The final Star Wars movie, “Star Wars:  The Rise of Skywalker” was released into theaters on December 19th and it is very popular with movie goers. It seems many people are anxious to see this movie, however, there are people who want to see the movie, but don’t want to pay for it.  Legitimate streaming services won’t be able to provide the movie to their customers for quite a while, but that doesn’t stop illegal streamers from offering the movie online, often for free.  Don’t be tempted.  Attempting to stream an illegal version of the movie 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 the movie for free will take you to as many as thirty fraudulent websites that appear to provide the movie, but a few moments after the movie starts, it stops and a pop up 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.  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 movie.   Unfortunately, the website does not provide the Star Wars movie.  The few minutes of what you initially see of the movie is just scenes taken from the readily available trailers for the movie.  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 movie for free will only cause to put you into a predicament that even a Jedi Knight couldn’t get you out of.


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.  Also, when downloading a video, the file’s extension should either be .avi, mkv or mp4 and not .exe which is used by cybercriminals for malware.  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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