Football fans attending the 2022 FIFA World Cup should be vigilant about crypto scams.
According to the research site Kaspersky, cybercriminals are systematically attracted to major global sporting events because of the interest they generate and their high attendance. In a pre-World Cup investigation, Kaspersky identified the main ways cybercriminals try to defraud football fans.
Knowing that tickets for this year’s event are only available digitally, scammers have increasingly taken advantage of setting up fraudulent sites that offer these tickets. Likewise, fake sites offering derivative products, gifts and free prizes attract less informed event enthusiasts.
That said, scams related to cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have emerged at the world’s largest event to bring them to the spotlight.
Crypto scams abound during the World Cup
Kaspersky pointed out that the proliferation of various cryptocurrency frauds was a “distinctive feature” of the 2022 World Cup. The researcher also clarified that many scammers have exploited the popularity of NFTs.
According to a study by KuCoin, football is the most popular sport among crypto investors. In fact, almost 25% of investors in this sector list football as their favorite sport. Similarly, of the latter, nearly 41% are interested in sports-related NFTs.
Some crypto scams revolve around gambling and offer the prospect of winning large amounts of cryptocurrencies by betting on the outcome of a game. Other similar scams include lotteries to win art NFTs or team merchandise.
In both cases, fans are asked to provide their crypto wallet credentials, under the guise that potential winners can receive their prizes directly. However, by disclosing this information, the crooks can seize the contents of the victims’ wallets.
Crypto and the World Cup
With the Crypto.com platform as a sponsor, this year’s World Cup is the first to feature cryptocurrencies. This sponsor has thus made it possible to expose the platform like crypto in general to an estimated audience of five billion viewers.
Fans at the event will also have the opportunity to create their own NFTs by participating in six-on-six matches. FIFA Fan Festival grounds capture players’ movements and create a unique GIF of those movements, and players then have the option to receive those GIFs as NFTs.
Fantokens, cryptocurrencies themed to a particular football team, have also played a role in the tournament before. Indeed, after a surprise loss to Saudi Arabia, the hitherto beloved Argentine fantoken lost almost a quarter of its value.
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