Thursday, February 25, 2021

Streaming Service Scams: HBO Max

Streaming Service Scams HBO Max

Since the 1970s, HBO (Home Box Office) has been a premier provider of entertainment. It started by presenting movies and other previously released programming on cable TV. Then, they started producing original content. And recently, as part of the WarnerMedia Company, it was inevitable that HBO would join the streaming fray. It started as HBO Now and HBO Go. Today, HBO Max is the company’s premier streaming service.

Launched in 2020, HBO Max has continued to grow its subscriber base exponentially, month over month. Given that its parent company is WarnerMedia, HBO Max features content from Warner Bros. and its other affiliates, not to mention HBO’s own vast library of popular original movies and TV shows. That breadth of quality content has made it an easy choice for tens of millions of subscribers.

As with just about anything that is in demand, HBO Max has attracted its share of scammers. How can you tell if you are about to be the victim of an HBO Max scam? And how can you identify that someone may already have access to your account? Then, how do you stop them?

Read the following guide to find out more about the common scams associated with HBO Max, how to verify if your account has been hacked, and then how to get rid of any unauthorized users.

(Do you use a streaming service other than HBO Max? Check out our other Streaming Service Scams guides for help with other major providers.)

Free Trial? No, Malware

The biggest source of bait for scammers is the content available through a particular streaming service. Well-reviewed and hyped content is a highly effective lure. And right alongside that is offering that content for low to no cost.

Being able to get great content for cheap or free can be very hard to resist. Except you don’t actually get that content. What scammers really give you after clicking on a supposed ad for a free trial of HBO max could be malware that gives them access to your device and any information available on it.

HBO Max does offer free trials and discounted subscriptions, which may complicate any efforts you might make to identify a fraud. In this case, your best defense could be the cursor hover. If you see an ad for a free trial, simply move your cursor over it without clicking. See what web address pops up. If it doesn’t include anywhere in it, you should take it as a fake.

You want a deal (who doesn’t?). But you also want to make sure that you won’t get malware uploaded to your device. In that case, your best bet is to go to the HBO Max site directly to sign up. Or, you can also find deals on HBO Max available through legitimate cable and satellite TV services, as well as the different app stores.

Hacked Account

This is another potential route for scammers who put out fake ads. Click on one, and the scammer could take the opportunity to steal your password. As of this writing, HBO Max is still a relatively new streaming service. As such, there have not been too many reports about tampered accounts…yet. But that doesn’t mean you should be lax with your account and its security.

As the service continues to grow, demand is also likely to grow. This makes the market for cheap hacked accounts not only viable, but very possibly valuable. And once your account is hacked, depending on the provider where you purchased HBO Max, it can be a big pain to restore your credentials.

How to Find Out if Your HBO Max Account Was Hacked

If someone manages to get access to your HBO Max account without your permission, the most obvious sign will be an inability for you to access your own account. One of the first things that a scammer will usually try to do if they are able to get the log-in information for any account is to change it. (If not your email, then at least the password associated with your account.) That way, you are locked out and they have control over your account.

Fortunately, if anything account-related changes, HBO Max will send a notification/confirmation to the email on record. Read on to find out what you should do if or when you get such a communication.

Steps You Should Take to Block Hackers

If you think someone has been able to access your account without your permission, the HBO Max help center recommends taking the following steps:

  1. Change your password.
    • Depending on the device you use, open the HBO Max App or go to
    • Log into your account.
    • On phone or table, click on Profile and then Settings. On computer, click on Profile.
    • Select Account, and Edit.
    • Enter your password.
    • Enter and save a new password.
    • Note: If the password field says “Add a Password,” that means you’re signed-in through a TV, internet or mobile provider. If that’s the case, then you have to go through that provide to change your log-in information.
  2. Sign out of all devices.
    • Depending on the device, go to your Profile or Profile/Settings.
    • Select Manage Devices.
    • Select Sign All Devices Out.
    • Once all devices are signed out (it can take up to 4 hours), then you go back to the beginning and sign in again using your new credentials.

Assuming your HBO Max account is with the service directly, it’s as easy as that. But if you have HBO Max as part of another package or offer through another provider, you will have to go through their steps to clear things up. So, it may not be as easy after all.

Thankfully, in either case, you do still have the power to take control of your account and information back from any criminals who may want it.

This post is one in a series about managing streaming service scams. Others include:

For more information about other kinds of scams, you can find it on the PeopleFinders blog.

Photo credit: nikkimeel –

Nissa has been the Digital Copywriter for PeopleFinders since 2018. She loves researching new topics, and then providing readers with information that is (hopefully) interesting and helpful.

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