UK & World News
Fake Undercover Police Con Olympic Tourists
Police are warning of criminals posing as undercover cops and "fining" tourists for bogus minor offences ahead of the London 2012 Olympics.
They say gangs from South America and Eastern Europe are targeting visitors, accusing them of littering or not having ID documents.
They then demand an immediate cash "fine" or accompany them to cashpoint machines and insist they withdraw money.
Scotland Yard detectives have arrested four suspects, but believe there are many others trying to dupe confused tourists.
Detective Superintendent Nick Downing said: "It's theft, pure and simple. They prey on foreigners who don't know how our police operate and have intimidated some to hand over money.
"Visitors should know that no police officer will ever ask for cash in those circumstances."
Police have also warned sports fans to beware of eight bogus Olympic ticket websites that are either unauthorised or fraudulent.
Fifty victims have so far been identified has having been ripped off and detectives believe there will be many more.
"Despite the warnings people are still buying tickets from websites that should not be selling them. They are likely to be disappointed," said Det Supt Downing.
Police have managed to get some sites shut down, but have found host countries reluctant to use their laws to do so in other cases, especially the United States and Holland.
The sites detectives are concerned about are:
Detectives are hunting a Dutchman who runs the www.jetsetsport.info website after he slipped through their clutches as they went to arrest him at his Merseyside home.
Police say they have yet to see any counterfeit Olympics tickets, but would welcome any information on the subject.Anyone who has bought tickets or accommodation from any of those sites are urged to email police at email@example.com.