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  • Scams to be aware of during the Summer Olympics

    The Summer Olympics brings the world together once every four years to face off the top athletes on the planet. While the world watches and cheers, scammers are hard at work to try and steal your personal information. Here are some things you should watch out for and what you can do to protect yourself.

    Olympics scams

    False emails
    Scammers register emails with usernames that seem legitimate. The username will have Olympic related words, making it seem believable. The email will most likely have a short message and will ask that you open a document or PDF. Don't open the attachment, this is where they can begin to access your information. The phishing emails will tell people they have won prizes or that they can purchase merchandise on a faulty site if they reply with personal information. By clicking on attachments, advertisements, or replying, the hacker can gain access to your computer and even your bank account [1].

    Solution: If you are unsure, throw it away. Don't reply or click anything in the email, as this can lead to malware on your computer. If you feel that the email might actually be legitimate but you are unsure, call the company directly and ask them about your email. It's better to call and be safe than sorry [1].

    False retailers
    Scammers will also attempt to lure you in to buy fake merchandise. They purchase low-cost SSL certificates to make fake websites seem more real and will have fake products for you to buy. The websites will offer you products like tickets and require you to put in your credit card information to complete your purchase, at which point the scammers would then have all of your bank information. The website seem real and can be harder to tell apart if you're not paying close enough attention [2].

    Solution: If a website seems questionable, don't make your purchase. Always look for the green padlock symbol in the top left corner of the URL as this is a good indicator the website is safe. Also, try and only shop at reputable online sites and check reviews before you buy. If you are going to purchase Olympic related memorabilia, always pay with a credit card as opposed to a debit card. It is safer and easier to recover damages from than a debit card [2].

    Overall, just think before you act [1]. If something seems like it's a scam, dig a little deeper or throw it away. Remain alert and don't open attachments or reply to anything unless you know the sender is trustworthy.

    [1] Beware of Olympic Cyber Scams, Pasadena News Now
    [2] The Rio Olympics: Scammers Already Competing, Securelist

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