Harry Potter fans chomping at the bit for early access to Pottermore--the exclusive portal of Harry Potter e-book sales--may be walking into cons that could prove expensive and damaging to their computers.
Scam artists, first discovered by security researcher Chris Boyd and reported by the BBC, are selling early access to the Pottermore Web site, either by selling fake accounts on eBay for $100 a pop, or asking for personal data to register accounts and then swamping computers with malware. Boyd even found the ol' "Take a Survey, Win an [Insert Apple Product Here, Oops, We Mean Pottermore]" scam in action.
Early access to Pottermore does exist, but only by going through the proper channel of completing a magical quill challenge on the official site. Buying and selling Pottermore accounts is against the site's terms of service--and simply foolish, as the Pottermore blog points out:
"Access to Pottermore is, and always will be, completely free so please don't be tempted by people selling Pottermore accounts online. You will only be wasting your money--and there are still more clues and chances to come!" The official blog also warns against sharing personal details online for any purpose.
It's a shame that some people are willing to exploit earnest Harry Potter fans--thus spoiling all holidays for all children for all time--but it's certainly not surprising. Money-hungry swindlers aren't deterred by anything, even e-book portals that were touted as "safe and friendly" by J.K. Rowling herself