16,000+ Scam Domains Aimed at FIFA World Cup Fans in Qatar

16,000+ Scam Domains Aimed at FIFA World Cup Fans in Qatar

From phishing attacks to selling fake tickets, scammers have set up thousands of domains to trick FIFA World Cup 2022 fans in Qatar.

Seeing as scammers readily jump to capitalize on events with huge global interest, it comes as no surprise that Group-IB detected numerous scams and phishing attacks targeting football fans invested in buying tickets, official merchandise, and jobs at the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar. 

Before the tournament even began, researchers from the Group-IB Digital Risk Protection team identified scam domains, fake social media accounts, advertisements, and mobile applications luring users to enter their personal information and banking credentials.

One of the scam schemes identified was a fake merchandise website that in some cases, directed the money from the transaction to the scammers and in other cases, stole the user’s banking credentials. Either way, users never got their national team’s shirt.

The scammers also utilized more than 130 advertisements on social media apps to drive traffic toward the site. 

Tickets for the FIFA World Cup were yet another opportunity for scammers to try and sell fake ones to unsuspecting users looking to purchase tickets for the games. By tracking five websites and more than 50 accounts on social media created no earlier than September 2022 and mentioning the words “FIFA”, “World Cup” and “tickets”, Group-IB identified potential scams. Again, scammers either received funds from the transaction or stole the bank card details. 

In its report shared with Hackread.com, Group-IB noted up to 40 fake applications were found on Google Play Store, promising users access to tickets for the games. 

16,000+ Scam Domains Aimed at FIFA World Cup Fans in Qatar
Fake application steals money (1) Fake ticket phishing site (2) Fake FIFA World Cup 2022 merchandise website (3) Facebook group selling fake tickets (4) – Images provided by Group-IB

Another five scam websites were found using keywords such as “job” and “Qatar” which utilized the official tournament logo to make the site appear credible for those looking to find work at the World Cup. Another 30 social media pages were created by threat actors to promote their scam pages. 

Furthermore, it wasn’t just the World Cup that was targeted but also large brands, including thousands that used the branding of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Group-IB identified and analyzed more than 16,000 fake surveys impersonating such brands. 

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