Scammers intensify their activities ahead of Italian F1 Grand Prix, the global auto racing event

The Italian F1 Grand Prix – the highest class of international auto racing – is set to take place this Sunday, 12 September. With restrictions driven by the pandemic, not all fans will be able to attend the event and support their teams. As the pandemic continues, live streaming has gained popularity among spectators of the Grand Prix. However, it is important to bear in mind that cybercriminals often take advantage of fans’ eagerness to watch the F1 by instigating various online fraud schemes to gain users’ credentials.

To get a clear overview of how scammers monetise users’ interest in F1, Kaspersky experts have analysed numerous websites offering to stream the Italian Grand Prix live for free. As expected, some of these pages turned out to be phishing websites to steal viewers’ credentials.

Examples of phishing pages offering to stream the F1

Our experts found numerous fake websites providing a live stream of the Italian Grand Prix. To watch the F1 stream, spectators were required to register on the website and pay $1 to continue watching. Unsurprisingly, these websites turned out to be fraudulent and were being used as a tool in scammers’ schemes to steal credit card details. This type of phishing is widespread and considered to be one of the most popular among scammers.

Kaspersky experts have also discovered such phishing websites offering to stream F1 not only for the Italian Grand Prix but also for races in Russia, the Netherlands, and other countries.

An example phishing page offering to stream F1 races 

“Cybercriminals use big sporting events as one of the most popular lures to steal users’ money and credentials. We have already observed a similar trend during the Olympic Games. With a great eagerness to watch F1, viewers have become inattentive to the sources they visit, and this is exactly what cybercriminals are waiting for. Fraudsters have developed a variety of techniques to distract users’ attention and steal their credentials, which is why we encourage spectators to be alert to the sites they visit,” comments Tatyana Shcherbakova, Security Expert at Kaspersky.

To avoid falling victim to a scam, Kaspersky advises users to:

  • Check the authenticity of websites before entering personal data and only use official webpages to watch sport transmissions. Double-check URL formats and company name spellings
  • Сheck the link before clicking. Hover over it to preview the URL and look for misspelling or other irregularities
  • Use a reliable security solution, such as Kaspersky Security Cloud, that identifies malicious attachments and blocks phishing sites
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