As excitement for season seven of the hit HBO series Game of Thrones (GOT) ramps up and trailers and teasers are released, scammers will be on their games too. Fans just might get a real short end of the sword, if they aren’t paying attention. In the past, scammers specifically targeted those who tried to pirate the series. It is likely this, and possibly even more scams using the series name, actors, or related information will be making a comeback in the coming weeks.
Watch for “malvertising” using GOT as a lure. Often, scammers will create ads enticing fans to click. Instead of getting an early release of an episode or a behind the scenes video, malware may get downloaded onto the device. At best, you may be taken to a site trying to sell you something you don’t want or need.
While perusing social media, beware of items in the news feeds claiming to show something “not to be missed” or shocking. These are using click bait. They use catch phrases, headlines, or titles to entice you to click on something that is so unbelievable you can’t resist. It’s better if you do resist. These are often scams or whatever is behind the click will put malware on your computer or mobile device.
In a case from last summer, the scammers specifically targeted those pirating the series by impersonating HBO’s piracy firm, IP-Echelon. They asked for a fee to make demands of the company go away. It is unlikely this would ever be offered in an email message from any legitimate company trying to prevent intellectual property from being stolen or misused. Any such language should throw up a red flag.
Popular games and other entertainment are often used as bait for phishing scams. The Olympics, the Superbowl, and other sporting events are always big lures. Scammers also take advantage of tragedies such as the death of a celebrity, musician, or natural disaster.
Last year’s craziness surrounding the Pokémon Go game and subsequent outbreak of malware is an example of how phishers latch onto unsuspecting users and their desire to be entertained.
Avoid clicking any links, advertisements, or attachments that you are not 100% certain are legitimate.
If you are one of those excited viewers that likes to test the legal boundaries, be aware of any email you get with language demanding you pay up using gift cards, money transfers, or Bitcoin. Legitimate legal demands won’t ask for these. If you aren’t; you don’t have to worry about those email messages at all. Just delete them.
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