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Using a VPN for cheap YouTube Premium? Google is on to you

YouTube is closing a loophole that has allowed users fleeing from ads by signing up to YouTube Premium to get the subscription for less cash.

The company has confirmed it is cancelling the memberships of some YouTube Premium users who had signed up for the service by using a virtual private network.

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Because YouTube Premium is priced differently in different territories, VPNs have proved useful in temporarily enabling users to sign up on the cheap because YouTube thinks the service is being accessed from that nation due to the location of the IP address.

Now Google is checking the IP addresses against the billing addresses and has rumbled people who might have signed up in Ukraine for a couple of quid a month, instead of paying the £12 a month it costs in the UK.

In a statement to TechCrunch, a Google representative confirmed the reports that started among Reddit users frustrated by the development.

“To provide the most accurate plans and offers available, we have systems in place to determine the country of our users,” a YouTube spokesperson told the site.

“In instances where the signup country does not match where the user is accessing YouTube, we’re asking members to update their billing information to their current country of residence.”

Google didn’t comment on the reports of cancellations of accounts, which Reddit users had alleged and provided evidence in the form of screenshots. However, support agents have reportedly told users they had been kicked off for falsifying their locations.

Google has taken an aggressive approach to preventing viewers using ad-blockers to watch YouTube without ads and is pushing people to sign up to Premium as a result. Just makes sure you’re signing up for Premium in the right country though, rather than using your inalienable internet savvy.

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