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Football lottery scam targets UK punters

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Fans of Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United are being targeted in a new email scam that attempts to trick recipients into sending premium rate text-messages in the hope of winning non-existent Champions League final ticket prizes.

The ruse promises entry in a draw for a chance of a seat at the Stadio Olimpico on 27 May but promises only to empty fans' pockets, net security firm BitDefender warns. The Champions League and similarly-themed Uefa Cup scam are aimed at mobile subscribers and began circulating earlier this week, before Liverpool and Manchester City were knocked out of the competitions.

"Under the false appearance of a lottery that offers tickets to the final matches, the text-based spam invite recipients to send text messages with the name of their favorite team to a specific number," BitDefender analyst Razvan Livintz explains. "Most likely, cybercriminals collect a fee for each SMS, but they do not give any ticket to Sükrü Saracoglu Stadium or Stadio Olimpico in return."

Livintz adds that the scam follows in the wake of World Cup lottery scams explained in more depth here. ®

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