Warning: Scams surrounding 2012 Olympics have already begun

Warning: Scams surrounding 2012 Olympics have already begun

Summary: This year's Summer Olympics are less than two weeks away. That means you should already be wary of scams and spam heading your way. Be sure to remind family and friends to avoid e-mails and websites claiming you've won something related to the Games.

Warning: Scams surrounding 2012 Olympics have already begun

The 2012 Summer Olympics in London begin on July 27. That's over a week away but scammers are already preparing and testing the best ways to leverage the event for their own purposes. In fact, security researchers have already started collecting spam samples for this year's Games.

McAfee on Friday warned users to be vigilant of online scams for the 2012 Olympics. As you can see in the screenshot above, the company has collected a number of related spam messages which try to collect user data. The spam messages reference brands such as Coca Cola, Microsoft, and Nokia.

The e-mails are typically disguised as lottery and sweepstakes promotions, and claim to offer cash prizes in exchange for personal details. They inform the recipients that they have won a substantial amount of money and to contact the lottery manager. The victims are then asked to pay "processing fees" or "transfer charges" for the winnings, which of course don't exist.

In some cases, the scammers even go as to ask for a copy of your passport, national ID, or driver's license. Once they have your personal information, they can plan out further identity theft activities.

While the attacks come less than two weeks before the 2012 Olympics, this is just the start. The closer we get to the opening ceremonies, and even during the Games, expect to see a lot more such scams and spam.

Massive events like the Olympic Games have become popular ways for cybercriminals to make a quick buck. As sporting events become more and more tied to the Internet, the problem is only further exacerbated. As such, you can expect this year's Olympics to be the most scammed one yet.

See also:

Topics: Security, Malware, Olympics 2012

Emil Protalinski

About Emil Protalinski

Emil is a freelance journalist writing for CNET and ZDNet. Over the years,
he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars
Technica, Neowin, and TechSpot.

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  • Errr......

    Not really surprised. Heard many stories about people who flew to China for the 2008 Olympics [that's expensive] just to find out the tickets they ordered were from a fake site. According to http://www.london2012.com/about-us/the-people-delivering-the-games/olympic-partners/ Microsoft asnd Nikia aren't even sponsors [but for whatever reason scammers and malware writers like to use them.]
  • Here's my first !

    London Olympics 2012 Promotion:
    Serial No:02790-2012
    Batch No:NOC-0204030-2012

    Award Final Notification:

    We are pleased to inform you of the release of the London Olympics 2012
    award held on the 8th of June 2012. Your e-mail address was randomly
    chosen by the Topaz Ballot system and subsequently won in the first
    category of four winners with a total sum of Four Million Pounds sterling
    (£4,000,000.00) shared among the first four winners. You have therefore
    been approved to receive the sum of One Million pounds sterling

    All participants were selected through a computer ballot system drawn from
    50,000 (Fifty thousand) names of e-mail users around the world, as part of
    our international award program. Due to mix up of some names and
    addresses, we ask that you keep this award personal till your claims has
    been successfully processed and your funds remitted to you. This is part
    of our security measures to avoid double claiming or unwanrrated taking
    advantage of the program by other participants whose email address were
    not selected. To begin the processing of your claims, you are advise to
    copy and email your claims agent through this email address (
    Jamesmorgan082012@yahoo.co.uk )

    1. Full Names: ...............
    2. Residential Address: ...............
    3. Phone Number: Mobile & Home: ........
    4. Fax Number: ...............
    5. Occupation: ...............
    6. Sex: ...............
    7. Age: ...............
    8. Nationality: ...............
    9. Winning Batch No. ...............
    10.Winning Serial No. ...............
    11. Scan copy of Identity card, Drivers License, Pan Card or International

    Claims Agent: Mr. James Morgan
    E-mail: Jamesmorgan.2012@yahoo.co.uk

    Note: He is your claims agent and responsible for processing your claims
    before our remittance unit, You are to copy and email your complete
    information to your claims agent on his email address as shown above. And
    you are also advise to keep your winning batch and serial numbers
    confidential. Remember your winning must be processed and funds remitted
    before the official opening of the games on the 7th of July 2012.
    Furthermore, should there by any change of address within the period of
    your claims, please inform your claims agent as soon as possible.

    Once again, Congratulations!!! from the London Organising Committee of the
    Olympic Games and Paralympic

    Yours Sincerely
    Mr. Paul Deighton
    Head London 2012.