Two scam websites have been shut down following hundreds of people buying false tickets for the Olympics.
The two websites were registered as www.beijing-tickets2008.com and www.beijingticketing.com have reportedly led to hundreds of people paying a thousand dollars each. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) filed restraining orders with US federal courts against the sites, with the www.beijingticketing.com website only being live for a few hours.
Both of the sites featured sporting designs and the Olympic logo with one expert claiming that on appearance there was nothing suspicious about either site. Users freely entered their credit card numbers and passport information, and said Paul Ferguson, an advanced threat researcher at security vendor Trend Micro Inc. told the Los Angeles Times that the appearance of fake sites intended to dupe the public was ‘not unanticipated.'
Ferguson said: “Every time there's a major news event, like the Olympics, it's almost guaranteed that sites like these will appear. It wouldn't surprise me to see that any big news that comes out of the Olympics, say, if Michael Phelps wins gold, is used by spammers for social engineering purposes to get people to click on embedded links. Some of these guys are pretty savvy about knowing what news will get people's attention.”