Fans hoping to obtain tickets for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia have been warned to be more “vigilant” after a ticketing scam was flagged up.

Researchers at Kaspersky Lab noticed an email phishing scheme targeted towards football fans looking to buy passes to the international football tournament.

The only way to purchase official tickets is through the FIFA website, and only one can be bought at a time.

There is an option to select ‘guest tickets’, which allows up to three extra tickets per person. This is the detail that scammers have been using to offer fans fake guest tickets at inflated prices and reportedly stealing their payment information.

“With an event such as the World Cup, there is a high risk that football fans will pay extortionate prices – only to end up with fake tickets. Once a hacker has your payment details, it can lead to them stealing your money,” David Mole, head of sales UKI at Kaspersky Lab, said, according to Tech Radar.

“We urge people to be cautious and vigilant when they buy tickets. The first step is using authorised sellers to avoid getting duped.”

The 2018 FIFA World Cup official ticket is a smart ticket containing a radio frequency identification (RFID) inlay and manufactured with special security papers and integrates several security features designed to prevent counterfeiting and forgery.

Data that is stored in a ticket’s RFID chip is encrypted and digitally signed.

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