Kaspersky Names Top 5 Scams During The World Cup

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Last updated Feb 29, 2024 | 09:25 AM UTC

The internet is rife with all kinds of scams. According to the FBI, the number of online scams has grown significantly over the past few years, and there are no signs of the conmen slowing down.

Given that the World Cup is the biggest sporting event of the year, it should not be a huge surprise that the scammers are also trying to benefit from it.

Kaspersky’s online security experts analyzed different types of fraudulent sites to find out how unwary football fans are getting exploited. 

Read on, and you’ll know how to avoid the worst World Cup scams.  

Ticket Scams

If you are planning to visit Qatar to see some of the matches yourself, you’ll need a ticket. Fake tickets are the number one way of scamming potential visitors. Not only do you never receive the tickets, but you will likely lose your credit card and other personal information too.

Some of the sites selling fake tickets are very skillfully done, so they can be hard to distinguish from the original ones. Even the domain name can be very close to the real deal, so pay attention to slight spelling errors and other seemingly minor details. 

Only digital tickets are available at the Qatar 2022 World Cup, which is why there is probably a record number of fraudulent ticket sellers out there. Then again, paper tickets would probably just mean a different type of scam. 

Ticket Scams

Ticket scams are common in all events, from sports to theater to concerts. The more popular the event is, the more scams there will likely be. When you are buying tickets, make sure you are on the seller’s official site. If you want to be sure, follow the event’s official website link. 

Crypto and NFT Scams

Cryptocurrencies and NFTs are very much a part of this World Cup, as Crypto.com is one of the tournament’s biggest sponsors. Different types of crypto scams are fairly common, but thanks t the World Cup, there are now even more cons to get trapped into. 

Some of the scams involve making bets with cryptocurrencies to win more crypto or some other prize, like an NFT. All you need to do is enter your crypto wallet credentials to make the payments faster. Once you enter your details, you can kiss your account and all of your money goodbye. 

Never enter your wallet credentials anywhere other than the official wallet when logging in. If you want to make bets with cryptocurrencies, you should find a reputable sportsbook that accepts crypto and only make deposits from your wallet – never by handing over your username and password to someone else.  

Crypto Scams and NFTs

Flight and Accommodation Scams

There are plenty of flight and hotel comparison sites, but not all should be trusted. Kaspersky’s investigation found that there are numerous phishing sites disguised as hotel or flight booking sites.

Some clear signs should tell you to turn to another site, like bad spelling, newly registered domains, and the lack of functions. Some of these fake sites can be very convincing, so you might want to consider using Wayback Machine to see whether these sites have existed for years or have just popped up conveniently right before the World Cup kicked off. 

Flight and Accommodation Scams

If the prices seem ridiculously low, you are probably not getting the deal of a lifetime – you’re getting scammed. Stick with established and trustworthy booking sites, like SkyScanner and Hotels.com, to make sure you don’t lose your money and your personal details along with them. 

Merchandise Scams

During each World Cup, a massive amount of merchandise is sold both onsite and online. Unfortunately, that also means there are more possibilities for World Cup credit card scams. Official and unofficial partners sell jerseys, balls, and other merchandise, so these scams can be very hard to distinguish. 

One thing that should ring a bell is if a star player like Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylian Mbappe, or Leo Messi is meant to have signed the merchandise sold. . These icons have a huge PR value, so they would probably not sign stuff to be sold by a  random retailer. If you see ads like this, it’s probably better to leave them be. 

Merchandise scams run much like ticket scams: if you fall into the trap and enter your credit card information and any other personal information, you lose your money and could end up having your details sold on the dark web. 

Gift Scams

Kaspersky’s investigators found many sites advertising free gifts, including tickets to the World Cup. All you need to do to win is fill out a short form with your name and address, verify your identity using your credit card, or pay a small fee for the delivery of the tickets. Oh, wait… Why would you need to pay for delivery when there are only electronic tickets to the event? 

Ticket sellers are notorious for all the additional fees, but it doesn’t make much sense to hand out tickets worth hundreds of dollars and then ask for a few bucks to pay the fees. FIFA World Cup lottery scams might involve
merchandise, and in these cases, it could seem logical to pay for a delivery fee – but think it through. 

Top 5 Scams: Gift Scams

If you are offered something worth hundreds of dollars for a fraction of the value, it’s a clear sign something is off. Play it safe and only take part in raffles organised by the event's official sponsors. 

World Cup Phishing Among Top 5 Scams

As the adage goes, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. The World Cup phishing scams are just the tip of the iceberg, as there are plenty of rackets, cons, and hustles to go around.

Getting involved in one can happen easily; simply connecting your phone or computer to the wrong wi-fi network is enough. 

Remember: you can’t be too careful online. If something seems fishy, it is better to err on the side of caution. Using a firewall and antivirus software can be a great help, but knowing when to avoid a potential scam altogether is the best way to stay out of trouble.

Samu-Ville, holding a Master's degree in International Business Law from the University of Helsinki, boasts over a decade of hands-on experience in the online gambling industry. His profound legal expertise, coupled with an in-depth understanding of digital currencies, has made him an essential voice on our crypto platform. With an ability to simplify complex interconnections between crypto regulations and online gambling, Samu-Ville is instrumental in guiding readers through the evolving junction of blockchain and online gaming. Although Samu-Ville strongly advocates for the lasting impact and broader potential of cryptocurrencies beyond just price speculation, he remains discerning. He frequently highlights the challenges and concerns related to crypto usage, offering readers a well-rounded and informed perspective on the crypto domain.