A lot of football (soccer) fans are getting ready to attend the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. However, before they start looking for tickets on the Web, there are some things they should know.
FIFA and SCAMwatch are warning sports fans about shady websites selling fake tickets. Such sites have been around for quite some time, and if you’re one of those who have purchased tickets from them, and you’ve already received the ticket, unfortunately, you’ve been duped. FIFA starts issuing printed tickets only in April.
The only website that offers official tickets is FIFA.com. If you want to purchase a ticket elsewhere, check if the source is legitimate by emailing MATCH at firstname.lastname@example.org. MATCH is the official agent in charge of selling and distributing tickets.
The list of commercial affiliates that can run ticket promotions are available on www.FIFA.com/Marketing.
Football fans are also warned about tickets being sold as part of a travel package. FIFA has not authorized any tour operators, so such offers should be avoided. According to FIFA, MATCH Hospitality is the only entity that can offer stadium hospitality benefits coupled with match tickets.
“To combat this global problem, FIFA and MATCH Enforcement use legal, operational and educational strategies and are working very closely with numerous governmental authorities and crime enforcement authorities worldwide, including also consumer protection authorities. The MATCH Enforcement Team has already targeted hundreds of entities worldwide,” FIFA noted in its advisory.
Our regular readers are probably aware of the fact that 2014 FIFA World Cup scams have been making the rounds for months. In an advisory published in February, experts from Symantec revealed spotting a variety of online schemes, including 419 scams, phishing websites and campaigns designed to distribute malware.
Kaspersky has also identified an interesting cybercriminal scheme. Experts found a shady website that was being advertised via sponsored ads on Google. Victims were tricked into handing over their personal and financial details in order to win free tickets, cash and free travel to the big event.
Most of the scams spotted so far have targeted Brazilians, but scammers have without a doubt set up operations for Internet users all over the world.
FIFA has published a short video about purchasing tickets for the 2014 World Cup. Check it out at the beginning of this article. In addition to MATCH, World Cup-related scams can also be reported to SCAMwatch and other similar services, depending on your location.