Cricket World Cup starts, scammers follow

The Cricket World Cup started on Saturday, and both the International Cricket Council and various security experts are issuing warnings to fans regarding likely cyber scams that will be following this popular event.

According to, there have been reports of a spam e-mail campaign that has already doing rounds – users are lured in with “hospitality packages” that seemingly include things like a private table, champagne brunch, a celebrity guest speaker, giant screen coverage, open bar and more when attending the final match that will take place in Mumbai. In return, they are asked to provide personal details about themselves.

But, there are many ways the cyber crooks can take advantage of gullible users. Fans should be wary of spam campaigns that offer free tickets to the matches if they send in their credit card data and of suspect sites that offer live-streaming of matches and ask them to install a video codec that will allow the viewing.

Vinoo Thomas, Technical Product Manager at McAfee Labs thinks Indians are a perfect target for these scammers. “India is a cricket crazy nation. People who can not see the full match due to work, often try to check the score online. Since number of online users goes up during the World Cup, it also increases chances of cyber attacks like spam and phishing. Cybercrooks play on human curiosity,” he says.

When it comes to big international sporting events such as this one, the advice given is always the same: don’t believe offers that sound to good to be true, don’t send out personal or financial information when asked in unsolicited e-mails, and do buy traveling and match tickets from reputable sources that employ SSL certificates to make sure your transaction details remain secure and confidential.

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