Majority of Football Fans at Risk of Online World Cup Scams

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What the Race to Security Survey Says

Are you curious enough to get duped online as the wild flurry continues for the FIFA World Cup this year? Most people might be.

A recent survey conducted by Trend Micro compared global respondents’ level of interest in the big sporting event over a two-week period.

It was found that, in both online and offline activities, a majority (53%) of the respondents were “curious observers”. This fan type is generally more relaxed when dealing with the event but are nonetheless interested to know what it’s all about.

Observers talk about big controversies and hot news about athletes or a particular sport. However unlike other sports enthusiasts, they don’t plan to spend a lot of time, effort, and money on what for them is just a passing fancy.

Even as curious observers regard the whole thing casually, they are still likely to encounter and fall for online scams and threats precisely because of their minimal experience in dealing with online and offline scams that usually go with a big sporting event such as the World Cup.

Looking at recent tactics that cybercriminals use, unknowing but curious observers are vulnerable to downloading a fake, SMS-stealing version of the official world cup mobile app or buying fake game tickets that cost almost 4000% higher.

The other types of fans are the “die-hard fans”, the “loyal supporters,” and the “avid social watchers.” The die-hards are generally on board with buying anything that has something to do with the event or their favorite team or doing anything to make sure they're always the first to know about the latest developments. Loyal supporters root for specific teams and are not afraid to show it, both online and offline. Avid social watchers are not as dedicated to the games or the teams, but still enjoy the event to strengthen social connections.

The online test can be found in the “Race to Security” page, which serves as a security guide to major sports events. It asked how users would behave in the event of a sports-related scenario, such as which tickets to buy or whether or not it’s worth taking a leave off work to watch a big match. Which one are you?