Understanding the Types of Olympic Scams

Like any other major sporting event, the Paris Olympics has become a breeding ground for various scams. Here are the most common ones that Portuguese travelers need to be wary of:

Ticket Scams

Perhaps the most widespread scam, Olympic ticket fraud, involves the sale of counterfeit tickets. Scammers create convincing websites that mimic official ticketing platforms. The websites look legit, but they are designed to steal your credit card information. One red flag you may notice is that they offer seats at heavily discounted prices.

The scam site may promise guaranteed tickets, even when games are sold out. If you take this bait, you’ll end up having worthless tickets and won’t be able to get your money back.

Merchandise Fraud

Many fans wish to own a piece of Olympic memorabilia. They often order shirts, hats, or photos to celebrate the event. The desire to own a piece of the Olympics can also make fans vulnerable to merchandise scams. Cybercriminals can set up fake websites or social media pages to sell “official” merchandise.

Prices are typically heavily discounted on fake merchandise websites. Once you order, you may never receive the item or get a cheap, poorly made product instead.

Travel Scams

As fans flock to Paris from Portugal, scammers offer enticing deals for travel packages or accommodations. The counterfeit companies may ask for upfront payment and not provide any actual bookings. If you fall victim to this type of scam, you may end up stranded and unable to reach your destination.

Protecting Yourself from Olympic Scams

To ensure your Olympic experience remains fun, consider the following best practices:

Stick to Official Channels

Always rely on official sources when purchasing tickets, merchandise, or booking travel. The Paris 2024 Olympics website is a good place to start if you plan to travel for the Olympics. It offers authorized links to buy tickets, make travel arrangements, and order gear.

Research Sellers

If you use a third-party seller, research their online reputation. Check out any reviews and verify that the website is legitimate. Customer feedback can reveal if there’s anything suspicious about the seller.

Secure Your Payments

Use payment methods that offer fraud protection, like credit cards, whenever possible. If you become a scam victim, you may dispute the charges and hopefully recover the lost money.

Protect Your Personal Information

Don’t engage in emails, phone calls, or social media messages asking for personal information, like financial details. Legitimate organizations will never ask you to send payment details through messaging apps or email. If unsure, contact the company directly through official contact details.

Use a VPN for Secure Browsing

What is a VPN? A virtual private network encrypts your internet traffic, shielding your data from cyber threats. Using this cybersecurity tool can help to protect your online activities, such as financial transactions, during your trip to the Olympics.

The Benefits of a VPN for Traveling to the Olympics

Using a VPN while traveling to the Paris Olympics offers several advantages, including:

Protection of Your Privacy

A VPN masks your IP address and encrypts your data in transit, making it difficult for internet service providers, advertisers, or third parties to track your online activities.

Access to a Restricted Content

Access to specific websites and online services may be restricted or censored in some countries. A VPN can help you bypass these geo-restrictions. While in Paris, you can still visit your favorite social media sites, news outlets, and streaming services.

Secure Public Wi-Fi Connections

Public Wi-Fi hotspots available around the Olympics will be an attraction point to hackers. Since a VPN encrypts your internet traffic, your login details, financial information, and other data will remain protected from the snoopers online.

Better Deals

Prices for flights, hotels, and other travel expenses may vary depending on your location. You can find the best prices for travel arrangements by connecting to VPN servers in different regions. Just try to change your location from Portugal to any other country and compare the prices.

Credits: Pexels; Author: @ajaybhargavguduru ;

Cybersecurity Checklist for the Olympics

To further enhance your protection, consider the following before and during your trip to the Paris Olympics:

  • Keep your software and devices up-to-date with the latest security patches and updates.
  • Use strong, unique passwords for all your accounts and enable two-factor authentication whenever possible.
  • Avoid connecting to public Wi-Fi networks, especially without the protection of a VPN.
  • Be cautious of unsolicited emails, messages, or calls requesting personal details.
  • Back up any critical data to a secure, cloud-based storage solution before you leave for Paris.
  • Disable Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and NFC when not in use to reduce the chance of unauthorized access.
  • Consider using a credit card instead of a debit card for fraud protection.
  • Rely on mobile payment apps like Apple Pay or Google Pay instead of carrying physical credit cards and cash when traveling.

The 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris promises to be a once-in-a-lifetime event, but Portuguese fans must watch out for scams that target travelers. By understanding common Olympic scams, relying on official sources, and using a VPN, you can protect yourself from potentially high financial losses.