When it comes to purchasing the genuine article, many people associate counterfeit goods with the fake pills or the affordable Gucci handbags which can be bought through an ever increasing number of internet based distributors but as the Olympic fever starts to pick up the question of document and ticket security is at an all time high.
Based on the number or tickets to be sold for the Olympics 2012, up to 9 million people could be expected to descend on London throughout the games, although many will be traveling within the UK – a large percentage will also be expected from overseas, meaning security and document checks will be even more a priority than normal.
With London 2012 Olympic tickets now on sale, there are fears that fraudsters will seek to profit from people’s desire to attend the Games. This has prompted the official ticket provider to launch a new ticket scam-spotting site as well as reserving and buying as many similar sounding domain names as possible for online ticket sales.
But this is only a small proportion of what can be done to ensure that the tickets and documentation are not only authentic but can also be tracked and traced to confirm they belong to their intended recipient.
We all expect that when receiving and presenting your ticket on the day of your chosen events, ID will be required to match up with your allotted ticket – technology must be adopted at all stages that wont only authenticate a document, but also assign the individual document to a single person, this can be used to authenticate the original card or ticket and then show if the identity has been changed.
The likelihood is that all official tickets will include some kind of overt authentication tag such as a hologram or watermark but as the industry is becoming too aware of – this is now not enough as fraudsters become more sophisticated with their technologies and skills to replicate items to the point where the original manufacturers would struggle to tell the difference.
The diversion of goods also represents a real problem, as with the increasing number of distribution channels, consumers need to make sure that even if they are purchasing an authentic ticket then they are not paying an extortionate amount of money for it.
As Sebastian Coe has been quoted “‘We want this to be the greatest show on earth, not the greatest scam on earth”. As an anti-counterfeiting industry we have a responsibility to ensure this occasion is remembered for the right reasons.
The key for document and ticketing authentication is the security of the product and the security of the consumer and for this a layered anti counterfeit approach is definitely required incorporating both overt and covert measures.
Securing tickets to ensure their authenticity is one thing, but the real crack down on counterfeit documentation will be defined by the ability to track and trace as well as directly matching individual tickets to their intended recipient creating a unique and personalised Olympic experience for all involved.