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World Cup sponsors, stocks & tax scams

With the first round of the World Cup winding down, I thought you sports nuts would like a financial reason to justify your viewing, especially Western Hemisphere fans who have to sneak the programming in during work hours.

FIFA-WorldCup-2010-logo The Trading Goddess has just what we're looking for: A World Cup stock portfolio.

It lists several publicly traded companies that are either official World Cup partners or sponsors and which could be used to build a soccer (or for folks residing outside the U.S., football) portfolio.

Those immediately recognizable to me include such such globally known companies as Adidas, Coca Cola, Hyundai, Sony, Visa, Budweiser and McDonalds.

However, while watching all international sports, I get a kick at looking at the stadium (or racetrack, arena or bicycle course) ads for companies we don't usually see here in the United States and then trying to figure out what product or service they supply.

A few that are new to me this World Cup made the soccer portfolio list: Yingli Solar, Mahindra Satyam and MTN Group Ltd.

But did you know that Aggreko, according to its website, is the global leader in providing temporary power generation, temperature control, and oil-free compressed air systems?

Or that Seara's meat processing offers "Brazilian Flavour. World Quality."

And FNB, aka First National Bank, "provides personal, commercial and corporate banking services to more than 6 million customers across South Africa."

The tax connection: I enjoyed learning about these companies, but what really caught my eye was the alert at the FNB site.

It seems that scammers have incorporated the bank into a tax-related phishing scam.

As in the U.S. where criminals play on taxpayer eagerness to get money back from the IRS, the crooks in the FIFA tournament's host country are invoking the South African Revenue Service (SARS) in identity theft attempts.

The notice about the FNB and SARS tax refund scam warns:

Please be aware that a phishing email pertaining to be from SARS is doing the rounds. The false email states that you have received a tax refund and that you need to login to FNB Online Banking to access this money. Once you do this, the fraudsters can see your details (on this false website that looks like FNB's) and will have access to your bank accounts and therefore your money.

Please do not respond to such emails and always access the FNB website by typing in the url: https://www.fnb.co.za.

Don't ever click on a link!

Apparently con artists see no need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to attempts to take our money, wherever we live and whatever team we root for.

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