Sign up to our newsletter
As the World Cup heads into its third week, there’s a new World Cup phishing scam to be aware of. EA Games’ FIFA 14 Ultimate Team has been targeted – not for the first time – by scammers offering new downloadable players.
The scam has been circulated via Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Numerous fake accounts, purporting to be support accounts for EA Sports, have posted messages offering free downloadable content – such as the ability to play as Brazilian star striker Neymar in FIFA 14 Ultimate Team – to the first players to respond.
The posts encourage people to follow a link and enter their password for Origin (EA Games’ online service) or Xbox Live. Fake Origin and Xbox Live sites are being used by the scammers – users are advised to check closely the last section of the domain name; i.e. the web address should always end “…origin.com” or “….origin.co.uk” if it is legitimate.
User details including email addresses, passwords and security questions for Origin or Xbox Live are all being gathered by the scammers. On Instagram, the phishing account has been identified as using the name ‘easportsut2014’, and has picked up 9,000 followers.
FIFA’s Ultimate Team is a game mode that launched three years ago in FIFA 12, and has been present within EA’s FIFA titles since. It allows players to create a fantasy team by buying and swapping virtual trading cards. Polygon.com reports that hackers have a history of targeting Ultimate Team players and using their account details to run up huge bills.
This year, for the World Cup, EA is offering special upgraded versions of particular cards, based on the players who stand out at the tournament – lending credibility to the phishing scams.
Earlier this year, several fake Twitter accounts appeared, pretending to be EA Sports help and support contacts. Like the current scams, the accounts attempted to direct people to fake Origin websites to steal their user details. EA has not offered any comment on the recent scams.
Author Alan Martin, ESET