With the excitement and popularity of J.K. Rowlings ‘Pottermore’ and the exclusivity of gaining early access to the site, many unsuspecting fans are being tricked into giving out money or information. In return, they are getting nothing but viruses infecting their computers and an expensive lesson about security.

‘Pottermore’ is a new website where Harry Potter fans can enhance their experience of the books online as well as go on adventures just like Harry. The site recently opened their doors to 1 million fans that were able to find the Magical Quill. These fans would be granted early access to the site before it opens to the public in October. The challenge is now over, but that doesn’t stop scammers from trying to take advantage of this much sought after access.

The scams were first discovered by researcher Chris Boyd and the BBC has sent out official warnings to fans who were hoping to secure an early access account. Some rip-offs include:

– selling fake accounts on eBay (some sellers are selling them up to $100+)
– asking for personal data or to register to get an account then sending malware, spyware or virus in return
– receiving a registration confirmation that when you open it, downloads a fake anti-virus warning to see your software
– links that take you to surveys or contests to get your personal information for spam purposes

The scams have become so prolific that the ‘Pottermore’ official blog commented on the situation stating, “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…!” They also recommend you do not share your personal information with anyone.

Confirmations for those who were able to register for early access are going out this week. As one who was able to get in, I can tell you that the e-mail contains one link and it’s for the Pottermore Insider site (www.inside.pottermore.com). I’ve posted the address for those of you who are cautious. Instead of clicking the link you can type it in. As you can see below, no one at this time has access as we are all waiting for another e-mail for our accounts to be activated.

It’s a shame that there are people out there waiting to exploit Harry Potter fans but not unexpected. If you are thinking of trying to obtain an early access pass to ‘Pottermore’ or paying to get one, you may want to reconsider. The site will be open in October and it may be a lot cheaper and a lot less headache to wait the 2 months.

(top photo courtesy of Goodereader.com)