If you are preparing to attend the Rio 2016 Olympic Games then beware, scammers are apparently selling fake tickets to the event. According to Kaspersky Lab experts, first sperm emails mentioning the Rio 2016 Olympic Games were discovered as early as 2015, one year to the event.
The majority of spam emails are said to be in English, but some are also in Portuguese because of the location of this year’s Olympic Games. According to Kaspersky Lab research, international fraudster gangs are also behind the creation of fake ticketing services for the Olympic Games.
Major events like this always attract spammer attention as they find them as a good opportunity to earn money from credulous people. For the Rio 2016 Olympics, the most frequent topic of these emails is fake lottery wins for the ticket lottery organised by the International Olympic Committee and the Brazilian government. Spammers are attempting to convince victims that their email address has been chosen randomly from a large list. To receive their prize, the victim must reply to the email and provide personal information.
Spam emails are not the only threat faced by users. Ticketing services are also appearing for the games and these are the most dangerous threat. The Kaspersky Lab team is now constantly detecting and blocking counterfeit domains with «rio», «rio2016» in the title. Kaspersky Lab also says malicious web pages they discovered have been very well made. Fraudsters often buy the cheapest and simplest SSL certificates, which allow secure connections between a web server and a browser and provide “https” at the beginning of the address bar. This makes it harder for users to distinguish fake pages from the official Olympic ticketing services.
The business model used by fraudsters is fairly simple. On phishing websites users have been asked to provide personal information – including bank account details – to pay for the fake Olympic Games tickets. After extracting this information, criminals use it to steal money from victim bank accounts. To sound even more convincing, fraudsters are informing their victims that they will receive their tickets two or three weeks before the actual event.
“According to our research, the creation of fake sites usually involves well organised, fraudulent, international gangs. They split tasks, so that each small group is responsible for a separate part of the work. For example, one group creates websites, the other registers domains, another collects and sells the victims’ personal information, etc. In order to avoid falling victim to these fraudsters, sports fans should be savvy when they buy tickets. People should only trust authorised resellers, no matter how attractive the low prices from other resources can be,” Andrey Kostin, Senior Web-Content Analyst at Kaspersky Lab warned.
To make your Internet purchasing safe, Kaspersky Lab recommends not buying anything – from tickets to Olympic souvenirs – on the online stores advertised through spam or suspicious advertising banners. The company also recommends having a separate bank account, and a card with a small amount of money on it, for online payments.
To stay on a safe side ensure your security software is up to date and includes anti-phishing and anti-spam tools to help keep your personal details safe and your money secure.