Scammers target Winter Olympics fans

17 Feb 2010

Online security firm AVG warns followers of the Winter Olympics 2010 to watch out for rogue video links as scammers take advantage of not just general Olympics search queries but also those looking for video footage of the tragic luge accident.

“They had already begun a campaign using searches based on Toyota mishaps, and general Winter Olympics queries, but in an impressive example of just how nimble they (scammers) are, within just a few hours they were taking advantage of searches like ‘Olympic luge crash video’,” says Roger Thompson, chief research officer at AVG.

Web surfers clicking on the supposed video results for the luge accident were getting a fake codec display asking them to install a new version of Video ActiveX Object whereas this was, in fact, a dangerous link.

“Regular readers of this blog will instantly recognise that this is dangerous and fake, and should be ignored by closing the browser (even killing it in Task Manager if you have to), and searching somewhere else,” explained Thompson.

The AVG chief research officer warned web users to stick to mainstream news sites and never to install something in order to watch video on an unknown and untrusted site.

By Marie Boran

Photo: A screenshot of a fake codec screen designed by scammers to exploit Winter Olympics video searches