British police are investigating what they believe to be around 30 unauthorized websites illegally selling tickets for the Olympics, and warned fans they risked being ‘ripped off’ if they use them, Reuters reported.
The ticketing for the Games has been the most controversial issue for London organizers, as demand for many events is much more than the supply, prompting criticism about the way tickets were allocated, the cost of them, and the technical glitches that accompanied the handling of the applications.
Anger was at an all-time high over the weekend ,when Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper reported that the National Olympic Committees and Authorized Ticket Resellers representing 54 nations around the world had broken rules regarding the sale of the London 2012 tickets.
Police are stepping up their efforts to stop the black market trade on the hot items, with tickets now being delivered to British homes.
“At this time, when the majority of tickets have been sold, the public need to be more wary than ever about buying from an unauthorized source,” Detective Superintendent Nick Downing told Reuters.
British police are cracking down on the scammers, disabling two websites in a joint investigation with Portuguese colleagues and charging a 44-year-old man with fraud and money laundering.
As of June 6, London organizers said they had sold roughly 7 million tickets, they had 1.25 million soccer tickets still to sell -- half of the total for that event -- plus an added 550,000 tickets for other events.
In an effort to sell their remaining VIP tickets, Prestige Ticketing, an authorized Olympics partner, has begun to advertise its food and drink hospitality packages in newspapers. These tickets are usually allotted to corporate customers at major sporting events.
The tickets will be pricey, however, starting at roughly $1,100 per person for the events in the Olympic Stadium, putting them out of the reach of many British interested.
Prestige told Reuters it had sold more than 85 percent of its 80,000 tickets, and had always planned to make them available to the general public at this point before the Olympics begin on July 27.