The FIFA World Cup in Russia kicks off on June 14th, 2018. Fans from all around the world have eagerly awaited this event since the last tournament four years ago in Brazil.
With the tournament only a few months away, ticket sales are red hot on the market, jerseys are in the printers and fans from different corners of the world are planning everything surrounding their trip.
The high demand, creates desperation in the market, resulting in vulnerable buyers as scammers lurk in the waters ready to take advantage of the situation. In fact, leading up to the FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil we saw an increase in scams related to the event. Scammers are trying to deceive fans in different ways and they get more creative with each year. Let’s have a look at the three main areas scammers will target in relation to the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
In the middle of April, the official ticket sales enter the last sales phase, which runs on first come first served basis. This means that tickets might soon be sold out and that the only option to get a ticket is to buy it second-hand or through resellers. FIFA is taking ticket scams very seriously and are doing what they can to prevent it by offering an official ticket resale page. It’s even considered an administrative offense to transfer or resell tickets without FIFA’s consent, according to Russian law (Federal Law No. 13-FZ).
However, it’s still likely that you’ll find tickets sold on your marketplace and among the group of legitimate sellers, scammers will try to trick buyers. There are many different ticket scams and key fraud markers to look for during these big tournaments. We wrote an article specific to ticket scams prior to the UEFA Euro Championship in 2016 and we highly recommend you to read it and prepare your site for ticket scams.
Holiday rental scams
Once the ticket is secured, fans start looking at the logistics of attending the event. Many travelers are booking flights, transportation and accommodation from overseas. This puts them at risk of getting scammed since they’re not familiar with the area and will have a harder time telling whether a rental is genuine or not. Even though the general advice and messaging is “don’t book from sites you cannot trust” or “never pay by any other means than credit cards and never more than a month in advance”, people are still getting scammed. In 2016, nearly US$4 billion was lost by consumers due to misleading bookings.
In the time leading up to the tournament, expect the number of holiday rental scams to increase making it even more important for you and your moderation team to stay on top of how to spot them. Here is a list of 10 actions to reduce vacation accommodation scams on your site.
As is usual with big events there will be a lot of merchandize available for purchase, both online and offline. Jerseys, hats and scarfs, to name a few, are products that usually are highly sought after during sports events.
Counterfeited products are a real issue for online marketplaces and during the FIFA World Cup, we’re expecting to see a significant increase, especially for fake jerseys. It’s important for online marketplaces to be aware if they sell counterfeited products on their site, especially since brands these days are stepping up their initiatives against counterfeits and are increasingly filing lawsuits to stop the practice. One example is the claim Chanel won against sellers on Amazon in 2017.
Ending up getting sued by a large brand is not only bad economically, it is also a dent in the reputation and trustworthiness that most online marketplaces spend so much time building.
To help you act and prevent sales of counterfeited products on your site, we’ve put together a counterfeit filter creation checklist. The short guide will teach you how to set up accurate filters to automatically catch counterfeit items on your site: https://www.besedo.com/counterfeit-filter-checklist/
During big events, like the FIFA World Cup, customers from around the world come to your site to purchase their tickets, plan their trips or to buy their national teams’ jersey. It’s in your hands to make their experience on your site safe and smooth.
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