TorrentFreak reports that in recent days some 30,000 fake copyright infringement notices demanding cash settlements have been circulating in Germany. In addition to defrauding unwitting folks out of cash, the notices also come bundled with malicious software designed to steal personal info.
According to the report, which originates with a posting from the German law firm Wilde Beuger Solmecke, the email notices claim copyright infringement over content belonging to EMI, Sony, DreamWorks, and Paramount, and demand 200 to 500 Euros within 48 hours to avoid a lawsuit. The notices look very credible, and even contain the names of real lawyers and law firms.
Additionally, the notices come with an attached Zip file that's supposed to contain more information. Not surprisingly, the file actually contains a virus which spies on the infected computer waiting for credit card info.
This is a nasty trick that the web savvy won't fall for, but which will also surely catch a few unfortunate internet users. We're vulnerable to theses scams in large measure due to to the aggressive tactics of copyright holders that frequently use third-party clearing house services to go after internet users. It's impersonal and threatening and scary and so people just pay up and don't ask questions. It's more disappointing that the fake notices could be real than that regular people might fall for them. [TorrentFreak]