Thousands of subscribers to illegal streaming service warned by police

More than 7000 residents, believed to have been using an illegal TV streaming service, are set to receive warning notices this week from Lancashire Police.

The Police cyber-crime unit is issuing the warnings to subscribers of an IPTV service which allows users to illegally stream premium channels at a reduced rate.

Subscribers will receive the Cease and Desist Notices this week, via email, asking them to stop using the service immediately.

The warning states that subscribing to these services is a crime which carries a maximum sentence of up to five years imprisonment and/or a fine, and a criminal record.

The notice, one of the first of its kind aimed at consumers of illegal streaming services, also makes clear that Lancashire Constabulary will monitor subscribers’ behaviour and an investigation will be launched if the email is ignored.

This action is part of an ongoing investigation designed to crackdown on illegal streaming and those profiting from it.

The list of subscribers to the IPTV service was discovered after officers carried out a warrant at an address in Lytham in June. A 28-year-old man was arrested in connection with suspected illegal streaming of premium TV channels, fraud and money laundering. Two high value cars, designer clothing, jewellery and handbags were also seized from the address.
The man has since been released under investigation.

Olivia Dodding from Lancashire Police Cyber Crime Unit said: “People who subscribe to these services might not realise that they are illegal, but the fact is they are, and we believe that the people who sell them know that.

“What may cost you a relatively small one-off fee, actually results in television producers and sports broadcasters losing millions of pounds which affects their ability to make and show sports events and entertainments series, which many of us enjoy watching.

“Anyone who subscribes to an illegal streaming service should stop now to avoid facing prosecutions themselves.”

Kieron Sharp, CEO of FACT added: “We are pleased to give our full support to Lancashire Police in sending a really clear message to those choosing to consume content illegally. This is taken very seriously by the police and these notices are a direct and alarming wake up call for people using illegal streams. If you use illegal streaming services you are accountable for your actions and you will be pursued. This is not a grey area and it is not worth the risk.

“Consumers should also be aware that illegal streaming originates from sophisticated criminal enterprises; your money goes directly into criminals’ pockets.”

Related Content

News Prosecutions

Illicit streaming fraudsters jailed

FACT instigated investigation leads to over 10 years total prison sentences  Hampshire County Council Trading Standards and FACT have welcomed a successful outcome in the courts relating to the illegal streaming of copyright material. Following a detailed investigation led by the County Council’s Trading Standards officers working in collaboration with FACT  and National Trading Standards, … Continued

News

IPTV service disrupted as part of illegal streaming crackdown

Worcester Trading Standards officers aided by West Mercia Police, in partnership with FACT and BT, executed a warrant on Tuesday 14 December as part of the continuing fight against illegal streaming. Officers visited two addresses in Worcester and seized a variety of equipment relating to the provision of internet protocol television (IPTV). At the main … Continued

News

Thirty months’ imprisonment for pirate software developer

In what is understood to be the first conviction of its type in the UK, a man who created and built a software package which enabled illegal access to BT Sport, SKY, Netflix and other subscription television content has been sentenced to two and a half years’ imprisonment. The software package or, ‘build’ he created … Continued

News

Two arrested as part of illegal IPTV crackdown

Leicestershire Police officers yesterday (Monday 29 November) executed a warrant as part of a crackdown on illegal streaming services. Police visited an address in Oadby and two people – a man aged 33 and a 48-year-old woman – were arrested on suspicion of infringing copyright by communicating work. A variety of equipment relating to the … Continued