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Police warning sent to hundreds of thousands of free Sky, Netflix and Prime Video viewers

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A major illegal streaming operation in the UK has been shutdown. Pirate IPTV (Internet Protocol TV) services offer access to popular paid-for shows and movies usually only available with a subscription to Sky Q, Netflix, and Amazon Prime Video for one low price. IPTV is considerably cheaper than paying for each of these services legitimately.

At the price offered by these services, you’re effectively getting free access to a number of paid-for services. Of course, there are a number of risks associated with these illicit streaming services, with viewers at high risk of malware and credit card fraud.

Hundreds of thousands of people who paid for these illegal services have had their access revoked overnight. That’s the result of an operation carried out by West Midlands Police and FACT, the UK’s leading intellectual property protection organisation.

The joint operation, which was months in the planning, shut down a piracy network that provided over 100 separate television services with illegal access to some of the most talked about shows, sports fixtures, and more. It’s believed hundreds of thousands of people across the UK used these services to watch at a discounted rate.

READ MORE: Netflix and Amazon Prime Video are getting a big new rival in Europe

And anyone that had access to these services before will now see their usual stream of illicit content from the likes of Sky, Netflix, Prime Video and others replaced with a warning from police.

The on-screen message says anyone that had been accessing the content was watching it unlawfully. The illegal streaming services, which have now been shut down, were available to watch on smart TVs, smartphones, tablets and via illicit streaming devices.

Three people have been arrested as part of the operation.

Detective Sergeant Allan McDonald from the West Midland Polices Economic Crime Unit, said: “Two men aged 53 and 35 and a 40-year-old woman were arrested on suspicion of copyright infringement, fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud. Our joint investigation is ongoing.”

While Kieron Sharp, the CEO of FACT said: “We’re pleased to support West Midlands Police in their work to dismantle such a major network. This should be a serious warning to anyone motivated by the financial gains from engaging with piracy – it is a crime which will be taken seriously by Police.

“Users and subscribers of illegal services should be aware that not only are they committing an offence themselves, but they’re also exposing themselves to risks including identity theft, malware and viruses. Engaging with piracy in any way is simply not worth the risk.”

The latest IPTV shutdown is part of the ongoing piracy crackdown authorities have been involved in for years. If you want to avoid ending up in the crosshairs of those involved in anti-piracy efforts then the safest thing to do is simply pay for services legitimately and legally.

And if you hunt around you can still find bargains to be had, such as a NOW TV Sky Sports deal that’s live now – which will give you access to Premier League football, the electrifying F1 2021 season and much, much more for a low price.

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