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Kaspersky reveals how cybercriminals scam football fans

The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 is the most awaited sports event of 2022 for football and cybercriminals found an opportunity to exploit it.

Kaspersky experts have analyzed World Cup-related phishing websites from around the globe designed to steal users’ identifying and banking data. Kaspersky researchers have found fake pages offering everything from tickets or event merch, to match streaming services, plus numerous giveaways and NFT scams exploiting the World Cup.

Ticketing scams

As with all major global sports events, fake tickets are the spread bait most used to lure victims and this World Cup is no exception. Qatar 2022 is only offering digital tickets, increasing the risk of running into malicious resources. Kaspersky discovered numerous phishing pages offering to buy tickets for FIFA matches. Users will lose personal data, banking details, and money should they fall for this.

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No big public event is complete without fraudsters imitating extremely generous giveaways. Kaspersky experts also found phishing pages offering to win two tickets to the World Cup. This is quite popular where usually each user becomes a “lucky” winner; with the chosen ones only needing to pay a delivery fee.


Another way to steal users’ data is via fake FIFA-related merchandise stores. While the offer of a T-shirt of your favorite team, phone cases with popular players, or signed soccer balls sounds good, after entering your data and transferring money to make a purchase, fans lose their cash to fraudsters instead.

Crypto and NFT frauds

A distinctive feature of the threat landscape on the eve of the 2022 World Cup has been the active spread of various crypto scams, mostly exploiting the popularity of NFTs. Some offer to make a bet on a match and win cryptocurrency, others to win worldwide related NFT art. All the user needs to do is enter crypto wallet credentials, so the “prize” transfers directly. In such a scenario, scammers gain access to all savings and related wallet data.

Another scheme is crypto investment fraud is a bright example of a dubious investment. Fraudsters actively create real coins and convince a user to invest in them while promising the victim potential currency growth. In real life, such initiatives are almost never a success as users have spent money on something that will never develop.

Flights and accommodations

Pandemic-imposed limitations will also see the 2022 World Cup stage many offline events with live viewers, involving thousands of tourists in Qatar — something scammers have not missed. Kaspersky experts have observed numerous phishing pages imitating airline services offering tickets to Doha. The analyzed web page shows all the classic signs of a scam: nice appearance, wrong spelling, freshly registered domain, and limited functionality of the site. Although the site mimics a global airfare aggregator, the user can only choose Qatar in the list of destination countries. Once flight details are entered, the victim is offered the chance to enter personal data along with ID and credit information.

To avoid falling victim to a scam, Kaspersky advises users to:

  • It will be safe to check the link before clicking. Hover over it to preview the URL, and look for misspellings or other irregularities Check the sender’s address. Most spam comes from email addresses that don’t make sense or appear as gibberish, for example, amazondeals @ or similar. By hovering over the sender’s name, which itself may be spelled oddly, you can see the full email address. If you’re not sure if an email address is legitimate or not, you can put it into a search engine to check. 
  • It’s better not to follow links from emails at all. Instead, you can open a new tab or window and enter the URL of your bank or other destination manually.
  • Consider what kind of information is being requested. Legitimate companies don’t contact you out of the blue via unsolicited emails to ask you for personal information such as banking or credit card details, social security numbers, etc. Unsolicited messages telling you to “verify account details” or “update your account information” should be treated with caution. 
  • Use a reliable security solution, such as Kaspersky, that identifies malicious attachments and blocks phishing sites.
  • Be wary if the message is creating a sense of urgency. Spammers often try to apply pressure by creating a sense of urgency. For example, the subject line may contain words like “urgent” or “immediate action required” to pressure you into acting. 
  • Grammar and spelling check is an effective way to identify a scammer. Typos and bad grammar are red flags. So too are odd phrasing or unusual syntax, which might result from the email being translated back and forth through the translator several times.