Harry Potter e-book website targeted by scammers

Summary:Harry Potter fans are being duped into buying fake accounts for the upcoming e-book 'Pottermore' site, expected to open in October this year.

Harry Potter fans waiting for the new Pottermore website to open in October, are being exploited by scammers selling fake accounts for early access.

Pottermore, a new site by the Harry Potter author JK Rowling, will eventually sell e-books of the popular fiction series, along with new content and material from the bestselling author.

But scammers are offering in exchange of personal details to register additional accounts, while some fake accounts are being sold on eBay for £60 ($100).

Pottermore administrators have warned that "buying and selling of accounts is expressly prohibited", adding that accounts can be terminated at any time, particularly those sold online.

Early beta access will be given to those who can complete a set of challenges relating to the Potter series. The wider public will be given full access later this year in October.

As the BBC report, scammers are also using search engine poisoning techniques to direct fans to sites riddled with malware and malicious content.

These sites are not new, with many redirecting legitimate looking websites from search results to pages that contain virus scanning-like software; tricking the end user into accepting malware.

Many have also been duped into filling in surveys which result in, not only no goods being offered at the end, but are also a waste of time. As the Register reports, at worst victims will sign themselves up for premium rate services or open themselves up to vast amounts of email junk.

The Harry Potter books continue to be a worldwide hit, enthralling not only younger readers but adults also. Many wondered whether the Potter series would continue after the final book was written -- "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" -- and were surprised when the Pottermore website went live earlier this year.

The Potter series is worth an estimated $15 billion, the e-books will be integrated with Google Books, shunning Amazon's bookstore.

Topics: Browser, Software Development

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Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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