Spammers selling fake tickets for Rio Olympics 2016
Fraudsters have created fake ticketing websites to trick users
Scammers have been selling fake tickets to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio De Janiero for more than a year in advance of the opening ceremony, Kaspersky Lab has found.
In its report on spam and phishing for Q1 2016, released today, the cybersecurity firm found fraudsters have been using a variety of methods to trick sports fans into giving over their personal and financial details.
As with any major cultural or sporting event, some spammers are attempting to fool users into thinking that they have won free tickets in a lottery draw, organised by the Brazilian government or the International Olympic Committee.
However, some enterprising cybercriminals have stepped their efforts up, creating bogus ticketing websites to harvest payment information.
These sites can be surprisingly sophisticated, with some even purchasing SSL certificates in order to appear more legitimate.
SSL is an encryption method that can prevent hackers from intercepting traffic to an otherwise trustworthy site, but is meaningless if the site is owned and operated by the hackers themselves.
"The creation of these sites is normally carried out by gangs, which split individual tasks among each other," said Kaspersky Labs' head of UK retail, David Mole.
"For example, one group may be responsible for setting up the fake website's domain, and the other may be responsible for creating the actual website."
"It's no surprise that cybercriminals are using the Olympic Games as a ploy to extort money and personal information from unsuspecting recipients," Mole said.
"We recommend that fans everywhere be very cautious when purchasing tickets or souvenirs. Users need to make sure that they are only trusting authorised resellers, despite how appealing the low prices may be from alternate resources."