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Cinema fans have been waiting for the same-day release of Barbie and Oppenheimer for a long time.
Unfortunately, they weren’t the only ones doing so. Many internet scammers have decided to exploit this opportunity for personal gain.
Barbie and Oppenheimer scams
As the multinational cybersecurity company Kaspersky reports, fraudsters have already started deceiving unsuspecting movie fans.
They decided to take advantage of the excitement surrounding the 21st July release of “Barbenheimer” to trick users into falling for phishing scams.
Scammers count on people to search for illegal ways to stream movies or look for related products.
Unfortunately, many pages users come across are actually phishing sites. They were only created to extract money and data from those who aren’t careful enough.
For example, one website claims to sell Barbie dolls, including a special Margot Robbie edition, at discount prices. To make the purchase, users have to input information such as their name, address, and credit card number.
Once they do so, cybercriminals instantly gain access to their banking account and can then use it as they please.
Similarly, the names of both movies have already appeared on fraudulent streaming sites. According to these websites, all you have to do is make a minimal payment ($1) and you’ll be able to stream them.
However, paying the money also means you have to provide the same sensitive information we mentioned above. This, in turn, hands out your personal data to scammers. And the movie you wanted to watch isn’t even thereafter “the purchase”.
As a general rule, you shouldn’t expect illegal copies of new blockbuster films to appear online so soon after release. Even the most pirated movie of all time – Jurassic World, didn’t come out on these websites instantly.
Illegal streaming continues to be a major threat, even without scammers looking to steal money and information. A few years ago, pirated internet content received over 230 billion views in 12 months.
How to avoid falling for these scams?
Olga Svistunova, a security expert at Kaspersky, said that internet users have to maintain a vigilant mindset and practice safe online habits to get the full Barbenheimer experience.
To avoid falling for traps like the ones we discussed earlier, you might want to:
Be mindful of phishing scams
Use a good security solution
Verify website security
Only trust reliable sites selling Barbie and Oppenheimer products
Only share personal information when you fully trust a website
Exciting events like the Barbenheimer premiere are often invitations for internet wrongdoers to look for ways to profit.
Luckily, they can’t get to you as long as you practice safe internet use and are extra careful about your sensitive information.