The online scams around World Cup 2010 have already started, with the first e-mails reaching users' desktops just hours after the pool draw took place in Cape Town on Friday evening.
And the scramble for World Cup 2010 tickets could lead to supporters handing over hard-earned money to cybercriminals unless they are savvy over online risks, warns Symantec.
Symantec is predicting a huge rise in World Cup-related spam and phishing attacks as high-profile sporting events are one of the most abused opportunities for cybercriminals to exploit fans’ hunger for tickets with increased spam and phishing activity.
“As fans see the World Cup fixtures confirmed, tickets will sell like hot cakes," says Gordon Love, regional director for Africa at Symantec. "Supporters who struggle to secure them are likely to take risks and purchase tickets through unauthorised channels or believe the promises of unsolicited e-mails.
"This can not only land fans with useless counterfeit tickets, but also lead to the theft of their credit card details and fund organised crime. It is important that fans remain vigilant, only visit legitimate sites and secure tickets through authorised channels, no matter what is offered to them. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.”
Symantec offers some basic advice to users:
* If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is – many criminals use extravagant promises to lure victims into clicking through to malicious sites and divulging personal information;
* Never click on links from e-mails – links can contain viruses or Trojans, or direct users to infected web sites; and
* Buy only from FIFA-registered sellers – FIFA has a strict code of conduct for all outlets and these are the only places fans should buy tickets.