The FIFA World Cup tournament will be starting in 12 days in Russia. This is the most popular sporting event in the world. With an estimated 46% of the planet’s population eagerly watching the FIFA World Cup tournament it should come as no surprise that this event has spawned numerous scams and identity theft schemes concocted by criminals around the world.  One of the most common scams involves an email informing you that you have won tickets to the tournament.  However, if you click on the link in the email, you will only succeed in downloading malware on your computer that will steal your personal information which will then be used to make you a victim of identity theft.  Another common scam being seen now is one in which you are promised that by clicking on links in the email you will either be able to get free access to the games streamed on the Internet or free news and highlight videos.  Again, however, if you click on the links, you will end up installing malware on your computer.
Phony lotteries that appear to be operated by FIFA or its corporate sponsors such as Visa or Coca Cola are also popular with scammers. Victims receive emails informing them that they have won a lottery that they never entered and are asked to pay fees required to claim their prize. They also may be required to provide personal information, which is then used for purposes of identity theft.
There also are numerous scammers selling tickets to the games and “official” merchandise on line. Official World Cup tickets can only be purchased on the official FIFA website and the tickets are personalized. Even someone buying a real ticket from a scalper runs the risk of not having an ID match the information on the ticket and being unable to enter the stadium.
The advice is the same as always. Never click on links in emails unless you are absolutely sure that they are legitimate.  It is impossible to win a contest you have not entered so that should be warning enough not to click on links in emails regarding contests you apparently have won although you never entered.  It is impossible to know if any of these emails that you receive regarding the World Cup are legitimate, so do yourself a favor and stick to either the official FIFA website, or other sports websites that you know are legitimate, such as ESPN’s  Also, make sure that your anti-malware and anti-virus security software is up to date. As for purchasing tickets or official merchandise, again you are better by only dealing with the official FIFA website.
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