Britain sets up cyber-enforcement team to check online World Cup ticket scam

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London, Feb. 14 (ANI): The British Government has set up new cyber-enforcement team to check websites selling fake tickets for this summer's World Cup finals in South Africa.

"As they get more sophisticated, we need to stay one step ahead. Football fans will spend good money travelling to South Africa to support England in this year's World Cup. I don't want fraudsters ruining fans' chances of enjoying this huge sporting event. Our enforcers will crack down on fake websites and stop people being ripped off by these criminals," The Guardian quoted Consumer Minister Kevin Brennan, as saying.

Internet and email scams currently cost three million UK consumers 3.5 billion pounds-a-year, according to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT). An estimated 73 percent of adults have received a scam email in the past year.

At least 4.3 million pounds have been given to the new cyber-enforcement team to crack down on fraudulent emails, which claim to sell tickets for non-existent concerts, festivals, football matches and other events.

The team will use "sophisticated technology to gather evidence to a criminal standard" and will make test purchases from ­websites that it suspects of acting ­unlawfully.

"We will trace the operators of ­websites and either take action or pass details to our international enforcement partners. In certain circumstances, we will get websites taken down," said a spokesman for the OFT.

In 2009, a number of websites claiming to sell tickets for the Reading, Leeds and V festivals - as well as the Beijing Olympics the previous year - shut down, leaving thousands of fans without tickets and significantly out of pocket.

The latest scam alert from the OFT comes just in time for Valentine's Day.

It is warning people to be on their guard against "romance fraudsters" who target singles columns and dating websites to search for victims. (ANI)

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