Sunday, 3 August 2008

SCAM WARNING - Do Not Buy Tickets For The Olympics From This Website!

The slick, professional-looking website has seen numerous customers dishing out a tonne of money, but it looks like they have all been duped. Located at the following URL - http://www.beijingticketing.com, the site boasts of offices in Sydney, London and New York.

Word is, that Olympic officials will ask a judge in California on Monday to shut down the website that offers tickets to Beijing Olympics events online. So far, most of the victims out of pocket, are located in Australia, the US and Europe, along with a number of well-known travel agencies.

It is believed the offices in the three major cities do not in fact even exist.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has received complaints from hundreds of alleged victims in Australia and the rest of the world who fear they have been duped.

Some of the customers have handed over in excess of $US57,000 each for tickets, but to date, have received nothing back.

The people behind the website appear to have vanished just days before the opening ceremony in Beijing.

The only address on the website leads to an office in Phoenix, Arizona, but desperate fans hoping to travel to Beijing discovered another dead end when they visited the office. The office was empty!!!

Also, the phone number on the website just constantly rings out.

Texas-based travel agent, Jolanta Sochacka, is one of the scam's biggest victims.

Sochacka told today's Los Angeles Times newspaper she purchased $US57,000 worth of tickets for a family of seven but has not sighted the tickets.

When Sochacka asked a friend in Phoenix to check out the address, the friend found an empty office and no sign the company ever resided there.

"I've been in business for 18 years, I'm aware that there's fraud out there," Sochacka told the LA Times. But they looked so legitimate, their website was so elaborate."

NOT THE FIRST TIME

The IOC and the US Olympic Committee (USOC) have previously had success in shutting down another suspected Beijing Olympics ticket website scam.

Also, emenating out of Pheonix, a restraining order was issued on 23rd July to close the website URL - http://www.beijing-tickets2008.com.

There is a good chance that the FBI will be called in to investigate both of this fraudulent websites and their owners. On Monday, the IOC and USOC will ask a federal judge in San Francisco for an order to shut http://www.beijingticketing.com.

Even experts in internet and software development were fooled by the professional and elaborate looking website.



David Boctor, a Los Angeles Internet entrepreneur who runs his own online retail store, paid beijingticketing.com $US11,505 for hard-to-get tickets to the Olympic opening ceremony, swimming and diving.

"If I failed to recognise this internet scam, very few other individuals with less of an e-commerce background would have had a chance," Boctor said.

Another computer expert victim - California-based Jonathan Murray, bought and paid for tickets to Olympic equestrian events - each ticket was $US4,950.

"I work for a fairly large software company, and the team I manage is responsible for dealing with Internet crime," Murray, originally from Britain, told the newspaper. So it was quite amusing to everyone at work that I had been scammed on the internet. The important point I'm making by talking about this is that this was a bloody good scam."

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