providers for Games Breaks and Hospitality Packages in the UK - these are:
•Thomas Cook - www.thomascooklondon2012.com
• Prestige Travel - www.prestigeticketing.london2012.com
•Jet Set Travel - www.jetsetsports.com
Other websites or companies will not be authorised to sell you a ticket as part of a package in the UK. Always check the terms and conditions to see exactly what you are being sold;
Outside of the UK London 2012 tickets are sold through the country’s National Olympic Committee, or their authorised retailer.
If you find tickets for sale before March 15 or available from any unauthorised source at anytime, don’t buy them. They are not genuine. Report it to your local police, or London 2012 via email@example.com