The Olympics, Scams & You

As one of the families in Trend Micro’s Digital Joneses campaign I get a new challenge each month that focuses on online safety. This month’s challenge has to do with internet scams that may come via email or be found on social networks. I get scams like this all of the time telling me that I’ve won money. I know better than to fall for any of these scams but people less familiar with the internet may not. According to Senior Threat Researcher Robert McArdle believes that “…attackers are still using these because these scams are still giving them successful margins. Social engineering has worked for years and there are little signs of that changing.”

Scammers will use large events to target people and the Olympic games, probably the largest sporting event in the world, is no exception. To help consumers identify possible scams they will be susceptible to, Trend Micro created a fun little quiz to determine which type of viewer they are of the Olympics. There are four “types” of viewers: The fanatic, the loyal supporter, the avid social watcher, and the curious observer.

I took the quiz and was not surprised to find out that I ended up being a “curious observer”. I am not a big Olympic games watcher because I honestly don’t have the time to watch the games. In past years I have watched the opening ceremonies and really enjoyed them but this year I wasn’t home to watch them. I hope in future years to introduce the boys to them.

After the quiz I read through Trend Micro’s ebook for “curious observers” of the Olympics. It told me that I should be on the lookout for search result fraud and social media fraud. Something that may look like a valid link to scores, medal counts, or videos of the games could really be links to sites that will infect my computer with viruses. The suggestion from Trend Micro was to go right to trusted sources when looking for information on the Olympic games. I thought this was a great idea since I tend to use search engines for information I am looking for. Here is a link to the official site: olympic.org.

To keep up to date on current scams that have been found in regards to the Olympics you can check out the Trend Micro blog. They have a large list of scams that have already been found. The most common seem to be sites that claim to be live streaming the games so be careful and check the sites you are watching the games on! Looking at them I probably wouldn’t know that they are not legit because some of them look very similar to the official site. Smartphone users beware as well because there are some fake Olympics apps that have been found in the Google Play store.

Example of a fake website claiming to live stream the Olympics and sell tickets to the games!

Here are some more tips from Trend Micro:

Ignore any communication that asks you to reveal information, such as bank details or to pay any amounts of money up front. London 2012 will only ever use a secure website to collect personal or bank card details. Look for a padlock symbol in the browser window. The website address will begin with ‘https://’. If you click on the padlock, your browser will either give our full title (London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Ltd), or identify our sites as part of london2012.com. If you don’t see a padlock, or if the site name is not what you are expecting, then you should not enter personal or financial information into the page.

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Have you seen any Olympic related scams yet this year?

(Disclosure: As part of the Digital Joneses campaign I have received software and technology products from Trend Micro. All thoughts are my own.)

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One thought on “The Olympics, Scams & You

  1. I never think about these things happening, until I read articles like yours…
    All is very much appreciated..
    Thanks, Cindi
    jchoppes[at]hotmail[dot]com

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