2018 FIFA World Cup: how to avoid email scams

Users should be aware of an increase in FIFA World Cup scams

2018 FIFA World Cup Russia scam

As the host country of 2018 FIFA World Cup has been announced, experts warn that there is a significant increase in email scams that try to prove their relation to FIFA World Cup Russia or even 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar. Unfortunately, these are merely tricks to lure people into giving their personal details.

Usually, computer users are asked to fill a form with sensitive data, like credit card details, passport copies, telephone number, address, etc. This information is later used to generate illegal profits, steal money from people bank accounts and lead to financial losses.

The official statement from FIFA organization clearly states that they have no relation to any of such emails[1]:

FIFA strongly advises the public to treat any correspondence concerning lottery draws, tenders or competitions with suspicion and extreme caution and urges people not to provide any personal or financial details if requested to do so.

FIFA World Cup Russia scam claims that the user has won £1 million

The most recent fraud is 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia scam which reaches users via fraudulent emails. Criminals claim that this particular email was selected from 500 thousand others and won £1 million[2]. People are warned that they have 30 days to claim the prize or it will be forfeited.

Scammers also include some fake details to make the email look legitimate:

Stated below are your winning Details:
WINNING NUMBER: 20, 14, 30, 45, 18, 50

Additionally, the letter includes a telephone number and email address to contact Mr. Alex, the supposed contact person to receive the prize. Users must state the security code in the subject line and send the following information:

  1. Full Name;
  2. Residential Address;
  3. Country;
  4. Mobile/Fax number;
  5. Occupation;
  6. Age;
  7. Male/Female;
  8. Marital Status;
  9. Attached Copy of International passport;
  10. Winning Numbers;

Once the scam was detected, FIFA[3] immediately replied that they are not connected to the lottery in any way, and such fraudulent emails should be reported to the local authorities:

FIFA reiterates that any such correspondence has no connection with or authorisation from FIFA and is in no way related to the 2014, 2018 or 2022 FIFA World Cup™ tournaments, nor any other FIFA events, following previous media releases on this topic dating back to 2005 and 2007 and 2010.

Learn how to avoid becoming the victim of FIFA World Cup scam

Here is an easy guide which should help you identify FIFA World Cup and other scams:

  1. Offers that seem too good to be true and propose half-price tickets are usually fake;
  2. Buy tickets only from official websites as suggestions to get them cheaper might lead to purchasing fake ones;
  3. All demands to submit personal information via email are identifications of a scam[4];
  4. Be aware that some of the unreliable websites might also use HTTP Secure/HTTPS connection, so you must double check the page before trusting it[5].
About the author
Ugnius Kiguolis
Ugnius Kiguolis - The problem solver

Ugnius Kiguolis is the founder and editor-in-chief of UGetFix. He is a professional security specialist and malware analyst who has been working in IT industry for over 20 years.

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