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Live TV Streaming Scams: Full List of Fake Sites to Avoid

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When searching for a live stream link online, you’ll come across all kinds of websites that promise they have the best streaming available for the lowest prices — even for free. Sometimes, these are obvious scams. But not always! It’s often challenging to figure out which of those websites are scams and which are legitimate. 

Most people discover a website is a scam only after the damage has been done. In this article we’ll be covering some of the most common TV streaming scams, so you can steer clear of them and stick to the legitimate TV streams for your favorite shows.

Just want to stay safe? If you don’t want to dig into the details of scams and just want to stream live TV safely, use one of these popular services:

  • FuboTV: known for its sports coverage, it provides great overall service with over 100 channels including local ones. Try it free for 7 days!
  • Hulu + Live TV: add 85+ live channels to its outstanding on-demand plan. Sign up for a free 7-day trial!
  • Sling TV: our best bet for low-cost streaming with great coverage. Get the first month for just $10!

Kinds of Scams

Below are some of the most common TV streaming scams. We’ll expand on how to avoid these scams (and their variations) later on in this article. 

Malware and Fake Virus Alerts

You’re probably familiar with this one. There are many variations of fake virus scams, some of which can be very convincing. Even IT experts often fall for them. 

A fake virus alert scam starts when you click on a video player. The page redirects, and a notification appears that says your computer is infected with a virus. It also says that you need to click on the link and download the software to remove the virus. 

These pages often look legit with logos and fake alerts from well-known anti-virus programs. The catch is that when you click on the page to “remove” the virus, an actual virus is installed on your computer. These fake virus alerts can be difficult to remove without specialized software. 

The fake virus alert scams are most common on “free” streaming websites. The website owners create a page for a big event that they know people want to watch (like the Olympics). The page entices the user by claiming to stream the event for free. But really it’s just bait for the malware scam. 

In most cases, your web browser will block harmful scripts from running on the page. Ad-block browser plugins can also help lower the risk of malware infection. Nevertheless, if the scam is designed well enough, it can cause a lot of damage. 

People have lost their Facebook accounts to these kinds of scams. You should never download and install files from unknown sources online — regardless of how legit they look. 

Rip-Off and Fake Streaming Platforms

These are websites that pretend to be legitimate streaming platforms. Spotting them can be tricky because they look slick and professional.

In most cases, the website will claim you can access tons of channels and live streams for free. But you have to create an account. When you do, they steal your information or redirect you to a download page the contains malware. 

Another form of attack is to charge a fee. Once you create an account and pay it, there’s little or nothing available. And your card can even be stolen. If you fear you’ve been scammed, report it to the appropriate authority and take appropriate action.

The problem with these fake streaming platforms is they’re constantly switching to new domains, under different names, so it’s hard to give an example. But here is a collection of past sites:

  • best-tv-reviews.com
  • central-football.info
  • central-nfl.info
  • directsatellitepc.com
  • dtvforpc.net
  • easytvsoft.com
  • football-center.info
  • football-time.info
  • footballoncbs.info
  • free-football.tv
  • hdtv-on-your-pc.com
  • icpc.tv
  • isoftwaretv.com
  • johnq.com
  • live-basketballchannel.com
  • live-football-channel.tv
  • live-soccerchannel.com
  • livefootball-channels.com
  • livenfl.info
  • newpcontv.com
  • new-satellite-tvforpc.com
  • nfl-tv-reviews.com
  • nflhdsports.com
  • nflsqtv.com
  • nfldtv.com
  • nflfever.info
  • officialtvsports.com
  • oleolefootball.com
  • online-sports-360.com
  • onlinetv-to-pc.net
  • onlinetvpro.com
  • pcsatellitetvbox.com
  • pctvexpress.com
  • satellite–tv–reviews.blogspot.com
  • satellitedirect.tv
  • satellitepcbox.com
  • satellitesonline.ning.com
  • satellitetvonpc.com
  • satellitetvpc08.com
  • satellitetvpcmaster.com
  • satellitetvtopc.com
  • streamonlinemovies.com
  • top-etv.com
  • top-internettv.com
  • tv.ur-money-maker.com
  • tvbrowzer.com
  • tvensupc.net
  • tvforpc.net
  • tvonpc.net
  • tvonpcelite.net
  • watch-football-live.com
  • watch-net-tvtoday.com
  • watch-online-tvnow.com
  • watch-sports-online-now.com
  • watchfootballnow.com
  • ziggytv.com
  • stoppayingcablebills.com
  • officialtvstream.net
  • officialtvstream.com.es
  • accesstv.info
  • wtflive.tv
  • directv.to
  • nfltv.satellite-pctv.com
  • streamlive.to
  • indianapolis500live.com

The authorities are cracking down on these websites all the time because they’re either breaking copyright rules or scamming people. To avoid falling for these fake streaming websites, always do research on the website before you create an account. 

