ActionFraud - National Fraud & Cyber Crime Reporting Centre - Call 0300 123 2040

Action Fraud warns football fans ahead of 2018 World Cup

The 2018 FIFA World Cup, which takes place from 14 June – 15 July, is an opportunity for fraudsters to take advantage of unsuspecting fans.
  • The 2018 FIFA World Cup, which takes place from 14 June – 15 July, is an opportunity for fraudsters to take advantage of unsuspecting fans. 
  • Between 2013 and 2015, over 600 reports were made to Action Fraud in relation to the 2014 World Cup.
  • Football fans should be cautious and Take Five before purchasing goods and services online.

The worldwide demand for match tickets, accommodation and flight tickets throughout the competition is expected to be high. Action Fraud is warning those planning to travel to be cautious when buying tickets or accommodation because the event is likely to be targeted by fraudsters looking to take advantage of unsuspecting fans.

Fraudsters will likely be posing as:

  • Official World Cup ticket vendors or private individuals attempting to sell on a match ticket via an online marketplace.
  • A fraudulent website or operator offering non-existent flights or other transport to host cities.
  • An accommodation booking service, hotel or operator, offering seemingly convenient accommodation in one of the host cities for the duration of the game.
  • Lottery or competition organisers claiming that you’ve won a prize or cash related to the tournament.

Director of Action Fraud, Pauline Smith, said:

“The number of reports made to Action Fraud following the 2014 World Cup show that fraudsters will try every trick in the book to take advantage of people at what should be an exciting time and event.

“It is crucial that you take some time to follow some basic checks designed to protect you from falling victim to fraud.

“If you think you have been a victim of fraud, report it to Action Fraud.”

A spokesperson for FIFA said:

“FIFA regards the illicit sale and distribution of tickets as a very serious issue and it is reminding all football fans that is the only official and legitimate website from which to buy 2018 FIFA World Cup tickets. For hospitality tickets the online official source is:

“FIFA has received various complaints and inquiries by customers of non-authorised ticket sales platforms, and has consistently confirmed that these companies cannot guarantee access to the stadiums as the respective tickets may be cancelled. Insofar customers are at risk of investing a high amount of money (also for travelling and accommodation) without having the certainty to actually being able to attend the matches.”

How can I protect myself?

  • Always question uninvited approaches in case it’s a fraud. Instead, contact the company directly using a known email or phone number.
  • Have the confidence to refuse unusual requests. It’s okay to stop the discussion if you do not feel in control of it.
  • Don’t take the risk. Tickets for the World Cup 2018 can only be purchased directly from FIFA. For more information, please visit
  • Stay in control. Purchasing tickets from any other source may result in being denied entry to the game and ticket holders will not be entitled to a refund.
  • A FAN ID and a valid ticket are required for fans to be able to enter the 2018 FIFA World Cup stadiums. For more information, please visit
  • Visit the Action Fraud website to see their Ticket Fraud, Holiday Fraud and Lottery Fraud advice pages before making any decisions or bookings.
  • Visit the Take Five website for the latest guidance on how to avoid becoming a victim of fraud.
  • Conduct your own independent research into the finer details surrounding terms and conditions of the World Cup tournament. FIFA have released extensive information and support for fans.
  • For more general advice and information on the world cup please visit the Government Guidance Pages.
  • Every Report Matters – If you have been a victim of fraud or cyber crime, report it to Action Fraud online or by calling 0300 123 2040.

Most shared articles

Related articles