2. "Game of Thrones" phishing scam
The hugely popular hit HBO show "Game of Thrones" was the most pirated program last year. It's been a constant problem for HBO and the company often has to send out warning emails to users and takedown demands to torrent sites.
But now, even if you're not pirating "Game of Thrones" you could get one of these notices - but it's not what it seems. Scammers are sending spoof warning emails from HBO in order to get victims to send over some serious cash.
The spoof emails instruct the victim to pay a few hundred dollars as part of a settlement for being caught pirating Season 6, Episode 10 of "Game of Thrones." The email reads:
"On this regard, request is hereby made that you and all persons using this account immediately and permanently cease and desist the unauthorized copying and/or distribution of the Work listed in this notice. You may also be liable for monetary damages, including court costs and/or attorney fees if a lawsuit is commenced against you."
The email later says you only have 72 hours to complete your settlement, otherwise further legal action will be taken.
Here's a copy of the full scam email:
This is a very convincing email and could easily fool most people. Knowing what HBO's real cease and desist letters like look could keep you from falling for the fake one. Here is a copy of the real thing:
Note that the real letter does not demand money. It also names the specific IP address, whereas the fake email does not.