The 2018 World Cup in Russia expects revenue to exceed $5 billion. With fans and tourists caught up in the thrill of the game, the risk is higher than ever for fraudsters to profit in the build up to kickoff.
Action Fraud confirmed that over 600 reports were received during 2013 and 2015 as a result of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Examples of fraud during the World Cup
Fraudsters have historically capitalised on the build up to the World Cup by installing skimming devices in merchant terminal machines or ATMs close to venues showing matches.
By putting your card into a cash machine, fraudsters gain access to your bank information and may charge your account at any time. It is important to review your personal bank transactions, even after the event, to identify any unusual items which may be indicators of a fraudster attempting to access and steal your funds.
The possibility of purchasing forged world cup tickets may be an obvious scam. However, with the increased use of social media, fraudsters employ less overt ‘social engineering’ tactics through online promotional campaigns to advertise fake giveaways, competitions or raffle draws for tickets or package holidays which do not exist.
If it’s too good to be true – it usually is.
The fraudster’s motive
Fraudulent vendors take steps to appear genuine and more authentic by offering tickets at the standard advertised price, or even at a rate higher than face value, to mislead customers into thinking they hold a limited number of tickets which are legitimate and highly sought after.
The motive of the fraudster is to obtain personal details and bank information. Clicking on online ads or giveaway pages on social media may divert you to suspicious websites which could install malware on your computer or mobile device, even potentially infiltrating a home or work network.
Protect yourself from fraud by taking a few basic steps:
- Only make purchases from authorised websites
- Question social media pages or sites requesting your personal bank details or other personal information
- Stay in control – say no to any unusual requests for information
- Consider making payments by credit card to obtain some additional protection over cash/debit card transactions
FIFA have released detailed guidance and support for fans regarding the 2018 World Cup. Any victims of fraud or cybercrime should report to Action Fraud online or on 0300 123 2040.