A Cyberoam Security Alert for the 19th FIFA World Cup in South Africa
With just weeks to go for the much awaited World Cup kick-offs, football fans must keep their guard up to email scams that vary from last-ditch offers of stadium tickets, cheap air flight options and accommodation facility to fake lotteries, phishing and malicious code attacks. In view of that, the security player Cyberoam has checklisted the most common scam trends in the current play-off season.
Fake ticket scams: As the adrenaline rush for the World Cup heightens due to closing in on of the starting schedule, desperate fans are making a beeline for South Africa in the last moments, to cheer their favourite team. Needless to say, the World Cup supporting infrastructure is jam-packed with overbooked airlines and hotels. Also, almost 95% of tickets have been sold, including key matches in the knock-out stages.
Clearly, scammers are seeing a huge opportunity in this frantic rush for last-minute berths in South African stadiums. Taking advantage of gullible online buyers, they are using clever deception tactics to make a fast buck. Some of these ignominious methods include:
1. Reselling non-existent tickets through fake auction sites, which carry logos and official-looking endorsements from FIFA and the Government of South Africa. It should be known here that FIFA’s mandates that tickets to be resold, can only be done through their official website’s Ticket Transfer Platform
2. Using third-party advertising solutions such as Ebay, Gumtree and Craigslist.
3. Fake accommodation offers. It is hereby suggested that all hotel bookings should be made through legitimate websites such as Tripadvisors.com

Fake Lottery Wins: On the heels of Nigerian 419 scams, the current World Cup is seeing its share of fake lottery messages that unwarily announce a bonanza for online recipients to the tune of several hundreds of thousands of dollars. Again, these scam emails come with logos and other details of fictitious organizations bearing a close resemblance to FIFA and other authorized individuals.

In order to read the fine print, email recipients must know that no genuine lottery organization would contact Winners through “random selection”. It is not possible to win a lottery without having purchased a ticket in the first place. Also, these fake lottery incidents advice the winning recipient to keep their winnings confidential, which is a ridicule playing upon itself since no legitimate lottery organization would want to stave off publicity of their winning announcements.

In summary, it is best to avoid any World-cup related messages that promise a huge fortune.

Phishing/Malware incidents: The most serious of these FIFA-related scams pertain to phishing incidents which utilize URLs of news and events surrounding the World Cup, in 

order to entice users to a spoof banking website where they are made to submit their accountinformation. Social networking tools such as Facebook, Twitter, Orkut, Bebo, Adult FriendFinder could also be leveraged.

Some of the other spam messages install malware on the user’s computer or hijack browser sessions with rootkit functionality. Having your computer experience slow downs, frequent reboots and disappearing files because you wanted an extra piece of news about the World Cup is not a very good bargain!