Warning: Scammers Are Targeting Megaupload Users With Fake Legal Threats

Illustration for article titled Warning: Scammers Are Targeting Megaupload Users With Fake Legal Threats

At least two scams targeting users of file-sharing services have emerged over the last few days. So far the reports all come from overseas, but if it's happening in Germany then similar scams in the US are very likely. Watch out.

The scams both try to trick users into thinking they've been busted for copyright infringement and that they'll be on the hook for huge legal penalties unless they pay upfront settlement fees online. According to TorrentFreak, the first of the two scams appears to target former Megaupload users. The users received emails like the one above from a fake German law firm that claims to represents major entertainment companies. The scam provides no details about what you supposedly stole.

The second scam is a piece of malware, which hijacks your web browser and redirects you to a fake page for the German anti-piracy organization, GVU. The fake page lists some copyrighted materials stolen, and asks for a 50 Euro settlement through PaySafeCard .


That people might fall for these scams is understandable given that entertainment companies and ISPs frequently take to email to threaten users with legal action. If you receive a weird message demanding money over the internet, treat it with the same scrutiny you would the claims of those Nigerian princes that keep contacting you. [TorrentFreak]

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Arggh! there goes a...snake a snake!

It must have been tricky for the scammers to come up with how much money they would ask for. If you ask for too much, people are less inclined to do it. If you ask for too little, people are less likely to believe the scam since they know settlements are typically relatively large. If I got this email, I would have thought $50 was way too little and wouldn't have fallen for it.