Email Phishing Scams

Email phishing scams can easily fool people because most of them are very well made and look exactly like an official email from a legitimate company. In most cases, your email provider will block these types of emails, but some still make it through spam filters. 

One example of an email phishing scam that was making the rounds was supposedly from Netflix. The email claimed there was an issue with the billing on the user’s account and requested that they re-enter their billing information. These looked exactly like email notifications from Netflix, complete with their logos and disclaimers. So it’s easy to fall for it and many people did.

The link in a phishing email message redirects to a page that looks like Netflix (or some other reputable website). It then asks for the user’s billing information. If they enter their information, they’ll see lots of suspicious charges showing up in the near future. 

Illegal Free Streaming Websites and Set-Top Boxes

Watching illegal streams as a consumer may not be illegal. But if you distribute the link or host the content, you are definitely breaking the law.

The links can also be taken down at any time due to copyright claims. It’s possible to find free streams of most events online, but it’s not recommended. Above all, it is illegal. But it is also unreliable. Imagine being in the final minutes of a close basketball game and losing your stream! 

There are also some devices with open-source software such as Kodi which can be used to watch pirated media. These are not recommended because using any device to watch illegal streams is unlawful. 

How To Recognize Streaming Scams

Scams are getting more and more elaborate, but once you know what to look for, you can identify them. 

Here are some of the most commons signs of a scam: 

  • Pretend to be a company that you use (see the phishing example from earlier). 
  • Scare you with a problem (virus-alert) or claim that you won a prize. 
  • Pressure you to act as fast as possible. 
  • Require a very specific payment method like a gift card. 

How to Spot a Fake Website

Learning how to spot a fake website is very important because it can save you from falling for a scam.

One of the most common scams online takes the form of a website that is a copy of a legitimate website you use. The website design, logos, links, and everything is an exact duplicate, except for a few key details. 

There are a few ways to check if a website is legitimate:  

  1. Check the URL. Does it have the right extention (.com rather than .xyz)? Is the website name correct (netflix.com rather than netfilx.com)?
  2. Check for spelling mistakes. Legitimate websites usually don’t have obvious grammar errors. 
  3. Legitimate websites won’t usually have ads or pop-ups. 
  4. Graphics and images are broken. 
  5. The website doesn’t have a security certificate (HTTPS rather than HTTP). A secure website will normally have the image of a lock on the left side of the URL.

There are email phishing scams for almost every service that you use online, including Facebook, YouTube, and other free websites. For some examples, you can check the spam folder on your email inbox; it’ll likely have lots of phishing emails.

General Scam Avoidance

Here are a few more tips to help you avoid scams: 

  • Never share personal information with untrusted sources. 
  • Don’t feel pressured to act quickly. 
  • Don’t bother with websites that request gift cards or other weird forms of payment. 
  • Research the website or service online. (Copy the base URL and paste it into Google and see what people have to say about it.) 
  • If you are scammed, put a block on your card, and take steps to protect yourself. 

Go Legit

It’s understandable to want to save some bucks with free and low-cost streams. And you can do that! Just make sure you go with a legitimate streaming service. As it turns out, there are quite a lot of legit and safe streaming services you can use. 

Legit Free Streaming Services

In most cases, free streaming services survive on ad revenue — just like OTA local stations.

  • Crackle: Offers a wide variety of movies and TV shows including original content. It is ad-supported.
  • IMDB TV: Allows users in the USA to instantly watch movies and TV shows directly through the IMDB app. Movies are presented with commercials. 
  • Kanopy: Provides documentaries, movies, and children’s content. You must have a public library card or college ID to use it.
  • Peacock TV: NBC’s online streaming platform with a library of TV shows, movies, and TV channels. Peacock TV’s free membership is supported by ads, but you can choose a paid membership to get extra content (eg, WWE) and to remove the ads. 
  • Plex: A free service that lets you stream over 130 channels, 20,000 movies, create your own media hub, and much more. It’s available worldwide, and it works on most mobile devices, including Chromecast with Google TV.
  • Pluto TV: USA-based free live-stream service with a wide variety of on-demand movies and channels. Pluto TV generates revenue via in-content advertisements.
  • Roku Channel: Free with Roku devices. It lets you access a wide variety of movies, TV shows, TV channels, and even Roku originals.
  • SHOUT! Factory TV: On-demand library of thousands of cult films and TV shows in every genre.
  • Tubi: Features over 20,000 titles on-demand — including many older and rare items like the original Dark Shaddows.

