This Sunday (12 September), the Italian F1 Grand Prix  is set to take place – and it is driving a new spate of cyber scamming.

With restrictions driven by the pandemic, not all fans will be able to attend the event and support their teams. As the pandemic continues, live streaming has gained popularity among spectators of the Grand Prix. However, it is important to bear in mind that cybercriminals often take advantage of fans’ eagerness to watch the F1 by instigating various online fraud schemes to gain users’ credentials.

To get a clear overview of how scammers monetise users’ interest in F1, Kaspersky experts have analysed numerous websites offering to stream the Italian Grand Prix live for free. As expected, some of these pages turned out to be phishing websites to steal viewers’ credentials.

Researchers found numerous fake websites providing a live stream of the Italian Grand Prix. To watch the F1 stream, spectators were required to register on the website and pay $1 to continue watching. Unsurprisingly, these websites turned out to be fraudulent and were being used as a tool in scammers’ schemes to steal credit card details. This type of phishing is widespread and considered to be one of the most popular among scammers.

Kaspersky experts have also discovered such phishing websites offering to stream F1 not only for the Italian Grand Prix but also for races in Russia, the Netherlands, and other countries.

“Cybercriminals use big sporting events as one of the most popular lures to steal users’ money and credentials. We have already observed a similar trend during the Olympic Games. With a great eagerness to watch F1, viewers have become inattentive to the sources they visit, and this is exactly what cybercriminals are waiting for. Fraudsters have developed a variety of techniques to distract users’ attention and steal their credentials, which is why we encourage spectators to be alert to the sites they visit,” comments Tatyana Shcherbakova, security expert at Kaspersky.