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Anyone who enjoys streaming movies online needs to be on high alert for a new scam that’s dropping into inboxes across the globe. The latest threat was discovered by security researchers at ProofPoint who say consumers are being targeted by a fake email that could easily entice them into downloading vicious malware that can steal personal data.
The message comes from a movie streaming service called BravoMovies which claims to offer subscribers the chance to watch millions of movies and TV shows for a small monthly fee. Clearly, if you already subscribe to Netflix, Prime and Disney+ you’re unlikely to click and hand over your credit card details but this is where the scam gets clever.
The message states that you have already signed up for a free trial and you’ll soon be charged the full $40 (£28) monthly fee unless you cancel.
“Your trial is coming to an end! We’re lucky you’ve loved it! Thanks for choosing to be our premium plan customer!” the message reads.
A telephone number is then displayed which, when called, is answered by a real person who directs the victim to the firm’s website in order to cancel their plan. The fact someone is actually on the end of the line makes people believe it’s a real company but in reality, it’s simply a scammer taking the calls.
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Once on the website – which looks very real, premium and professionally produced – the person is then asked to add some personal information and download an Excel spreadsheet.
It’s this document that finishes the attack with it featuring nasty malware and ransomware that can steal personal data.
In a post on its security page, ProofPoint said it, “has observed BazarLoader threat actors using the method of phone-based customer service representatives to direct malicious downloads since February 2021. Security researchers have dubbed this method “BazarCall”.
Movie streaming websites seem to be an easy target for cyber criminals with more of us than ever now using online platforms to get our fix of entertainment.
“Using entertainment subscription themes may be a timely and effective method for convincing users to engage with the email content and follow-on malicious documents,” ProofPoint said.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, subscriptions to online streaming services skyrocketed, surpassing one billion users globally last year.”
If you receive an email claiming that you’ve signed up to a streaming service then it’s wise to delete it immediately.
Speaking about the new threat Ray Walsh, Digital Privacy Expert at ProPrivacy, said: “Anyone who watches films online needs to be aware of a hoax online streaming service called BravoMovies, because using it to stream content could infect their device with malware.
“The fake streaming service is designed to look legitimate and offers a catalogue of popular films. The reality is, that anybody who downloads content from its website is likely to become infected with BazaLoader malware that is then used by hackers to further infect devices with dangerous ransomware.
“Those who receive an email from BravoMovies informing them that their trial period is over and they will be charged, need to be aware that they are being scammed.”
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