THOUSANDS of football fans have been embroiled in embarrassment after watching live games from the Qatar World Cup that turned out to be gameplay from FIFA 23.
Fans hoping to watch the World Cup via stream looked up how to do so and came across YouTube videos which appeared to be exactly what they were after.
However, upon closer inspection, it turned out the footage was actually low-resolution footage from the popular game FIFA 23 with Vietnamese commentary used to add to its authenticity.
But Vietnamese outlet VNExpress revealed such tricks had been common since the World Cup started on November 20.
Huy Hoang was one unfortunate victim of the scams when he found a YouTube video that seemingly showed the Japan vs Germany game.
He explained: "It took me a few minutes to realize that the content was fake.
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"Not until I read the livestream comments and saw close-up shots of players' faces did I realize they were footage from the FIFA 23 video game."
Some fake streams have even climbed to as high as 40,000 viewers.
Ngoc Thanh, another tricked punter, said: "You have to read carefully before you realized they were either simulations or commentaries on the matches."
The fake videos can generate "hundreds of dollars" in revenue for the channel owner, according to YouTube content creator Nguyen Huyen.
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The word "live" and red dots – which normally signify live content – are key to the recipe.
Several videos and live streams are uploaded to YouTube before every World Cup game which can be found via a Google search or a direct search on YouTube.
Khiem Vu, an administrator of a group of digital content creators, explained the trick was a common tactic from some groups.
He said: "They exploit large and popular events to create live streams, even if those streams do not have the content viewers need."
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