Dubious streaming portals lure into subscription trap

Many consumers search the Internet for the opportunity to stream movies and series. As a result, they are lured by targeted advertisements to dubious streaming platforms that promise free viewing. In most cases, however, they find themselves in a subscription trap.

We explain the nasty scam of dubious streaming providers.

Missing information

Once users have clicked on the corresponding ad, they are often redirected to a dubious streaming portal, where they are asked to create an account and enter their name and email address.

The shock follows a fiew days later: The providers demand several hundred euros from the consumers for an alleged upgrade from the test phase to a premium membership. Young people in particular are often victims of this type of practice.


Aggressive payment requests

However, users do not get access to the films and series they had hoped for, but instead receive a bill in the three digit range.

The reason given for this demand is that the consumer did not cancel the trial membership in time and therefore a premium contract was concluded.

In order to substantiate how serious the request for payment is, the IP address, operating system, browser, Internet provider, and date and time of registration are listed, as well as a location extract with the latitude and longitude of the place of residence.

Those affected should not be impressed by all this information!

As soon as users are on the Internet, the computer automatically transmits operating system and browser data. This is a normal process and the transmission of this data does not say anything about a contract being concluded or whether it is effective.

Also, the use of a nickname or other abbreviation does not mean that users have provided false data during registration.


Youtube videos with false legal information

Accompanying the payment requests, the dubious streaming portal providers have uploaded various videos to Youtube.

Those contain supposed lawyers advice to pay the bills, as the consent of the terms of use are allegedly legitimate claims. Generally stated for all cases, this is not correct.


Constantly changing Internet addresses

The providers constantly put new Internet addresses online with supposed streaming services. The operators of the website Watchlist-Internet and Marktwächter Digitales maintain a regularly updated list of providers that consumers should be wary of.

Affected users should not pay the demanded sum for the time being, and contact us free of charge via our complaint form.

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Innovation Council and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Executive Agency (EISMEA). Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.