Cybercrooks on the prowl this World Cup

Raj Kumar Sharma

New Delhi, Feb 20 (PTI) Cricket fever has hit not onlythe crazy fans world over but also the cybercrooks, who willtry to swell their own bank accounts by tricking innocentinternet users to fall prey to cyber attacks, say experts.

Cricket World Cup is one of the most viewed sportsafter FIFA World Cup and Olympics and cyberscammers will tryto dupe online users through offers like free match tickets,free online live coverage and holiday packages, they say.

"Global sporting events generate eagerness andenthusiasm not only among sports fans but also the bad boys ofcyberspace. With the cricket World cup round the corner,scammers will try to trick as many online users as possible,"says Vinoo Thomas, Technical Product Manager, McAfee Labs.

"India is a cricket crazy nation. People who can notsee the full match due to work, often try to check scoreonline. Since number of online users goes up during World Cup,it also increases chances of cyber attacks like spam andphishing. Cybercrooks play on human curiosity," he adds.

Reports say there is a spam email campaign alreadydoing the rounds, which is preying to exploit gullibleInternet users by offering an exclusive World Cuphospitability package that also includes tickets for the finalto be held in Mumbai.

International Cricket Council has already taken a noteof such fraudulent emails and winning notifications that askpersonal details from online users.

In a statement issued earlier, the ICC said, "We wishto place on record that neither we conduct nor authorise anysuch sweepstakes or prize promotions, nor do we appoint anythird parties to do so."

According to a recent report by online market researchcompany Juxtconsult, there are around 49 million internetusers in India out of which 25 million browse the internetevery day.

The number of people using Internet daily is expectedto go up, keeping in mind the amount of interest cricket WorldCup generates in India.

"An anonymous email may ask about your financialdetails - usually your credit card number, in return ofsending you a free match ticket. Needless to say, theinformation you provide will end up with a scammer who canempty your credit card or bank account in just about no time,"says Pavan Duggal, a cyberlaws expert. .

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