This year is the year of sporting fans. Over the past few months especially, they have had the opportunity to move from one big sporting event to the next with few gaps in-between. First, just before the summer break, sports fans enjoyed a full month of football with the European Championship in France, followed by the exciting and often dramatic moments of the Tour de France. And now their collective attention is already shifting towards Rio, which is hosting the 2016 Olympic Games.
Unfortunately, these large sporting events are also prime targets for fraudsters and cybercriminals. There have already been multiple reports of spam, scam and phishing campaigns orchestrated to take advantage of ecstatic fans – one such warning being published in our Euro 2016 post.
And the Rio 2016 Olympic Games are no exception – fraudsters are trying to lure unsuspecting victims into online ticketing deals that will leave them with neither money nor admission to the games.
To avoid this risk, we have prepared a short guide that will help fans obtain their tickets safely:
- Even before starting your ticket hunt, make sure your operating system and software are up to date, and that you are using a reliable security solution that protects against malicious attacks while browsing or online shopping.
- If the first condition is met, you can start looking for websites that offer tickets for the Olympic Games. We appreciate that there are many and it is hard to distinguish the right ones – the most certain way is to find the authorized reseller in your country via the official list.
- However, if you have already browsed some other websites, consider checking whether or not your browser displays the “green-lock” icon in the address bar (where the URL is). If yes, this indicates that the certificate was assigned by a proper certification authority and that your data is protected. If not, the safety of your data may be at risk.
- Selling tickets on social networks is forbidden by the organizers, so if you don’t want to run into trouble at the venue, avoid purchases via this channel.
- If you’ve already bought your tickets, but have changed your mind, don’t try to resell them yourself. Instead, use the official channel created by the organizers on their official page. It provides you with all the necessary instructions – you should be fully refunded with no additional costs.
Remember, all events that attract the attention of masses of fans are juicy targets for cybercriminals. So don’t fall for their tricks, protect your devices and use official and safe channels to get your tickets. Otherwise you might end up empty handed, your money stolen and/or your sensitive information compromised. Enjoy the Olympics safely.
by Ondrej Kubovic, ESET