Bogus FIFA lottery emails aim to steal money from the unwary, Sophos reports

September 28, 2005 Sophos Press Release

Experts at SophosLabs™, Sophos's global network of virus, spyware and spam analysis centers, have warned internet users of a series of spam campaigns which pretend that the recipient has won a FIFA-sponsored lottery in an attempt to steal bank account information.

The messages prey on interest in the Football World Cup tournament, scheduled to take place for the first time in South Africa in 2010, and claim that recipients have been selected to receive one million US dollars. FIFA, the international governing body of the sport of soccer, is so concerned about the email scams that it has posted a warning on its website.

The scammers are sending out bogus lottery win notifications, claiming to be connected with FIFA

The scammers are sending out bogus lottery win notifications, and claim to be connected with FIFA.

"Email scammers are attempting to trade off the good name of one of the world's greatest sporting tournaments. Everyone should be suspicious if they are unexpectedly told they have won a fortune," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. "Computer users who fall for this trick will be feeling as sick as a parrot when their bank accounts are emptied and they find they have become the victim of identity fraudsters."

The latest scams come just months after the Sober-N worm posed as free tickets from FIFA for the 2006 World Cup.

Sophos reminds users to be wary of unsolicited emails, and has published information about how individuals can learn how to protect themselves against this and other phishing attacks.