Avoid fake lotteries, ticket scams and other scams

One of the most important events of this year, the 2022 World Cup, which will be held in Qatar from November 20 to December 18, 2022, will attract hundreds of millions of football fans from all over the world. But this event will also create many opportunities for fraud. How not to fall into their schemes? In this context, Benoit Grunemwald, Cyber ​​Security Specialist at ESET France, offers some tips to strengthen your cyber defenses against phishing and other World Cup-themed scams.

What are the most common scams?

There are 3 that we come across very often and that apply to most cases:
fake lotteries : With this scheme, criminals convince victims that they have won a prize, ticket or full qualification to participate in a match with euros. The goal is to collect personal information, money, or download malware. Our researchers have identified a number of phishing campaigns where “winnings” are cashed in by submitting personal information such as full name, date of birth and phone number through a form. However, taxes or fees must be paid to redeem his winnings. If the person surrenders, the scammers have achieved their goal: they have stolen money and personal information. Immediate financial gain, as well as future: use or resale of this personal information to other fraudsters.
fake sites : we identified a site (https://www.qatar2022.qa/) that pretends to be the official World Cup site and tries to mimic the real URL. Cybercriminals have created a ‘doorway’ through which fans can buy their tickets, but it’s understood buyers must provide their personal details first. Once stolen, this information can be misused or immediately sold to other fraudsters.
Ticket scams : A number of people have already reported being contacted via email by “FIFA officials” offering tickets for sale. When a person wants to buy a ticket, he should beware of fraudsters. Note that only digital tickets are available for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, the only exception being last-minute over-the-counter purchases. These can only be done in person and directly at our two sales offices in Doha, Qatar.

What other scams could there be?

The world of crypto-assets is not spared. For example, the FIFA Inu cryptocurrency was launched and quickly accused of fraud due to its sudden fall after a steady rise. But its founders are convinced that the accusations are false.

Instant messaging is also a vector for scams. Fake freebies based on fake profiles or even deceptive ads that redirect you to malicious sites.

How can we protect ourselves?

Whether it’s World Cup-themed or not, you should at least follow these rules to protect yourself from scams:
– If you haven’t bought a ticket, you can’t win the lottery. If anyone tries to convince you otherwise, it’s a scam.
– Don’t pay to get a reward. Cash advance schemes are a way to steal money.
– Avoid phishing attacks. Do not click on links or attachments in e-mail or other messages unless you are sure they are legitimate, especially if the messages are unsolicited and ask for your personal information.
– Likewise, be careful when accessing websites. Note any inconsistencies, errors, or complicated areas.
– Do not disclose personal information without carefully vetting the recipient. They can be immediately used for fraudulent purposes or resold on the dark web.
– Use two-factor authentication on all your accounts, especially those that contain your sensitive information.
– Use reputable multi-layered security software with anti-phishing capabilities.

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