As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Tokyo 2020 Olympics have been postponed until next summer 2021. However, scammers will not postpone their attempts to target consumers through a series of tactics, including ticket refund scams. People should be on the lookout for these schemes under the guise of helping people to switch their plans to suit the new 2021 date.

Who Is It Targeting: Olympic fans, travelers

What Is It: A series of scams focused around changing people’s reservations and getting refunded for 2020 Olympics expenses

What Are They After: Scammers will use this opportunity to profit off of victims’ franticness to get their money back. With such a sudden change of plans for this global event, now is the time for scammers to strike and prey on fans’ vulnerabilities. These tactics will include flight refund phishing attempts, hotel/Airbnb refund phishing attempts and ticket refund phishing attempts.

As noted in one article “There is a fine-print stipulation that a “public health emergency” does not leave the organizing committee liable for covering more than five million purchased tickets.”

How You Can Avoid It:

  • To avoid ticket refund scams you need to go directly to the source. Don’t attempt to get refunded through an email with an unverified sender.
  • Stay up-to-date. As of now, Tokyo 2020 organizers have said that they are “monitoring the situation” and no decisions about ticket refunds have been made yet.
  • Make yourself aware of the terms. Airbnb’s “extenuating circumstances policy” for guests who need to cancel currently only covers reservations from March 14- April 14. Many hotels are only allowing fee-free changes through April. Unless your flight is canceled, many airlines may only offer you a voucher if you want to change your flight

If you have any questions about a scam, call the ITRC toll-free at 888.400.5530 or live chat with one of our advisors.

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