The final episode of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” was viewed legally by 19.3 million people, however millions more tried to and are continuing to try to illegally download the final episode as well as earlier episodes of the eight year series without paying.   Many of these websites that appear to offer free access to Games of Thrones episodes were created by scammers who use the promise of free Games of Thrones episodes to trick people into providing information that can be used for purposes of identity theft.  Many of these scammers are using the same methods I described in early May when scammers used similar tactics to scam people looking to illegally download and view the  Avengers: Endgame movie  Don’t be tempted to use these illegal sites.  Attempting to stream an illegal version of Game of Thrones is not only illegal and unethical, but it could also lead to your being scammed out of money.  An online search for websites promising to provide  Game of Thrones episodes for free will take you to sites  that appears to provide the show, but a few moments after the episode  starts, it stops and a pop up, shown below appears requiring you to set up an account.  The pop up says that the account is free and that all you need to do is provide your email address and a password.

Creating an account on a fake Game of Thrones requires providing e-mail address and a password

Once you do this, you are then instructed to provide a credit card number and the CVC security code on the back of the card merely to verify that you are located in a country where the website is licensed to distribute the show.   Unfortunately, the website does not provide Game of Thrones episodes.  The few minutes of what you initially see of the movie are just scenes taken from the readily available trailers for the show.  So not only do people falling for this scam not get to see the movie, they end up providing their credit card information to the scammers in addition to providing a password, which, in too many instances, is the same password the scam victim uses for other online services such as online banking.  The moral of this story is that trying to view a pirated version of a popular  show or movie for free will only cause to put you in danger of identity theft.

TIPS

The first and foremost tip is not to do use illegal streaming services.  They are illegal and what they are doing is also unethical.  Don’t trust search engine searches to provide you with legitimate websites for streaming services.  A prominent position in a Google or other search engine search only means that the websites appearing high were adept at understanding the algorithms used to position websites.  Never provide a credit card as a means of verification.  It is only a means of payment and as for the justification in this particular scam that the credit card was needed to verify that you are located in a country where the website is licensed to distribute the movie, pirated versions are not licensed anywhere.  Finally, as always, you should have unique passwords for all of your online accounts so that in the event that a password on one of your accounts is hacked or otherwise compromised, all of your accounts will not be in jeopardy.

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