Still Up and Running
Despite last week's IOC suit, one of the sites accused of fraud--www.beijingticketing.com--was still operating on Monday, offering seats for numerous events, including Friday's opening ceremony, with prices topping $2,150.
The professional-looking site, which carries the official Beijing Games logo, provides a London phone number, which rang dead on Monday, and a U.S. address in Phoenix, Arizona.
Australia's Olympic Committee (AOC) offered commiserations but no solutions to the scores of Australians left out of pocket.
"Our sympathy goes to them ... but we certainly aren't in a position to step in, compensate or find other tickets," AOC chief John Coates said on Monday.
"We warned folk to only deal with authorized ticket suppliers," he told a news conference.
The press reported that some Australian nationals had been swindled out of almost $45,000. Moriarty said one unnamed individual had lost $57,000.
"The worst thing is that some people don't even know yet that they bought tickets that won't arrive," he said.
"Some were told they could pick up the tickets at an office in Beijing, and they won't be there. My guess is they sold thousands of tickets that don't exist."
Tickets for events in host city Beijing completely sold out last week, Games organizers said, leaving only seats for competitions in co-host cities still available.
Many tickets are still being offered on the e-Bay auction website, but Australia's Coates urged caution.
"There may be tickets on eBay that are delivered ... but I think it is a great risk. That would be my message," he said.
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