Prevent fraud during Olympic games

Beware of fraud during OlympicsDon't let fraud ruin your 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games fun. Be extra vigilant when booking accommodation, ordering tickets and purchasing souvenirs online. Fraud is expected to rise during the Winter Games, so you don't want to be left out in the cold.

Here are some safety guidelines to prevent fraud from ruining your Olympics fun.

Visa and MasterCard transactions are automatically protected. If you are hit with a scam, you may apply for reimbursement from your credit card company. Note that Visa is the official credit card sponsor of the games, and only Visa or cash can be used to purchase tickets or official merchandise. MasterCard can be used for virtually everything else, including booking accommodation.

When booking accommodations, pay the deposit with your credit card. There is less likelihood that you will be taken by a con artist. Book through owners with accommodations that have been officially licenced by the municipality they are located in. These types of lodgings allow you to pre-inspect them for suitability.

When ordering tickets online, be sure to do so through the official VANOC website. Counterfeit tickets can be acquired for next to nothing, so avoid disappointment at the gates and buy official tickets in advance.

Keep all receipts in a secure place. Also be sure that the company name, date, transaction number and item are legible. When the bills start pouring in next month, double and triple check that every transaction on your bill matches up with your receipts. Report any discrepancies immediately. The earlier you dispute a charge, the quicker it will be sorted out.

Watch out for pickpockets. Keep your eyes open while in Vancouver or Whistler. Transit, streets and venues will be packed with people, providing many opportunities for thieves. Keep your wallet in your front pocket and keep loose cash to a minimum.

A heavy dose of common sense exercised in advance will go far in ensuring that you enjoy your once-in-a-lifetime Olympic event.

Written by Melanie Dixon.

Published February 12, 2010

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