Scammers target Pottermore beta account rush

7 Aug 2011

Scammers have been targeting the upcoming Harry Potter online reading experience Pottermore using trojans, fake beta accounts and malicious search results.

The site will open in October. It had been offering a limited supply of beta accounts last week for early access. Fans had to solve clues on the site, which were displayed at certain times, to gain an account.

Pottermore membership was in high demand among Harry Potter fans, which scammers noticed. GFI Labs blog has found numerous ways in which scammers are targeting those who want access to this new site.

Many have been offering accounts for sale on eBay, with “Buy Now” prices reaching almost US$100. Others have been offering accounts for sale on non-eBay sites, which could mean the accounts are fake.

Pottermore administrators have warned people not to buy these accounts, even if they’re legitimate, as it “deprives genuine fans the chance to gain early access.”

Some uploaded YouTube videos have offered accounts to “download,” however, the link posts a survey which is actually seeking personal data from the fan. He or she will also be given a download which will either contain nothing or malware.

Scammers have also been posting poisoned search results with the Pottermore name which contains Trojans and scripting exploits.

The Pottermore site will offer an official interactive reading experience for the Harry Potter series. Readers can take part in the story, which includes getting a wand and being placed in one of the four Hogwarts houses.

It will have more than 18,000 words of additional material and newly commissioned illustrations. Pottermore will also sell the e-books of the Harry Potter series for the first time ever.