Following a recent Economic Crime Conference the Metropolitan Police have circulated a document to London businesses with advice on how to stay vigilant against a range of fraudulent activities that may occur during the Olympic Games.

With just 30 days to go until the Games kick off, the threat of economic crime on London Businesses is expected to rise with so many people from around the world due to descend on the Capital.

The recent conference was held by Operation Podium, the Met’s dedicated response team formed to deal with serious and organised crime which could affect the economy of the Games. Crimes may range from money laundering and fraud to organised ticket crime.

Police have said that, as the world’s largest sporting event, the Games could attract organised criminal networks, fraudsters and scam artists looking to exploit the economy of such major events. Operation Podium will be working before and throughout the Olympics to prevent economic crime occurring and an important starting point for the team is in giving out advice, and awareness training, to local businesses in order to help reduce criminal opportunities.

The conference discussed the best ways in which London businesses could adopt fraud prevention measures. One major piece of advice was to ensure that staff are fully trained on understanding and handling the potential threat of payment fraud.

With businesses more at risk during busy periods, staff should be aware on what to do if a card is declined. It is also possible that cards from other countries will not use chip and pin, making them more susceptible to fraud. Major retailer John Lewis said that staff had caught fraudsters out in the past by asking security questions when dealing with chip and pin cards such as the name of the bank, country and asking the person to spell names out.

False documents were also discussed and it was recommended that businesses always seek original documents for verification. If only a photo card licence is produced it is recommended that the business requests the counterpart as well.

The Bank of England recommended that retailers and businesses have a clear company policy on how to deal with counterfeit notes so that staff are fully aware of the procedures for what to do if they suspect or discover fake money. The Bank of England said that it was important to check all banknotes being passed in a transaction and not to rely on just one security feature but check a few. Counterfeit notes can be identified in a number of ways including the feel of the paper and the raised print, the watermark, the foil features, the metallic thread and by the motion thread on the new-style £50 note.

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