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Megaupload Users Receiving Fake Settlement Demands

By - Source: TorrentFreak | B 22 comments

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.

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Top Comments
  • 15 Hide
    LuckyDucky7 , March 22, 2012 3:56 AM
    Fake settlements, fake letters, fake malware...

    So pay the settlement with fake cash; if these guys were even worth the postage.
  • 14 Hide
    A Bad Day , March 22, 2012 4:35 AM
    Same situation in Russia. There were several hackers who made themselves well known (such as posting Facebook pictures of themselves), and the FBI knows their real identity and where they live. The problem is that the Russian government denied that there was any hacking problem and that the Americans were looking in the wrong place.
Other Comments
  • -5 Hide
    danwat1234 , March 22, 2012 3:44 AM
    I wonder who's behind this crap
  • Display all 22 comments.
  • 15 Hide
    LuckyDucky7 , March 22, 2012 3:56 AM
    Fake settlements, fake letters, fake malware...

    So pay the settlement with fake cash; if these guys were even worth the postage.
  • 8 Hide
    Anonymous , March 22, 2012 4:21 AM
    I read an article from the New York Times a while back that the most proliferated scammers are located in the Romania city of Râmnicu Vâlcea . The disturbing part is that the Romanian people don't care if these scammers steal money from Americans (or anyone else). They assume that all Americans are too rich driving expensive cars and living in McMansions. Romanians see themselves as poor and deserve the wealth from filthy rich nation-states. The Romanian government won't do a thing about it, because these scammers is what supporting its economy. No ethical responsibility. These days the scammers are using proxies and civilians from former eastern bloc who want quick easy cash.
  • 14 Hide
    A Bad Day , March 22, 2012 4:35 AM
    Same situation in Russia. There were several hackers who made themselves well known (such as posting Facebook pictures of themselves), and the FBI knows their real identity and where they live. The problem is that the Russian government denied that there was any hacking problem and that the Americans were looking in the wrong place.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , March 22, 2012 4:39 AM
    You can try to defend yourself from phishing scams by using Firefox addons: "WOT", "FlagFox" and "BrowserProtect" 1.1.3. These are just tools to help you inform if there is something fishy with the link, and hopefully not click it if it is harmful. If anyone wants to help on ways to secure a user from the internet, it will be appreciated.
  • -6 Hide
    tokencode , March 22, 2012 5:25 AM
    kimdotcom probably sold the list to the highest bidder to pay for his legal fees
  • -5 Hide
    viper666 , March 22, 2012 5:29 AM
    inb4 hurrrr durrrrrr filthy east european peasants, amurrikans are #1 (although they stopped being #1 in the 70s)

    >deserve the wealth from filthy rich nation-states.
    >filthy rich
    >USA
    how's your debt coming along?
  • 9 Hide
    jik , March 22, 2012 6:07 AM
    danwat1234I wonder who's behind this crap

    Its a Nigerian prince
  • 0 Hide
    Devoteicon , March 22, 2012 6:17 AM
    This is a shame. For every five people that know it's a scam right away there's one that believes it and gives in.
  • 3 Hide
    alidan , March 22, 2012 7:00 AM
    DevoteiconThis is a shame. For every five people that know it's a scam right away there's one that believes it and gives in.


    to the 1 in 5s credit, this is kind of how all copyright law is handled, scare you with a giant number, make you pay smaller for it to all go away.
  • -5 Hide
    kinggraves , March 22, 2012 7:11 AM
    But this really does ask the question...this isn't the only time a situation like this has taken place...so why isn't this kind of scam more frequent, why is it being done in THIS case? I can't tell who's more crooked, Dotcom or the feds, either one could set this up to make the other look worse.

    bunnywannyI read an article from the New York Times a while back that the most proliferated scammers are located in the Romania city of Râmnicu Vâlcea . The disturbing part is that the Romanian people don't care if these scammers steal money from Americans (or anyone else). They assume that all Americans are too rich driving expensive cars and living in McMansions. Romanians see themselves as poor and deserve the wealth from filthy rich nation-states. The Romanian government won't do a thing about it, because these scammers is what supporting its economy. No ethical responsibility. These days the scammers are using proxies and civilians from former eastern bloc who want quick easy cash.


    Do you really expect former Soviets to embrace America? 50 years of your government telling you they're the enemy, followed by your government telling you they're to blame for the collapse. I can't really blame them. Many of them ARE poor, and the US DOES put out an air across the whole world that it's richer than it is. The US is that rapper in the club who just walks around throwing his money in everyone's face. Then his next album doesn't sell and he's back on the street.

