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Online scammers are targeting consumers with emails offering fake tickets to this summer’s Olympic Games, according to experts. Researchers from Kaspersky Lab said some of the spam emails, which are sent both in English and in Portuguese, sent users to fake ticketing services set up by international gangs of fraudsters after their money and financial details.

One of the most common scams says the recipient has won a ticket raffle by the International Olympic Committee and Brazilian government and requests that they reply with personal information to claim their tickets for the Games in Rio de Janeiro.

The malicious ticketing pages, meanwhile, can be “very well made” and often have cheap SSL certificates to make them look authentic. Users are asked for their bank account details, which the cyber criminals then use to steal money from their victims.

To reduce the risk of suspicion, buyers of the fake tickets are then told they will receive them two or three weeks before the event itself.

“According to our research, the creation of fake sites usually involves well organised, fraudulent, international gangs,” said senior web content analyst Andrey Kostin. “They split tasks so that each small group is responsible for a separate part of the work.

“For example, one group creates websites, the other registers domains, another collects and sells the victims’ personal information, etc.

“In order to avoid falling victim to these fraudsters, sports fans should be savvy when they buy tickets. They should only trust authorised resellers, no matter how attractive the low prices from other resources can be.”

Internet users have recently faced an onslaught of online scams.

Last week, Microsoft’s Bing search engine announced it would no longer allow third-party tech support adverts after scammers targeted users. According to a new study, nearly half of consumers say they have been targeted online by scams trying to convince them to hand over their personal information.

Facebook users were recently warned about pages offering them a chance to win a car that actually tricked them into downloading malware onto their systems.

And a security expert recently advised consumers to ensure they use passcodes on their smartphones so their data is protected if the device is lost or stolen.

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