Phishers are tapping into Pied Piper and Hooli in new email scams

Email scammers are tapping into the popularity of HBO's Silicon Valley.

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, HBO should perhaps be blushing.

That’s because scammers are using domains for the fictional tech companies Pied Piper and Hooli from HBO’s Silicon Valley to try to trick unsuspecting consumers.

In a blog post, email authentication firm ValiMail said Pied Piper and Hooli “have become well-known and highly recognized tech brands” as a result of the series and the network has created real websites for these fictional entities.

It’s a bit of a surprise-and-delight content marketing effort for Silicon Valley fans, but has prompted phishers to abuse the domains. ValiMail said it started monitoring said domains last month and has since detected thousands of messages from phishers that appear to be sent from Hooli and Pied Piper domains.

“Believe it or not, there are scammers out there trying to use and email addresses in the From fields of their fraudulent messages,” wrote chief technology officer Peter Goldstein. “After all, who could resist an offer from Gavin Belson ( for free tickets to Hoolicon? Or a free e-book on the Conjoined Triangles of Success from Action Jack Barker ( Wouldn’t you click on a link or sign up for an account, if only to see what happens next?”

Goldstein also said ValiMail is now protecting these domains, so only messages sent by HBO on behalf of the fictional entities will be delivered.

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