Megaupload users and other file-sharers are receiving settlement demands from fake law firms.
TorrentFreak reports that former users of the file-sharing site Megaupload are now receiving email threats from a fake law firm asking for a monetary settlement. The lawsuit threat looks legitimate on the surface, donning a header naming the fake German firm as "Dr. Kroner & Kollegen of Munich" and listing the supposed physical address, telephone numbers and residing lawyers along the right side.
The fake law firm claims to be acting on behalf of copyright holders including Universal, Sony, EMI, Warner Bros and Dreamworks. It coughs up fake IP addresses and timestamps, and informs the supposed copyright infringer that they are now liable for fines of 10,000 euros. If they want to settle out of court, the firm will gladly take 147 euros off their hands and make the lawsuit disappear.
Those not clever enough to read between the lines may not notice that the actual downloaded files aren't listed in the complaint, nor are there any signs of the typical "cease and desist" legal jargon. Cash payments would also be wired to an address in Slovakia, not Germany.
A second email scam is also making the rounds to more than just former Megaupload users. This one is distributed under the name GVU, an anti-piracy group responsible for the takedown of many file-sharing sites. This one also tries to scam settlement money out of file-sharers, but it also packs nasty malware to give the receiver an even bigger scare.
According to GVU, those who open the "attachment" will see their web browser hijacked and re-directed to a fake GVU page. This page displays a warning and claims the computer has been detected of sharing copyright works. To avoid a lawsuit, the accused must send 50 euros immediately via PaySafeCard.
"The sender of this message is not GVU and we clearly distance ourselves from such criminal activities," the anti-piracy group said in a statement.