Best Paid Streaming Services

There are a few reasons you might want to pay for a streaming service. The first is that you can get ad-free content. Even some of the free services we listed above offer a paid version to limit or eliminate ads.

Another big reason to go with a paid service is that they provide channels you just can’t get for free. That’s especially true of sports channels. And finally, most of the free streaming services offer primarily on-demand content rather than live TV.

There are a lot of reputable streaming services, but the following are the best. The links will take you to our detailed reviews and related articles:

  1. FuboTV: especially great for sports fans, FuboTV offers 100+ channels (including local) streaming on most TVs and devices.
  2. Hulu + Live TV: combining its outstanding on-demand library with 85+ channels including a full complement of local channels.
  3. Sling TV: low-cost live TV streaming with unmatched ability to personalize your channel line-up.
  4. Vidgo: Simple, low-cost streaming service with quality channels.
  5. DirecTV Stream (aka: AT&T TV): large provider with great access to local channels and regional sports networks.
  6. YouTube TV: solid general streaming service with good access to local channels.

Summary

There are lots of TV streaming scams out there, but there are also lots of legitimate ways to watch your favorite shows. Start with the services that we’ve highlighted here. You can branch out from there if you feel the need. 

The advantage to using a paid service is your viewing sessions won’t be interrupted with ads, and you’ll have access to more exclusive content. 

Not sure which service to use? Take a look at our list of streaming services that offer free trials

FAQ

How can I protect myself against streaming TV scams?

The best way to protect yourself against streaming TV scams is to avoid browsing illegal streaming websites that have ads. Most of the legit streaming services are well-establish and if you search the back alley of the internet, you will likely get hurt. Make sure you are fully protected (and up-to-date) with antivirus software. Installing an ad-block plugin is a good idea too. 

Is streaming TV legal?

Streaming TV from a licensed provider is completely legal. In fact, it is part of what keeps TV stations in business. Part of the money that we pay to a streaming service is paid to the TV stations for their content. So as long as you are using a legit stream service, you are acting fully in accordance with the law.

Can you go to jail for streaming movies?

The law is complicated and differs in place and time. And we aren’t lawyers. Having said that, we don’t know of anyone being prosecuted for watching an illegal video stream. We still caution against doing it, however. It might get you into trouble if you do nothing else. But it’s also easy to cross the line from simply viewing to distributing.

Generally, the authorities are more concerned with people who upload or share videos without permission. But that doesn’t mean they won’t change their focus in the future. The best we can say is that as far as we know, no one has gone to jail for streaming movies — yet!

Just as important: streaming unauthorized content is also immoral. What’s more, doing what’s right will also go a long way toward keeping you safe — both from the law and from scammers.

What is IPTV and is it legal?

IPTV is “Internet Protocol Television.” It allows television channels to be broadcasted through the internet. The technology is legal as long as the service using it has the correct license to the copyrighted material. It can also be used to broadcast illegal streams so IPTV is often discussed in negative contexts.

Can I trust streaming services that require a credit card for a trial?

The standard in the streaming industry (and most other industries) is to require a credit card to sign up for a free trial. Both FuboTV and Hulu do this and they are as reputable as companies come. If you are dealing with a company you don’t know, you must do your due diligence as you would before giving anyone your credit card information.

By Helen Back

Helen loves to help people rid themselves of the high costs of cable and satellite TV, through writing about simple cost effective alternatives to cable TV. Contact her at [email protected]

82 replies on “Live TV Streaming Scams: Full List of Fake Sites to Avoid”

Any knowledge of LiggityTV ??? Someone suggests it will avail sports channels w no blackouts.

What’s the best way to watch St. Louis cardinal games, plus other channels , in 2021??
Is uzzu a reputable way and best way to watch??

I took a look and like with all these other sites that keep popping up – if it seems to good to be true – it is. Only US based known streaming companies should be used for video streaming. I would not give them any info and would definitely not download anything.

I don't know much about them. Quickly looking at their site I would be hesitant to give them any money. Anytime someone offers free tv and movies that you know are otherwise only available via paid options – you know there is something wrong. Either you're not going to get what you thought, or it will be illegally obtained and thereby short lived and probably in poor quality.

Can you provide direct links to sites that work? Simply trying to find something like ChooseAndWatch directs you to a porn site.

