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Vancouver Olympic ticket scam topped $2 million

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Vancouver Olympic ticket scam topped $2 million

By: The Canadian Press

Date: Wednesday May. 19, 2010 2:28 PM PT

Olympic organizers say a ticket scam that cropped up in the final days of the Vancouver Games could have been much worse if organizers hadn't barred new ticket accounts.

Executive Vice President Dave Cobb says the fraud was detected when it became clear that Canada and the United States would face off in the final hockey game.

"We knew the way gold medal hockey was going that it would have likely led to several times the level of fraud that occurred in the period we caught it," Cobb said at the conclusion of a board meeting Wednesday.

The scammers had already defrauded 200 people when the scheme was discovered on the so-called fan-to-fan website, a site set up by Olympic organizers that allowed fans to resell their tickets at rates far higher than face value.

It essentially operated as a sanctioned scalping website, a place where people could choose to pay sometimes outrageous sums for tickets but still be assured the tickets were authentic.

Cobb told a news conference following a board meeting of the organizing committee that shutting down the scammer's credit card accounts alone wouldn't stop the fraud.

Those involved would simply switch to another fraudulent credit card, so the organizing committee, known as VANOC, blocked all new accounts in the final days of the Games.

Organizers have reimbursed more than 200 ticket holders about $2 million.

Cobb said wrangling has now begun with credit card company Visa and the Games' insurers to determine who is responsible for the cost.

Article: CTV BC: Vancouver Olympic ticket scam topped $2 million

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