Huge risks millions of illegal streamers could face instead of paying for TV subscriptions
| Last updated
If you're illegally streaming content, here are the massive risks you need to know about.
Look, it's no surprise that millions of people illegally stream content in the UK, but few are actually aware of the risks associated with it.
And, given that Netflix is set to introduce ads, it's pretty important to know what you're getting yourself in for if you decide to boycott streamers.
It's not known how many people in the UK are illegally streaming content but it's estimated at around five million, with many using illegal Kodi boxes, chipped Amazon Firesticks, or good old fashioned illegal websites for their fix.
As we all know, streaming pirated content is illegal in the UK, and you can face up to 10 years in prison if found guilty.
And that's not the only risk associated with illegally downloading content.
According to Crimestoppers, a whopping three million people who illegally stream content were hacked in 2021 and 2.4 million ended up infecting their device with viruses.
Even more worrying, more than one million people had money stolen from them as a result of watching illegal streams – in total, almost 4.8 million illegal streamers experienced a virus, fraud or personal data theft last year.
And while most people are savvy about the illegalities, a survey from intellectual property organisation Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) released last January found that while 76 percent of people were aware that watching pirated content was illegal, 62 percent of people didn’t know about the threat of fraud, identity theft or viruses.
FACT CEO Kieron Sharp said: “While it’s good to see that so many people are aware of the illegality of piracy, there appears to be a lack of understanding about the very real risks consumers face, with many unwittingly putting themselves in danger as a result.
"Identity theft, fraud and exposure to malware and viruses as a result of piracy are all too real. I’d ask anyone who is considering turning to illegal content to think twice about whether it’s worth risking giving criminals access to your devices and bank accounts.”
And just this week, one of the masterminds behind pirate streaming operation Dreambox, which provided football fans with illegal access to Premier League football games, has been ordered to pay back almost £1 million.
Yep, so pirating films could leave you with a hacked account, and as annoying as ads are, we'll take them every day over literal fraud.
Featured Image Credit: atgof.co / Alamy Stock Photo/Oleg Elkov / Alamy Stock Photo
Topics: News, Technology, Netflix