2010 final sees fraud soar PDF Print E-mail

Criminals embark on a last-ditch effort to sell fraudulent tickets, says Symantec.


Gordon Love

With only one game to go in the World Cup, the next few days will see a surge of online activity as fans look to gain tickets to the final game.

So says Gordon Love, regional director for Africa at Symantec, who warns that the majority of people will be disappointed as fraudulent ticket sales occur.

“Fifa has announced that a number of limited tickets to the final will be made available at official ticketing centres over the next few days, but has issued a strong warning about counterfeit tickets,” says Love.

He warns that Fifa has said people are falling prey to ticket scalpers in both the real and virtual world.

Fifa has a strict policy surrounding ticket sales which has been widely publicised, but Love says this has not deterred criminals. “These people are determined to siphon the last illegal dollar from the tournament.”

“World Cup tickets have been found for sale on well-known auction sites after just a few simple searches. While some may be honest sellers, many are scams designed to con fans.” He says owners of auction sites do their best to police this activity, but warns there is only so much they can do to keep up with the criminals, who continue to find increasingly effective ways to get their ads listed.

According to Love, one of the ways criminals are increasing the rankings of their fake sites is through black hat SEO techniques, in which search engine listings, usually for Google, are poisoned due to its PageRank algorithm.

Love warns that fans, even with legitimate tickets purchased from unofficial sources, might not gain entry to a match. “Many online sellers are quite aware of this possibility and have published disclaimers absolving themselves of this responsibility,” he concludes.

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