Recent research suggests that football fans at the 2022 FIFA World Cup need to be vigilant about cryptocurrency scams.
According to researcher Kaspersky, cybercriminals are always attracted to major global sporting events due to the wide interest and high attendance. In a study leading up to the FIFA World Cup, Kaspersky Lab identified the main ways in which cybercriminals try to deceive football fans.
Since tickets for this year’s event are only available digitally, scammers are increasingly cashing in on the creation of scam websites offering them. Fake websites with merchandise, giveaways, and gifts also attract unwary event enthusiasts.
However, scams involving cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens have come to the fore during the largest global event dedicated to their use.
Cryptocurrency scams abound at the World Cup
Kaspersky Lab called the spread of various cryptocurrency scams a “distinctive feature” of the 2022 World Cup. The researcher emphasized that many scammers are popular with NFTs.
According to a study by KuCoin, football is the most popular sport among cryptocurrency investors. Nearly 25% of cryptocurrency investors list football as their favorite sport. Among crypto investors who prefer football, almost 41% are interested in sports NFTs.
Some scams revolve around gambling, offering the prospect of winning large sums of cryptocurrencies to bet on the outcome of a match. Similar scams include lotteries for NFT art or team merchandise.
In both cases, fans are asked to provide their crypto wallet credentials so that potential winners can claim their prizes directly. However, the disclosure of such information leads to the fact that scammers empty the wallets of fans of their content.
Meanwhile, research has also suggested more common cryptocurrency scams, such as investment scams, at a global sporting event. Similar to other scam schemes, scammers will lure users into investing in a newly minted coin only to get away with the investors’ funds.
Cryptocurrency and the World Cup
This year’s World Championship was the first in which cryptocurrencies became so prominent, and the Crypto.com crypto platform acted as a sponsor. This provided access to the platform and cryptocurrency as a whole for approximately five billion viewers.
Fans at the event also have the opportunity to create their own NFTs by participating in six-on-six matches. The fields at the FIFA Fan Fest capture the movements of the players and create a unique GIF based on them. Players then have the option to receive these GIFs as NFTs.
Fan tokens, cryptocurrencies dedicated to a particular football team, have also played a role in the tournament so far. After an embarrassing loss to Saudi Arabia, the highly sought-after Argentine fan token has fallen by almost a quarter in value.
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