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Last Updated: Tuesday January 11 2005 08:16 GMT

Potter book six web scam foiled

Harry Potter books
Harry Potter fans are being warned to watch out for internet scams after a site claiming to be selling copies of the Half-Blood Prince was shut down.

Author JK Rowling announced the sixth book in the adventures of the boy wizard would be out on 16 July.

But the site, claiming to sell an online version of the finished book, appeared in early January.

The website was forced to shut down on Monday after the BBC told JK's agents about the scam.

The dodgy site promised: "This book is available now in electronic variant only. If you do not wish to wait for six months more, buy and start reading right now! Be the first to reveal all the secrets!"

But none of the Harry Potter books are available online.

Christopher Little, Rowling's literary agent, said: "The internet is monitored all the time for things like this and usually we manage to get them taken down more quickly than this one."

Harry Potter fansite, The Leaky Cauldron, was told of the problem by angry fans.

They tested the fake site, and found it was probably a scam to get people's credit card details.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is being released simultaneously in the UK, the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

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