The Olympic Games provides an environment for crime to flourish especially in the areas of credit card fraud and counterfeit currency, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) has warned.
Outlining strategies to tackle Olympic-related crime Federal Agent Narelle Mitchell said technology has increased opportunites for fraud.
Agent Mitchell said organised South-East Asian crime groups involved in worldwide credit card fraud are likely to take advantage of the surge in commercial activity and volume of people in Australia during the Olympic Games.
She said credit card fraud takes various forms such as counterfeiting complete cards or re-coding the magnetic strip on lost and stolen cards to extracting valid credit card numbers generated by computer from confidential banking details.
The AFP has been involved in point-of-sale education to retailors in preparation for the Olympics and has warned them not to handle foreign currencies during the Olympics.
Australia's economy loses $3.5 billion to fraud each year and with more than a million people visiting Sydney during the Games the AFP believes the opportunity for fraud will be greatly increased particularly as airports and trade areas are swamped by tourists.
Operation Attica, the codename for the AFP's Olympic planning has been operational for two years and is being led by Federal Agent Steve Jackson, director of specialist operations.
Agent Jackson said the Olympic Games project is the largest peace-time operation in the world with increased training and additional forensics staff being made available including the establishment of new laboratories.
The mobile radio communication system in Eastern Region (eastern states) has been upgraded and will include a second network.
"This will result in a better system that is cheaper to run, more flexible in its operation and will provide a far greater redundancy capability in the event of interruption to normal operations," he said.