Google-owned YouTube has started canceling Premium subscriptions purchased using virtual private networks (VPNs) or other methods to spoof locations.

This crackdown has affected users worldwide who subscribed to YouTube Premium at lower rates by masking their actual location.

YouTube Premium’s pricing varies significantly across countries, with some regions enjoying much lower subscription fees than others. Many users have exploited this by using VPNs to appear as if they’re in a cheaper area, thus saving money on their subscriptions.

However, YouTube’s terms of service stipulate that users must provide accurate location information. The company has now taken action to enforce this, sending emails to users whose subscriptions were purchased using spoofed locations, notifying them of cancellations and potential refunds.

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In a statement to The Verge, YouTube spokesperson Paul Pennington says the company has “systems in place” to determine the locations of its users. “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,” Pennington says. He doesn’t say whether YouTube has started automatically canceling subscriptions using the spoofed locations, though.

If you’ve been affected by this crackdown, you’ll need to decide whether to resubscribe at your actual location’s price or explore alternative options like free ad-blockers or other streaming services.

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