Hogwarts Legacy warning: Don’t get muggled off by scam download sites

An early contender for game of the year, Hogwarts Legacy has been selling like hot cakes since launching on February 10. Needless to say, the game’s popularity has caught the attention of online scammers, especially on PC where dodgy websites claim to be giving away pirated code for free. Be warned, however, because these “cracked” versions of the Harry Potter video game spinoff are not to be trusted.

According to an illuminating new blog post on the MalwareBytes website, many of the sites offering free Hogwarts Legacy codes will install adware, or collect personal data.

One such website collects data by tricking users into completing an online survey in exchange for a non-existent activation key.

As part of the online survey, users are asked for personal information such as phone numbers. 

Another download site uses a Trojan dropper to install adware instead of the Hogwarts Legacy game as promised.

Not only does this result in a slew of pop-up adverts on potentially unsafe sites, but adware can often be used as spyware to monitor your device and collect data.

If you really want to play the game but can’t afford the current asking price, then you’re better off waiting for a sale, or signing up to TopCashBack and taking advantage of any applicable new member deals.

Hogwarts Legacy soared to the top of the UK charts in its first week on sale, while also building up a huge following on Steam.

The PC version peaked with over 500,000 concurrent players, making it one of the top five most popular games of the past 30 days.

Set in the famous wizarding school during the 1800s, Hogwarts Legacy sees players unravel an ancient mystery while also making new friends and attending classes.

“Hogwarts Legacy is an open-world action RPG set in the world first introduced in the Harry Potter books,” reads the official description.

“Embark on a journey through familiar and new locations as you explore and discover magical beasts, customise your character and craft potions, master spell casting, upgrade talents and become the wizard you want to be.”

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