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Pat Imig

Olympic ticket buyers beware

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Do not purchase Olympics tickets from any site with the name "beijingticketing.com" or http://www.beijing-tickets2008.com/. Doing so would be hazardous to your financial health.

AUSTRALIAN victims of an online Olympic ticketing scam have reported losses of more than $40,000 in the first few hours after a national hotline opened in Sydney today.

The hotline, which opened at 9am (AEST), has received more than 30 calls - mostly from Victoria - as it collects information about the extent of a scam about which the International Olympic Committee has received hundreds of complaints overseas and in Australia.

It would be easy to have a cynical attitude and laugh at the prospect of ordering tickets from such an unauthorized Web site, but the url appeared first on Google searches -- ahead of the official Olympics site. More than $50 million worth of fake Beijing Olympic tickets have been sold globally.

As of this typing, the sites have been shut down. It is believed that the scam sites are linked to a fraud involving the sale of Euro 2008 tickets. The sites have a U.S.-based mailing address and London phone number. If that sounds familiar to you, call our Unsolved Mysteries hotline at 1-800-876-5353. Maybe you could help solve a mystery.

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