September 28, 2005 6:08 PM PDT

Phishers go after World Cup fans

The organization behind the World Cup soccer competition warned this week that Internet fraudsters are using its name in a global phishing scheme.

Several groups are distributing fraudulent e-mail messages that claim to be associated with the FIFA soccer committee, FIFA said. The official-looking e-mails tell recipients they've won a lottery and ask them to disclose personal information, including bank account data, in order to collect their winnings, the organization said.

"FIFA confirms that these lotteries have no connection with or authorization from FIFA," the Swiss-based organizers said in a statement on Tuesday.

FIFA also said it has alerted authorities to the scam in South Africa, Spain and Britain, where the lotteries claim to operate.

Phishers rely on e-mail messages to lure victims into disclosing their passwords, credit card numbers and other private information. The messages are typically spoofed to look like they come from a bank or other trusted source.

The security company SecurityFocus warned recently that phishing schemes targeted at Europeans are on the rise. The FIFA attack comes just months after a widespread computer virus spread via e-mail promising free tickets to the 2006 World Soccer Cup.

 

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