The FIFA World Cup tournament is in full swing in Qatar. This is the most popular sporting event in the world. With an estimated half of the world’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.   Security researchers at the company Group-IB found 16,000 phony websites using counterfeit FIFA World Cup 2022 branding.  They also found 40 fake apps in the Google Play Store related to the FIFA World Cup 2022.

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 “official” merchandise on line and hundreds of ads on social media for these bogus sites that often merely steal your credit card information and send nothing in return.


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. In addition, no legitimate lottery requires you to pay administrative fees or taxes to claim your prize, but the phony lotteries do.  Anytime you are asked to pay a fee to claim your prize it is a scam.

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 As for purchasing official merchandise, again you are better off only dealing with the official FIFA website.

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