With the London 2012 Olympic Games fast approaching, Medway Council Trading Standards Team is advising residents and business to be careful they are not ripped off.

The Team is asking consumers to be very wary of any unsolicited emails or telephone calls offering London 2012 Olympic tickets and they can check whether a business is an Authorised Ticket Reseller on the 2012 website:

www.london2012.com/spectators/tickets/ticket-checker

This site even gives a list of known websites that have already been identified as unauthorised ticket resellers on the web.

Trading Standards is also warning consumers to be vigilant and avoid buying any counterfeit goods that appear on the market and suggesting some simple steps to ensure their merchandising is genuine:

• Look for the special 2012 hologram that flickers between London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic emblems and do not buy Olympic branded products unless it appears. It is important to double check it is a genuine hologram because some tricksters will apply simple foil squares to the labels of counterfeit goods which unsuspecting consumers will take at first glance as a real security hologram.

• Buy goods from reputable sources, avoid buying deals that are ‘too good to be true’ from unknown traders who you cannot easily contact again.

• If prices are too cheap for famous name goods that have the Olympic brand attached to them, be suspicious.

Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Community Safety and Customer Contact Cllr Mike O’Brien said: “This is a once in a life time opportunity to see the Olympic in Britain, and we want everyone to have great time and not have it spoilt by unscrupulous people who take advantage of the event.

”Unfortunately, a small number of rogue traders will always try and take advantage of trusting consumers and trick them out of money.

“With this special event coming to Britain we want everyone to have a fantastic time without it being ruined by being conned.”

The Trading Standards Team is also reminding businesses to be careful how they associate themselves with the Games, as the Olympics symbols and logos are closely controlled. In their enthusiasm for the games, an unassociated business might unknowingly contravene the strict controls, which have been set nationally.

LOCOG (London Organising Committee of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games) is clear that use of the marks in any commercial advertising or promotion or in any way that benefits an organisation commercially is not permitted.

Guidance for business on this area is available online at:

www.london2012.com/documents/brand-guidelines/guide-to-protected-games-marks.pdf

If Medway based businesses need help or advice on complying with the laws relating to the Olympics they can contact the Trading Standards Team for advice on 01634 333170.

Officers from Medway’s Trading Standards team are already making checks on the goods and memorabilia being sold to make sure they are safe and genuine.

The team is asking anyone who has any concerns about items they see for sale to contact them using the Citizens Advice Consumer Hotline number 0845 405060

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