FRAUDSTERS will use the football World Cup as a ruse to scam people out of money, police are warning.
West Mercia Police have advised people to be on their guard against fraud and cyber crime when it comes to deals concerning Brazil, where this summer's event will be held.
They have been asked by Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud and internet crime reporting centre, in partnership with the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, to make people aware of the potential threat of World Cup fraudsters.
Detective Inspector Mark Glazzard, head of Warwickshire and West Mercia’s economic crime unit, said three key trends had been identified, investment fraud, rental fraud and lottery scams.
"With investment fraud, victims have been contacted by individuals offering land investment opportunities in Brazil, purportedly as part of the redevelopment for the World Cup. The investment is thought to be non-existent or worthless."
He said rental fraud victims looking for accommodation during the World Cup have responded to false online advertisements and made payment for apartments which did not exist or were unavailable for rent.
"Also, overseas companies looking to rent retail space in Rio for the World Cup, are responding to false online advertisements."
Lottery scam victims have received emails or letters claiming to be from the FIFA World Cup Lottery, saying they have won a prize or a ticket to the World Cup.
DI Glazzard added: "The recipients of this correspondence are asked to supply personal details in order to process the prize. You should never respond to any such communication and always remember, if you haven’t entered a lottery, then you can’t have won it."
For more information on how to protect yourself visit actionfraud.police.uk/fifa-world-cup-scams-mar14.