Scammers target Olympic Games fans

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 29 Jul 2021

Cyber criminals are jumping on the bandwagon and looking to take advantage of fans’ eagerness to watch the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics, through a range of online fraud schemes.

To get a clear understanding of how scammers are trying to cash in, Kaspersky experts analysed Olympic-related phishing Web sites designed to steal users’ credentials. They discovered fake pages offering to stream various Olympic events, selling tickets for competitions that won’t have spectators, various giveaways and even the first fake Olympic Games virtual currency.

Olga Svistiunova, a security expert at Kaspersky, says although this year's games are being held without spectators, malefactors are still looking for new ways to take advantage. 

“For example, this year, we discovered an interesting phishing page selling Olympic Games Official Token. There is no real equivalent of such thing, which means that cybercriminals are not only faking already existing baits but also coming up with their own new sophisticated ideas.”

Live streams

With spectators moving from stadiums to online, Kaspersky found a slew of phishing pages offering to stream the Olympic Games. Some of them required users to register before watching. Once they entered their credentials, they would be redirected to a page that distributes different malicious files.

In addition to having malware installed on their devices, their identifying information fell into the wrong hands, and could be used for nefarious purposes, or sold on the dark Web.

Sham tickets, pages

Despite no events having spectators this year, criminals are still attempting to sell fake event tickets, and even offering refunds for already purchased tickets.

Kaspersky also found phishing pages disguised as official Olympic ones, including a page pretending to be an official Web site for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and a page imitating the International Olympic Committee’s page.

Fake giveaways

No largescale event would be complete without bad actors offering fake giveaways. 

Kaspersky researchers uncovered phishing pages offering to win the perfect TV to watch the Games on. This is a popular scam, which sees the “lucky” winner asked to pay a delivery fee for the TV that never arrives.

Olympic Games tokens

There's also a scam centred around the first ever virtual currency – a fake support fund for Olympic athletes. If a user buys the token, the scammers offer to financially support talented athletes around the world who are in need.