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Fans Aren’t the Only Ones Preparing for Game Day

Learn how hackers use big events to commit identity theft.

The “Big Game”, also known as the Super Bowl is just around the corner and fans are gearing up for the big day. Before you prepare to watch the football play at parties, book hotels and flights to see the game in person, purchase fan memorabilia, and order food and snacks online for game day, cybercriminals are also making their own game plans. 

There are a variety of ways scammers can take advantage of large sporting events including selling counterfeit merchandise and tickets, but identity theft also tops the list. Here are a few specific scams to watch out for.

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Online fraudulent offers – Businesses love to tie promotions into major events. Hackers often take advantage of these types of promos and create their own and spoof well-known brands in an attempt to trick sporting fans into forwarding bogus offers to others through messenger apps, SMS and emails that may install pop-up software on their devices. Sometimes these fake offers can also install malware.

Contests or giveaways – These are also a common tactic that hackers use. Prizes such as team jerseys, autographed memorabilia or even tickets to the Super Bowl itself can be lures to get people to register. Scammers often build mailing lists and sell your information to unethical marketers that can lead to further identity theft and spam. In more severe cases, Phishing software embedded in these forms can steal financial credentials and passwords to your accounts.

Hackers increase scams during popular events

Don’t Fall for Trick Plays, Use These Tips
Take one from the playbooks and prepare your defensive line and be ready for the cybercriminals’ offense.

ONE, start by checking the legitimacy of Super Bowl-related offers and contests with verifiable sources such as official websites to find out if a promotion is authorized. If you can’t find any mention of a deal or contest promoted on a third-party website elsewhere, assume it is a scam.

TWO, Never enter personal data into online forms unless it is a verified official website. This especially goes for sensitive data such as credit card information. Official e-commerce sites that begin with https:// as opposed to http:// indicates that the website is secured with encryption technology.

THREE, to protect your identity, consider using monitoring services like the Identity Theft Report feature in dfndr security. Not only does dfndr security offer an online virus scan to tackle viruses that may try to slip through and install malware on your Android, but you can use Identity Theft Report to see if your email address has been sold by hackers on the dark web.