Olympic-Themed Internet Phishing Scams :: Cybersecurity Tips

Every four years, the best athletes gather from around the globe to compete in the Olympics. Unfortunately, the Olympics also provide Internet scammers with a new outlet to try and phish information from unsuspecting and trustworthy individuals.

What is Phishing?

Phishing refers to attempting to acquire personal information – such as usernames, passwords, and credit card information – and money by masquerading as a trustworthy entity.

Olympic-Themed Phishing Scams

  • London 2012 Ticketing Team: This phishing scam sees scammers pose as ticketing officials offering unsuspecting individuals with an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to purchase Olympic tickets that have been made available because of a previous bidder’s inability to pay for them. However, unlike the previous bidder, you are expected to pay upfront. This is why the original email is followed by a phone call asking for credit card information.
  • London Olympic Cash Officer: Unsuspecting individuals are sent an email from the “London Olympic Cash Officer” stating that the recipient has been randomly selected to receive a cash prize of 1.6 million GBP. However, to receive the payment the individual must provide personal information.
  • Dr. Beavis: Unsuspecting individuals are sent an email (signed by Dr. Beavis) stating that they, along with 6 other individuals, have been randomly selected as the winners of 7 million GBP. And, of course, they must provide personal information to claim their prize.
  • You are needed … Get Back to Us: Unsuspecting individuals are sent an email headed “You are needed … Get Back to Us.” It informs the recipient that they are needed to participate in the Olympics as a coordinator or event staffer. The individual is then directed to a site where they must input personal information and provide payment for the placement services.
  • Ring Steward: Unsuspecting individuals are sent an email (or letter) informing them that they have been selected to be a ring steward in the Olympics. Recipients are asked to call a phone number for additional details. And guess what? They are then asked to provide personal information.
  • Text Message Scams: Yep, phishing scams can include text messages, as well. This phishing scam involves a text message stating that the recipient has won 300,000 pounds in the London 2012 lottery. Recipients are then asked to call a phone number and provide personal information to claim their prize.

And this is just the beginning!

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10 Olympics-Themed Phishing Scams To Avoid At All Costs