How boom in rogue ticket websites fleeces Britons

First it was football supporters desperate for cup final tickets, then music fans hoping for concert seats. Now touts are targeting the Beijing Olympics. Jamie Doward reports on the explosion in online ticket scamsHundreds of online touts operating from anonymous offshore tax havens are offering British sports fans illegal tickets for this year’s Olympic Games at thousands of dollars a time. And an Observer investigation has revealed that firms behind the black-market trade have a history of ripping off customers.In the past two years scores of firms selling concert and sports tickets have gone bust or failed to deliver, leaving fans high and dry. Agencies recently failed to provide tickets for the Carling Cup final at Wembley and concerts by Take That and Led Zeppelin.Many of these online firms are operating multiple sites and now see the Olympics as a lucrative new way of targeting victims. And with the 29th Games in China just months away, the clamour for tickets is growing.

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