Today sees the tickets for the 2012 Olympics go on sale and as usual there are warnings on the likelihood of fraudulent websites appearing.

Even though the tickets are only on sale via a single website, ticket buyers are warned to be extra vigilant when making their purchase to avoid leaving themselves vulnerable to fraud and online ID theft.

VeriSign Authentication (now part of Symantec) advised sports fans to be prudent and thoroughly vet websites before making a purchase, particularly when searching for tickets that appear to be sold out elsewhere.

Danilo Labovic, director at VeriSign Authentication EMEA, said: “Fake sites may look like the real deal, however the tickets they advertise will never be received by would-be buyers. While these sites may look authentic, consumers should look out for obvious give-aways and be sure they are on the official page.

“Poor spelling or lack of business details such as a valid UK address and phone number should be a warning sign. To stay safe online, consumers should always look out for the green address bar in their web browser. It indicates that the website you are looking at has been authenticated and is who it claims to be.”

Greg Day, director of security strategy EMEA at McAfee, said: “It is no secret that cyber criminals view high profile social events and sporting occasions as prime opportunities to target users with spam that re-directs them to malicious sites.

“Cyber criminals often use sophisticated tactics to effectively launch short notice attacks on an often unsuspecting public, but due to the heightened level of awareness around the Olympics ticket release date, consumers have the best chance of pre-empting these scams by informing themselves of the dangers of sourcing tickets through unofficial channels.

“The London 2012 ticketing team also have a responsibility to ensure that the official ticket checker, that has been designed to weed out illegitimate sites, features prominently in search results across a number of key search terms.”

There is one very reassuring thing about the Olympics ticket portal. When setting a password the minimum complexity requirements not only ensure that it consists of six to 16 characters with one number, it also insists that london2012, Olympics, a user's first name, last name or full name are not permitted.

For London 2012 Olympic tickets, use the official website at www.tickets.london2012.com.