The world's governing soccer body, FIFA (Federation Internationale de Football Association), is warning fans and others that its name is being abused in a global phishing scam.
Several lottery companies are sending unsolicited, official-looking e-mail around the globe, announcing that recipients have won a lottery and requesting personal data, including bank account information, for them to claim the prize money, FIFA said Tuesday in a statement.
Phishing attacks use spoofed e-mail and fraudulent Web sites to fool respondents into entering personal financial data such as credit card numbers, account user names and passwords, which can then be used for financial theft or identity theft.
The lotteries claim to be organized on behalf of, or in association with, FIFA as well as the German organizers of the 2006 FIFA World Cup and their South African counterparts for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the association said.
The different lotteries claim to be operated by companies based in countries including Spain, South Africa and the U.K., according to FIFA.
The association has contacted local authorities in these countries, and is considering taking legal action against any companies caught abusing its name through phishing activities.
In the meantime, FIFA urges the general public to treat lottery e-mail "with suspicion and extreme caution" and not to provide any personal or financial details.
The new FIFA attack comes just months after a variant of the Sober worm lured soccer fans with the promise of tickets to the 2006 World Cup in Germany.