Fraudsters and scammers have thought up new ways to cheat sports fans and Olympics supporters, according to cybersecurity researchers.

With no spectators at the Tokyo Olympics, one would think that cybercriminals will have fewer opportunities to steal data via Wi-Fi snooping. In reality, hackers and fraudsters have been using many other avenues to prey on sports fans.

According to researchers from Kaspersky, Olympics-related phishing websites have already been stealing user credentials. There are also fake pages offering to stream various Olympic events, selling ‘tickets’ for competitions that bar spectators, and offering various fake giveaways.

Here is a list of malicious activities riding on the popularity of the event:

  1. ‘Live’ event streaming
    Various phishing pages purport to offer ‘live’ streaming of the games on the condition that people register onsite. Once user enter their credentials, they may be redirected to a page that distributes different malicious files. Besides having malware installed on their device through such files, registrants’ personally identifiable information lands in untrustworthy hands. After that, scammers may start using such data for bad purposes or sell it in the Dark Web.   
  2. Fake tickets
    Fraudsters are not shying away from trying to sell offline event tickets even though most Olympics fans should be aware of the new rules barring spectatorship. Some scammers have even created webpages claiming to offer refunds for already-purchased tickets.
  3. Spoofed Olympics-related entities
    Other phishing pages are disguised as official Olympic entities such as the official event website or the home page of the International Olympic Committee.
  4. Fake giveaways
    Fraudsters are also offering fake prizes or lucky draws, with victims being asked to pay the delivery fees. Needless to say, the prizes never get to the victims.
  5. Olympic Games token
    Kaspersky researchers have also found the first-ever fake virtual currency purportedly created in support of Olympic athletes. If a user buys the token, the scammers offer to support talented sportsmen around the world who are in need.

According to Olga Svistiunova, a security expert at Kaspersky: “This year, the Olympics are being held without spectators, thus we do not expect a big number of related attacks. Still, we observe that fraudsters know no limit when it comes to creating new ways to take advantage. Cybercriminals are not only faking already-existing baits but are also coming up with their own new sophisticated ideas.”