Game of Thrones fans are hard hitting and passionately intrigued by the television show, the books, the lore, and George R.R. Martin. With that said, it was no surprise that news of Season five filming in the Spanish City of Seville drew more than 10,000 citizens to apply as extras on the show. Unfortunately, for Game of Thrones fans, two Spanish scammers decided to capitalize off of the hype.
Game of Thrones has a cult following and the more than 10,000 Spanish residents that decided to claim their fifteen minutes of fame as extras on the upcoming season were ecstatic to sign on for the show.
Unfortunately, two Spanish men decided to capitalize on the rush of star struck fanatics. The two men created a fraudulent web site, which closely mimicked the real web site. Upon the web site, there was a phone number that Game of Thrones fans could call and obtain information on how to apply for the extra positions.
The fraudulent web site instructed the fans to call a phone number, which charged a per minute rate, in order to obtain the email address with which to apply. On the real Game of Thrones web site, the email address was given out for free.
However, the frauds would place the callers on hold upwards to ten minutes before giving out the email address. Many callers paid the equivalent to $13.38 U.S. Dollars for the calls. It is estimated that the fraudsters collected approximately $134,000.00 U.S. Dollars during the week the site and number was active.
A Spanish police spokesperson shared that the unnamed individuals were directors of an advertising firm and they were arrested in Ibiza.
"The fraudsters, who are based in Ibiza, created a website almost identical to the genuine 'Game of Thrones' site... given the success of the series and the excitement over the forthcoming filming of some episodes in Seville, the number of calls received was very high. It was the perfect hook for a big scam."
According to the Spanish police, scams such as the Game of Thrones phone scam have had residents seeing red for quite some time. A recent study revealed that nearly 21.5 percent of cellular users in Spain have been victim to similar scams.
Although many fans may have fallen victim, the individual amounts scammed from them was minimal in comparison to the overall total. Maybe, as a tribute to those that fell victim, we will see the brutal demise of a weaselly pair of scammers in an upcoming episode of Game of Thrones.
[Photo Courtesy: Express]