FIFA (Fdration Internationale de Football Association) warned that the e-mails pose as messages from lottery companies in countries such as South Africa, Spain, and the U.K.; claim to be organized on behalf of FIFA, or the 2006 or 2010 World Cup committees; and tell recipients that they've won major sums, in some cases as much as $1 million.
"Everyone should be suspicious if they're unexpectedly told they have won a fortune," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at U.K.-based security vendor Sophos. "Computer users who fall for this trick will be feeling as sick as a parrot when their bank accounts are emptied."
FIFA said that it was working with local law enforcement in several countries where the phishing e-mails have originated, and advised soccer fans to "treat any notifications by these companies of prize draws or cash winnings with suspicion and extreme caution."
FIFA's name has been used in vain by criminals before. In May, the Sober.n worm rapidly spread by packaging its malicious code as an attachment to mail claiming that the recipient had won tickets to the 2006 World Cup, scheduled to open next June in Germany.