Here is what I think could be a scam. I paid a fee to Streamlive.TO of 44.97 for a Quarterly service for IStream. After 5 days it never worked. I called them for help and they told me the problem was with my Mac and not the Android MXIII I was using to stream. Everything worked fine except live TV (what I was paying them for). I had my IT Guy come over and clean out my Machine and check it for a virus. He said these guys were trying to sell me Muffler Bearings for my car. So after the machine is optimal I call back and they tell me the same thing. The cost to fix the virus in my machine would be $199.00 Who is to say in 90 Days I will not have another so called virus? Your thoughts?

Hate to say it, but yes that definitely sounds like a scam. Im sorry this happened to you. Thanks for calling this out! Hopefully someone else can use this page to avoid the headaches you’re dealing with. Going to add Streamlive to the list now.

I am very wary of any site that wants me to download software in order to watch their content. Typically this is a big red flag for malware. I for one would stay away.

Additionally when I look this site up on ScamAdvisor i got the following message: "Although this website appears to be based in European Union there are other countries involved and you should review this information carefully and decide if it is as you expect.Although being a new website, does not make it un-trustworthy, as with any new business you should be extra vigilant and do your own research before placing an order or making an investment.

This site is using an anonymous service – which prevents us from identifying the site owner. This can sometimes be just so that the owner does not receive spam, but be aware that many scam sites use this as a method to hide their identify. If this is an ecommerce site – we would suggest you confirm the business address with the website owners.

The website has been newly registered with a short life expectancy, which follows the pattern used by many fraudulent and fake selling websites. Please be vigilant and take extra care before providing any payment information."

Have not seen 123movies, comes up as (umovies.me). Does not ask for any information. Have streamed from this site from PC, my android phone and from my IPAD. I stream using both Apple TV and Chromecast. Excellent video and contains all the latest releases. Site is easy to use. Searching is quick. Not really a big issue, but on my Samsung Smart TV, seems like I always have to increase my volume a tad.

Anyone recommend a channel to watch Rugby Six Nations Tournament live in srteaming? First match is England vs. Wales Feb 6th at 8pm GMT

Sorry Chal I have not been able to find one for you. If you found a solution please let us know.

So sorry to hear this Megan. I would definitely consider canceling your bank account and reopening a new one – if you can't get them to stop billing you. But as a first step maybe your bank can block payment to certain companies. Please let me know what you find out.

dear gods, how do i stop them from accessing my bank account?
should i call my bank and tell them to put a hold on anything to do with movies?
mostly i am pissed at myself; i know better than to try to watch programs when running on two hours of sleep. it makes me stupid and more likely to fall for bullshit.

Have you heard of editalplace.com? They have a $4.95 for the first 3 days before deciding if you want to get the $45.00 for each year.

Thanks for reaching out. Not sure yet about FullTVstream yet.. It is only 35 Days old so its a bit early to tell. I definitely would not give any credit card information and we will just have to wait and see how things develop for these guys. If you asking for my best guess – that would be "looks fishy to me"

Hey there I was wondering if you have heard of fullTVstream.net I am not sure if they are a scam or not. They say free but ask for credit card! Hmmm

Hey Ed. Thanks for reaching out. Interesting site. First of all it has to be illegal, as many of those movies are still in the theater. So I suspect the site will be taken down soon, once the authorities catch up to them. Also worth noting is that the video qualify is very poor. My best guess is that they are trying to bate people into downloading their software – which supposedly gives you access to HD content. And beyond that, who knows. I can only imagine what would happen after you download their software… How long has this site been around? First I have heard of it.

What is your opinion on youtubeonfire.com? They have a ton of current movies and TV, but I just don't know what's in it for them.

ANYTIME – same name as Showtime Anytime but it isn't Showtime. Uses Paramount logo but isn't Paramount. Advertises and asks for credit card info but I can't find a website for it.

Sorry, but how is Rabbit TV a scam? It does exactly what it claims to do. It is an online content aggregator that provides links to all of the freely available content on the Internet. No, they do not take your personal information and sell it to third parties and no their USB device (which is no longer needed to purchase Rabbit TV) doesn’t give you viruses. All of that is simply misinformation by uninformed people. Maybe it’s time to take another look at Rabbit TV and tell us what you really think.

Hey Ronaldo – I think i have to agree with you on this one 100%. Rabbit TV was added to the list several years ago and I had not revisited the entry in a while. I’m going to remove it now. Thanks for pointing this out!!

