80% of “Olympic” domains are scammy

Popular global events such as the Olympic Games are a boon to cyber crooks, as they know for sure that a huge amount of people will be turning to the Internet to search for news about the athletes and the events, as well as to try to buy tickets for the events.

According to Zscaler, as much as 80 percent of domains containing the string “olympics” are set up by scammers.

One type of scammers are typo squatters. By buying domain names similar to those of popular sites, they take advantage of users who make mistakes when typing a domain into the browser’s address bar.

“These domains are mostly parked,” Julian Sobrier points out. “They are covered with advertising in the hope that users will click on one of those links since there is no useful content on the page.”

Next are the scammers who try to lure in users who would like to watch a game online and are ready to pay a little for the pleasure.

Most of the scammy “olympics” domains fall into the category that offers so called “Cable/Satellite TV on a PC” services for a small fee. These type of domains often contain “watch”, “tv” or “live” strings, and usually function as redirection pages to TV scam sites:

Finally, there are the so-called “Made for Adsense” sites, which drive web traffic from search engines.

Containing just enough content to get listed in search engine results for as a specific query, but not to offer any value to the users, theses sites are littered with ads, and users are enticed into clicking on them in order to view some specific content.

Sobrier says that there are also sites that offer software to see the Olympic games which is actually malware or adware, and some hosting survey scams. Add to this the fake Olympic lotteries, and you have a scam for every type of user.

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