Olympic Games Traveling Tips from Netwrix to Avoid Being Scammed

Netwrix provided six suggestions to prevent scams while traveling to attend the Olympic Games in Paris.

With all eyes on Paris this summer, unfortunately the global event may also draw the attention of scammers intent on exploiting attendees and travelers for their own malevolent purposes. If you are planning your Olympic Games event travel, consider these tips from Ilia Sotnikov, Security Strategist at Netwrix, to make your journey a safer one.

  1. Bundle travel options. One way to reduce the risk of security exposure is to minimize the number of transactions performed to book your travel. The Paris 2024 Hospitality Program, for example, offers two packages of services: an all-inclusive option comprising lodging, tickets to events, dining, transportation, private events and cultural tours, and a package that includes just tickets to sports venues and access to an exclusive lounge in the center of Paris. By bundling verified offerings, the Paris 2024 Hospitality Program not only reduces work for visitors but also helps safeguard them from dubious services and would-be scammers.
  2. Use official ticket services. If you need to purchase separate event tickets not included in your package, reduce your risk by using the official Olympic resale service, which is scheduled to open in mid-May of 2024. This is the only official site guaranteed to offer authentic, non-duplicated tickets. Fans who seek tickets through unofficial channels expose themselves to the risk of purchasing counterfeit tickets at high prices. In addition to stealing money through the initial transaction, scammers can also glean the buyer’s payment card details and personal information to misuse or sell later.
  3. Book accommodations early and with caution. Malicious actors can target travelers looking for accommodations, especially as the event draws closer. Be sure to book your accommodations early and stick to well-known, reputable booking sites. To be safe, double- and triple-check the URL for the booking site to be sure you have been directed to a website mimicking a legitimate platform. Adversaries often use counterfeit listings to harvest payment and personal information for future misuse. In addition, always review the cancellation and refund policies thoroughly before providing your payment details to avoid unwanted surprises and be wary of any hosts who aggressively encourage rapid booking. This cloud be a tactic to pressure you into a hasty, and dangerous, decision.
  4. Secure your digital devices. Before you embark on your trip, consider an international data roaming plan. If you opt to use open Wi-Fi networks when in transit, be sure to turn off the option to connect automatically to open Wi-Fi networks. Whenever possible, confirm the legitimacy of a Wi-Fi listing with the hosting establishment before connecting. Consider, as well, disabling Wi-Fi Bluetooth and NFC on your devices when they’re not in use and avoid accessing any sensitive sites, such as banking apps, over public Wi-fi. If you need to do so, use a VPN app that you installed before leaving for your trip. If a familiar app is not operational in Paris, exercise vigilance about installing and using a different one.
  5. Use a credit card. To help avoid and protect against financial scams, pay with a credit card whenever possible. Your credit card can offer you protections you may not otherwise receive. To prepare for small cash transactions, like tips, exchange currency only at official banks. Never purchase Euros from someone on the street and when attempting to do business with someone who cannot speak your language, use a smartphone interpreter app to ensure all parties understand the terms of your transaction.
  6. Watch out for phishing emails and SMS messages. With the advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology, email and text scams are not just more common, but more convincing. Be aware of any message from a source you are not familiar with. In particular, be aware that scammers can now easily craft compelling messages in multiple languages that may initially appear legitimate.

“Visitors to the Paris games don’t need the prowess of an Olympic athlete to ensure their security during their trip,” said Sotnikov. “They should maintain an awareness of their surroundings, use the same common sense they apply daily in their regular community, and stay vigilant to avoid being scammed. Consider that every transaction you make is a potential opportunity for a malicious actor and remain aware. It may make the difference between a frustrating situation and an incredible Olympic experience.”

For more information about Netwrix and Olympic Games, visit the website here.

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