With any and all sports I would first look to see if they air on major network channels like CBS, NBC, FOX etc.. Because if they do, you can get those matches for free in HD using an Indoor or Outdoor Antenna. If that does not work let me know and ill do a bit more research. Great question. Thanks for reaching out.

Hi Mairina – No I dont believe so. I have never heard of that happening. I would just remove any software they installed and mark it up as a lesson learned. Sorry this happened to you.

Which is the best option for Live Tennis streaming online? From online reviews, looks like 'officialTVstream' is no game for money; a fraud. Any other reliable websites?

Hi there I stupidly paid $29.95USD to officialtvstream.com.es and did not get any service. I now know that it is a scam and trying my best to get a refund – but I am scared of further damage. Do they have access to clean out my bank account (although there is not much in there). Please help – thank you

Question: are ilive and justin tv good streaming sites? So far, I've had no issues with either. However, in order to access ilive tv with no hiccups or issues while streaming through roku, it appears you need to pay for their monthly service. Which, to me, their prices are akin to paying for basic cable. Same with US TV Now, which I refuse to pay for because they offer 6 to 8 channels for almost 20 bucks a month. Just silly!

This is great, thanks for keeping people aware. As much as people want to save money by not pouring their hard earned funds down the cable toilet, we also don’t want to be taken advantage of. Thanks again.

Thaks Michelle – please help spread the word about this page. I want this to be the most complete list of tv streaming scam sites on the web.

omg, i just bought the official tv streaming site, i wasted almost 28 USD, i do wish i have seen this 10 mins ago:(
do anyone have suggestions to how to delete the plan or anything to help?

So sorry Sharon. I would just uninstall any software you installed and go through whatever steps you can to ask for your money back. After that, just do what you can to share this page with friends and family. The more people we can make aware of this situation, the better.

Dave Kennedy yea the sites owners are located in Poland, but the location of their servers are hidden so

Hey Rocky – Thanks for reaching out. Though I am stoked this site works well for you, I cant advise it for my readers. When I visited it, i was prompted by multiple pop up screens all wanting to download stuff on my computer. Big Red Flag.

I Got A Website that Workd Good Nice member Ship but They Only Show Boxing UFC WWE TNA PPVS in HD [link removed]

Thanks Deborah. I have added this one to the list of scam sites. So sorry you had to deal with that. Lets keep spreading the word about these types of services so our friends and family members dont become their next victim.

Don't go to this site, official tv stream. Had to cancel my card. Couldn't get hold of anyone on support number because it didn't exist. Kept going around in circles and wouldn't load anything and kept directing me to other sites it claimed to link directly into and be affiliated with, but was all a load of crap. It looked really good though beforehand, can't believe I feel for it!

Hey Adam – thanks for sharing. I have reviewed these sites in the past, and they ask for a cable provider to be specified. For my readers, and myself this is not an option. And when you access these sites without a cable subscription the episodes are very very limited. But, it is free, and if you find it useful, then that is awesome. Keep up the good fight! Please come back soon and let us know if you find any other video streaming sites that we should know about.

this appears to be a scam – Watch TV Stations Online – Free Internet TV stoppayingcablebills.com

digital tv on pc.exe is a scam and pretty sure put spyware on my computer and microsoft wants 119$ to fix my pc can I just delete the program will that get rid of the spyware?

Most likely not. I would suggest checking out Malwarebytes and CCleaner. I am not a tech expert by any means, but I understand that these two programs are really good at removing malware. Good luck!

The likelihood is that the malware is whats telling you you need to pay 119 bucks to fix it’s it’s unlikely to actually be from ms, a lot of these viruses and such are very good at masking themselves to look like something else.

I know people who have wasted time and money using some of these scams. Thank you for putting together such a comprehensive list of these things. The cool thing is that while there is no such thing as a free lunch there is such thing as netfilx and hulu plus 🙂

My pleasure. If I can help save you some time and/or money, it is well worth the effort..

The bigger issue is the dangers it saves you from. Identity theft is a huge business now for a lot of these criminal organizations.

Great call David!!! I am going to make mention of this fact right away.

Read the above comments. And YES these have been tested. You’ve been warned!

You can add Digital TV on PC. Unless that is not a scam site. I would like to know before I proceed to pay for the site.

Sounds iffy to me. Most of the sites that use the term “digital tv on pc” turn out to be scams. And to be clear i dont mean that they will take your money and provide nothing in return. I mean that they will take your money and provide you with access to a bunch of content that is already free on the internet. You should check out “Online TV Channels” to learn more about my suggested video streaming sites: https://www.killthecablebill.com/tv-channels/

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