2018 Soccer World Cup safety tips

How to avoid getting phished or otherwise duped on the eve of the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Any major event attracts cybercriminals, and the upcoming soccer World Cup is no exception. For crooks, it’s a chance to feast on the money and personal data of fans planning to travel to, watch, or in any way experience the event. Here are some tips for evading their phishing rods.

  1. If you’re planning to attend a match in person, give cheap tickets a wide berth. Official World Cup tickets are available exclusively on the FIFA website. All sold out? Bad luck — but don’t bother scouring the Web for alternatives. If you see tickets on sale elsewhere, that’s probably a trap, especially if the price is too tempting. Using a third-party site will make a hole in your wallet with no ticket to show for it. Also remember that match tickets are personalized — you will be asked to show your ID at the stadium entrance, and if it doesn’t match the details on the ticket, you won’t be allowed in.
  2. Don’t buy goods from spammers. In the run-up to kickoff, e-mail accounts overflow with special offers for team swag and other merchandise related to the World Cup. At best, the goods are sold at inflated prices. What’s more likely, though, is that they don’t even exist, and the spammers are trying to get your money before disappearing into the night.
  3. Don’t fall for spam about lotteries and giveaways. Cybercriminals like to pose as any of the World Cup’s numerous sponsors, offering free trips or video games as bait. Sure, some giveaways are real, but most such e-mails are phishing, trying to get you to hand over personal data in exchange for the opportunity to win, say, a trip or a player jersey. Some scammers go a step further and try to extract logins and passwords to Origin gaming accounts by promising users a free copy of FIFA 2018 if they click on the link and enter their data.
  4. Don’t use the services of dubious sites offering cheap accommodations or plane tickets. We discussed this already, but it bears repeating: Book accommodations and flights only on sites that you know are trustworthy. And even then, do so only once you’ve made sure it’s the actual site and not a phishing clone looking to swipe your data.
  5. Watch broadcasts only on official FIFA partner websites. Some of the many match-streaming services are bound to be unofficial and out to infect visitors with a Web miner or something even nastier. Make sure you don’t take any chances: Install a solution with built-in Web anti-virus and anti-phishing capabilities, for example Kaspersky Plus.
  6. If you are going to Russia, use a VPN to connect to the Internet. In the aftermath of the government’s attempt to block Telegram, many popular sites in Russia are either unavailable or unstable. To avoid the agony of not being able to post a selfie of your grinning face against the backdrop of your team’s goal celebration, get connected to a VPN in advance. Kaspersky VPN Secure Connection can help you there.