Dark Side Of FIFA World Cup – How To Avoid Scammers And Enjoy The Final Game

On December 18, the final of the World Cup between the teams of Argentina and France will take place. This is a huge event that will be followed by millions of fans around the world. According to FIFA president Gianni Infantino, this championship is going to be the most-watched tournament in history.

Considering the amount of attention surrounding this event, scammers will try to use it to steal valuable personal data or money. Kaspersky experts have explored the issue and found several scams devoted to the FIFA world football championship.

1. Phishing pages to buy tickets

Considering the huge popularity of the FIFA World Cup and the number of football fans globally, it’s easy to imagine the level of the hype around any ticket purchases – and not everyone will manage to get one.

Stadium Lusail, where the final will be hosted, is the biggest stadium in Qatar and has a capacity of the 88,966 spectators. Given the limited number of places, scammers will use this chance to sell fake tickets. According to these examples, the cost of such tickets can be up to US $4,000.

With such high prices, fans need to be extremely vigilant and pay attention to the webpage where they are going to buy tickets. The safest way is to buy tickets on the official FIFA websites to mitigate the risk of facing scammers.

2. Fake bookmakers

The FIFA final always attracts the attention of gambling fans around the world. People place bets hoping to guess the winning team, or the score that will end the match and hit a big jackpot. Fraudsters have wasted little time in trying to take advantage of the excitement of fans by creating fake sweepstakes.

They have created face betting pages, where fans are asked to send an SMS with the winning team or best player. Thus, the victim’s number gets added to the database of scammers so they can contact the victim in the future in other schemes, or sell their data on the darknet, etc.

‘Such large international events inevitably attract a variety of scammers, who skillfully take advantage of people’s trust. The related scams can take a number of diverse forms – from the sale of fake tickets to sports betting. In such cases, fans should be as vigilant as possible, as we know there is no such thing as a free lunch. A reliable security solution can also be a good option to help weed out fraudulent schemes and keep personal data protected,’ comments Olga Svistunova, Web Content analyst at Kaspersky.

To avoid scams, save money and keep personal data private, Kaspersky experts share some simple tips:

  • Check any link before clicking. Hover over it to preview the URL and look for misspellings or other irregularities. It’s also good practice to only enter a username and password over a secure connection. Look for the HTTPS prefix before the site URL, indicating the connection to the site is secure 
  • Sometimes fake emails and websites look just like real ones. It depends on how well the criminals did their homework. In particular, the hyperlinks will, most likely, be incorrect — with spelling mistakes. However, the links can also be disguised to look like valid links and redirect you to a different page, impersonating the legitimate site.
  • To protect your data and finances, it is good practice to make sure the online checkout and payment page is secure. You’ll know it is if the web page’s URL begins with HTTPS instead of the usual HTTP; an icon of a lock will also typically appear beside the URL and the address bar in some browsers will be green. If you don’t see these features, do not proceed 
  • Use a trusted security solution that can help you check the security of the URL that you’re visiting and also provides the ability to open any site in a protected container to prevent theft of sensitive data, including financial details 

17 December 2022

Author: Terry KS

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