Game of Thrones fans are being warned about a new online scam which tricks people into handing over credit card and bank account details.
The new online phishing scam targets internet service providers and people who have downloaded episodes of the hugely popular TV show illegally.
According to Torrent Freak, fake copyright infringement notices are being to sent to internet service providers around the world claiming to be from HBO and other rights holders.
The notices are apparently so realistic that many internet providers have been forwarding them onto their customers.
The official look document accuses the subscriber of downloading the show illegally
“You have 72 hours to access the settlement offer and settle online. If you fail to settle, the claim(s) will be referred to our attorneys for legal action.
At that point the original settlement offer will no longer be an option and the amount will increase as a result of us having to involve our attorneys,” the notice reads.
The scam has reportedly duped both internet providers and users because the firm HBO uses to monitor piracy, IP-Echelon, does send out similar notices. However, its notices do not include a settlement threat.
“They seemed believable at first because they were sending notices about customers who we are accustomed to seeing a high volume of torrenting complaints about,” IP-Echelon said in a statement.
Scams of this nature, known as ‘phishing’, are used by cyber criminals and fraudsters to trick people into handing over personal information or data such as passwords or bank account or credit card numbers.
The tactic has become increasingly popular with cybercriminals also increasing the levels of sophistication used in carrying out the scams.
Phishing scams normally get people to volunteer their personal information, getting them to click on a bogus link in return for unlocking their account or something similar.
Earlier this year iPhone users were targeted in a phishing scam which was was sent to them via an SMS. The message, which looked like it had been sent by Apple, urged people to update the password to their iCloud account, which also stores their credit or bank card details.
Apple later confirmed to its users that it never requests people to change hand over account details by SMS or email.