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. Evil Dead Rise, the breakout horror film of 2023, started with big cinema numbers and has moved on to a victory lap in streaming land for good measure. In fact, it’s doing so well that the original film from 1981 has crept into the charts too:
2 Evil Dead flix top 10 in the world on HBO. Thanks, Deadites. You keep watching, we’ll keep making. pic.twitter.com/TOoTcvylkd— Bruce Campbell (@GroovyBruce) June 27, 2023
A good time to be a Deadite. Not so good if you’re unable to catch a legitimate stream or the movie isn’t out in your region yet. If you decide to pre-order it from Amazon, you’ll see something odd nestled in the physical media section which we've highlighted in red. Bizarrely, there's a podcast claiming to offer up a free version of Evil Dead Rise via streaming.
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 full text reads as follows:
!Streaming Evil Dead Rise 2023 Movie Evil Dead Rise 2023 Movie Warner Evil Dead Rise 2023 Pictures! Are you looking to download or watch the new Evil Dead Rise 2023 online?
If you are looking for Watch Evil Dead Rise (2023) : Full Movie Online Free, Watch Evil Dead Rise Streaming Full Movie Online Free ||Prime.
Playing the audio clip reveals about 24 seconds of generic soft rock music, presumably only present because the “podcaster” has to upload something to create a listing. To even access the audio file, you'd need to open it via an Audible account or Amazon Music.
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.
Evil Dead Rise for download or streaming, with a “Subscribe to watch: $0.00” message underneath? You can add this to the "Too good to be true" pile.
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:
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. Is it a security product? Am I still trying to sign up to the supposedly “free” version of Evil Dead Rise? I don’t know, but the page says this at the top:
“This is a special offer for a limited period of 3 days which comes with a £13.00 welcome gift card to explore and buy products in one of our affiliates’ websites. By acquiring this membership you will be automatically enrolled in our affiliate membership services. The membership fee amount of £29.24 which will be automatically deducted every 14 days unless skipped or cancelled.
That’s a lot of money to pay for who knows what!
Meanwhile, 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. 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.
How to avoid bogus spam listings on Amazon
- Watch where you pay. Your typical Amazon transactions should be taking place within the main Amazon site. If you're buying an item, watch out if you are directed to go to another URL. If in doubt, check with Amazon customer support.
- Beware of "empty" content. Ebooks and audio files which do little but ask you to go somewhere else to obtain something are almost certainly scams. A one page ebook saying "Go here", or an audio file which is bereft of audio with hyperlinks going off-site should be treated with suspicion.
This is not the first time we’ve seen inventive uses of Amazon services to promote a scam. We’ve previously covered a range of spam ebooks on the Kindle store used to link to similar streaming services. In this case, we’ve reported the account uploading these podcasts to Amazon and users of Malwarebytes products will find they’re protected from the sites involved. Groovy.
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