AMAZON shoppers have been warned over a free movie offer appearing on the site that could turn out to be a costly mistake.
Breakout horror film Evil Dead Rise flew to box office success after its release in late April, but its popularity has gotten it picked up by scammers as their latest ploy.
Fraudsters often rip-off popular trends to lure people into a scam amid the hype, as was seen with The Last of Us fans at the beginning of the year.
But this time, scammers are using a unique trick to catch out Amazon shoppers with an eye for a bargain.
"Scammers are using a novel technique with Amazon listings to trick fans of Evil Dead into downloads they may not want, and expensive rolling payments they have no interest in," according to Christopher Boyd, malware intelligence analyst at cybersecurity firm Malwarebytes.
"If you decide to pre-order it from Amazon… there's a podcast claiming to offer up a free version of Evil Dead Rise via streaming.
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"The full movie, in podcast form? I know Amazon has some pretty impressive technology but I don’t think we’re at that level just yet."
The podcast consists of an round 24-second audio file of soft rock music, which scammers will have uploaded to 'prove' to Amazon it was a 'real' podcast.
The intention is not to get you to listen to the podcast, but instead click on a link they say will take you to the full movie.
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But you must not click it.
"Clicking the link redirects you through several URLs before settling on what looks like it's about to offer you a stream of the film," explains Boyd, who has the skills and cyber software to navigate scam sites more safely than the average person.
The website that appears says "Evil Dead Rise for download or streaming" with a "Subscribe to watch: $0.00” message underneath.
Boyd says this is a classic case of an offer being "too good to be true."
"No matter what you click, on a mobile device you may be offered a download. In testing, we saw a program claiming to offer all manner of media downloads," he adds.
"In another test, we were directed to an odd payment page.
"I say odd, because the URL contains the word 'antivirus', which would suggest you’re potentially signing up for a security service of some kind.
"Despite this, there’s no clear indication of what exactly is being paid for here."
Scammers rely on ambiguity and confusion, as well as the hype around a certain offering, to trick victims into parting with important financial details and cash.
If shoppers click the "too good to be true" free subscription button, they'll be redirected to a generic sign up page where it – again – fails to make clear what users are paying for.
It can often be a ploy to make innocent web users download malware onto their devices, reap financial details or money.
But with this particular scam, Boyd seems to think innocent shoppers will be tricked into hard-to-cancel rolling contracts which can rack up hefty fees.
"Clicking the movie streaming link on a desktop redirects to a generic sign up page with no additional details with regard to terms and conditions or privacy policies," says Boyd.
"Sites like this typically have a rolling subscription fee mentioned somewhere in the T&Cs.
"There is simply no reasonable way to know what you're signing up for here."
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The Evil Dead Rise scam podcast is still available on Amazon, so shoppers be warned.
The Sun has contacted Amazon for comment.
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