How does it work?
Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) is a technology that allows live and on-demand streaming of television content online.
IPTV has led to a shift from traditional modes of broadcasting by air, satellite and cable towards internet-based streaming. While it offers advantages to customers such as flexible online access and video on demand, criminals have taken advantage of the expanding market and the increasing number of subscribers to set up illegal IPTV platforms.
HOW IS ILLEGAL STREAMING DIFFERENT DURING COVID-19 CRISIS?
Millions of people are locked down at home, looking for different types of digital entertainment to cope with social isolation.
Criminals are quickly adapting their activities, offering:
- high-quality stream: while legitimate providers have agreed to reduce stream quality due to EU broadband overload;
- more content variety: to compensate the lack of sport events.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS OF ILLEGAL STREAMING?
- Malicious software infecting your electronic device
- Criminals accessing your personal and financial information
- Your payment credentials getting stolen
- Financial loss if services are suspended
- Streaming websites and apps could expose younger viewers to inappropriate content via pop-up advertisements
- Your favourite TV shows being cancelled due to the lack of financing
- By purchasing streaming services, you are helping criminals to finance other types of crime
- You could be mining cryptocurrencies for criminals
WHAT CAN I DO?
- Be aware of the malicious IPTV risks
- Only use official subscriptions
- Download software content only from official platforms
- Check that your payment is done in a secure way
- Check the online platform for spelling mistakes, this could be a scam indicator
- Check if there is a registered company for the services offered
- Don’t access free IPTV platforms
- Avoid being lured by ‘high-quality streams’ and special discounts. Terms like ‘free’, ‘best’, ‘cheapest’, ‘express’, ‘OK’ in offers and domain names, could be an illegal provider indicator. If a service sounds too good to be true, it probably is
- Don’t share your phone number, email address or contact details with unofficial streaming platforms
- Don’t restream. As a reseller, you can face criminal charges.
Illegal IPTV in the European Union report by EUIPO - European Union Intellectual Property Office