It’s probably safe to say that there has never been a more net-connected Olympics than this one, the 2012 London Games. While it may not be easy for web-savvy people to watch it online, there’s a different type of savvy individual using the Olympics for their own twisted purposes.
“With such wide interest in the Olympic Games and sporting events at the moment, we have noticed an increase in scams relating to ticket sales as well as event and sporting-themed lotteries in the form of emails or sometimes text messages,” said Michael Sentonas, McAfee’s Vice President for the Asia Pacific region.
That’s right, scammers are taking advantage of the interest in the Olympic Games.
None of this should surprise you, what with nearly every aspect of society popping up in scams lately, from the ever persistent spam to the lies of a free gift card on social networks.
It seems scammers will do anything they can to get you to give up your details and let them gain access into your digital life, and it’s not just Windows users being targeted.
“On this occasion we are seeing threats across mobile and email, and in the past we have seen scams spread to a variety to platforms including social media,” said Mr. Sentonas. “Whether consumers use Windows, Android or Apple software, and whether they connect via their phone, PC or tablet, they should always remain aware of potential threats.”
How will these threats present themselves?
At the moment, McAfee is warning that random emails alerting you to an Olympic prize is a popular one, with a request sent out over email to ask for a copy of your passport or driver’s license for confirmation. Once that information has been sent to the scammer, they have everything they need to gain access to your digital life and engage in identity theft.
“As the nation descends into a sporting frenzy and we become preoccupied with who’s winning which swimming event, it can be easy to forget about keeping your devices safe and secure,” said Mr. Sentonas.
Sadly, we’re unlikely to see the Olympic-themed scams disappear once the London Games finish, with scammers and digital con-artists looking for more ways to break into your online life.
“It won’t be too long before we’ll see Christmas scams begin to appear, and it’s important for consumers to always be vigilant when reviewing and responding to emails or texts,” said McAfee’s Sentonas. “Only reply to emails from known parties and do not provide personal information to a company or person that requests it through email.
“You must never agree to reveal personal information just to participate in a promotion. If the offer seems too good to be true, it probably is!”