Scam Alert: Copyright Infringement Scams Surfacing – Here’s What To Look For, And What To Do, If You Get One
We’ve been telling you about the Copyright Alert System that is now being used by no less than 5 of the largest ISPs in the US. We’ve even told you a little about what the Alerts you will get in your email will look like. But what we have (somehow) managed to leave out in all the information we have given you thus far is this:
Be alert, scammers will try to use this!
Please forgive us, we are only human, and when we discussed the CAS articles this subject never seemed to come to the table. But, TorrentFreak (One type of scam.) is reporting that several new scams surrounding the Copyright Infringement issue has surfaced. The scams mostly rely on the fear that has been instilled over the last few years of heavy fines, and retribution, by saying something like this sample (this scam is already shut down.) excerpt taken from an actual email that was posted on The Internet Patrol:
“If this matter is not settled by, (Future Date,) you may face potential felony criminal and/or civil charges filed against you. If you are arrested for felony criminal copyright infringement you will be fingerprinted, photographed, and held in jail until you are arraigned in court.”
The entire thing looks almost legit, and in some of the more recent emails, the Law Firm that is claimed to be the sender is an actual Law Firm, though the firm denies any knowledge of the emails.
If you are sent an email saying that your IP has been reported, and that if you would like to “settle” rather than risk legal proceedings, risk the legal proceedings, you will probably never be notified again, at least not by that Law firm. In most cases, after the first email is ignored the threatening letters will stop. But, even then, you should apply a few simple rules when reading the email; then you can be assured of the letters legitimacy. Look for these things first:
- Real Law firms that mostly operate on the internet will have a verifiable online presence. Do a WHOIS lookup on the internet address and look at the age of the site, if it’s new, it’s probably a scam.
- A legitimate “cease and desist” notice will give specifics of the alleged incident, i.e. names of the software, music, or movie, exact times, etc.
- Use alternative contacts, via phone, or snail mail. Also, look the alternative contacts up using an outside source, like a Google or Bing search, never use the links in the email to make contact.
At the end of the day, making sure that you aren’t being scammed out of your hard earned money is entirely up to you. Law enforcement agencies worldwide have been chasing internet scammers since its inception, and every agent will tell you: Not many get caught.