    If you don't want people to think you're rich and arrogant, stop spending money trying to "save" other countries and save ours.
  • 6 Hide
    gilbertfh , March 22, 2012 9:37 AM
    kinggravesDo you really expect former Soviets to embrace America? 50 years of your government telling you they're the enemy, followed by your government telling you they're to blame for the collapse. I can't really blame them. Many of them ARE poor, and the US DOES put out an air across the whole world that it's richer than it is. The US is that rapper in the club who just walks around throwing his money in everyone's face. Then his next album doesn't sell and he's back on the street.If you don't want people to think you're rich and arrogant, stop spending money trying to "save" other countries and save ours.

    Many of the comments are full of intolerant bullshit. US and Romania get along very well much better than many of Romania's neighbors. Is Romania poor? You betcha! Is the general populace in Romania out to screw the US out of money? Hell no! Countries such as this have limited resources and do what they can but when it comes to takedowns of solicitors and spammers it is not high on the list of things to do.
  • -1 Hide
    freggo , March 22, 2012 10:18 AM
    Oh come on. You've got to be living in a cave if you can not tell a real email from a scam.
    If you fall for Nigerian Million $$ funds, British lottery money or fake law firm letters you kinda deserve being taken for a ride.
    Simply check the FROM email address. Chances are it is gmail, yahoo etc. If that is not enough of a tipoff a quick Whois on the domain name will tell the story.
  • 0 Hide
    eddieroolz , March 22, 2012 11:57 AM
    What has this world become...
  • -1 Hide
    belardo , March 22, 2012 12:02 PM
    But at 147 Euros, its a very good deal. much cheaper than 10,000... it's worth a shot.
  • 0 Hide
    shqtth , March 22, 2012 12:31 PM
    Someone in Government leaked the user info after the raid?
  • 1 Hide
    f-14 , March 22, 2012 5:25 PM
    been to romania, they are really poor, beautiful women and culture and architecture, but very poor. you have to remember these people survived years and years of communism and KGB like police forces, they survived by being the strongest or cleverest or most devious to avoid being hauled off, if you can survive that, the rest of the world better beware of you.
    how in the world do you not realize how all these old saying get started and stick around for centuries? because they aren't true? come on " trust nobody but yourself" "don't trust anybody farther than you can throw them" " never turn your back" or "take your eyes off them" " keep a watchful eye on that one"
  • 0 Hide
    house70 , March 22, 2012 9:27 PM
    bunnywannyI read an article from the New York Times a while back that the most proliferated scammers are located in the Romania city of Râmnicu Vâlcea . The disturbing part is that the Romanian people don't care if these scammers steal money from Americans (or anyone else). They assume that all Americans are too rich driving expensive cars and living in McMansions. Romanians see themselves as poor and deserve the wealth from filthy rich nation-states. The Romanian government won't do a thing about it, because these scammers is what supporting its economy. No ethical responsibility. These days the scammers are using proxies and civilians from former eastern bloc who want quick easy cash.

    The above is why one should not get their info from MSM; also, this is proof that thinking you understood an article doesn't make you smarter.
    "scammers are supporting the economy"? Really? Do you have the slightest idea how many scammers would take to support a country's economy? no, you don't.
    "That's why the government doesn't do a thing"? For starters, there have been a couple of Romanian hackers that have been on the news, and each time they have been caught and prosecuted by the local police. Yes, they were NOT extradited or anything, but they were prosecuted in their own country, like in any civilized nation. Second, this is a rare occurrence (hacking at that level). Also, there was someone from Romania that hacked into some NASA servers and I believe some other govt. agency here. He was also found and prosecuted in Romania. Thirdly, not even in countries that are notorious for their software piracy (China, Russia) one can not say that this type of activities is what's supporting their respective economies.
    Try to get informed on a subject before bad-mouthing someone. And again, stop getting your info from MSM. Your brain might thank you one day.
  • -1 Hide
    house70 , March 22, 2012 9:28 PM
    kinggravesBut this really does ask the question...this isn't the only time a situation like this has taken place...so why isn't this kind of scam more frequent, why is it being done in THIS case? I can't tell who's more crooked, Dotcom or the feds, either one could set this up to make the other look worse.Do you really expect former Soviets to embrace America? 50 years of your government telling you they're the enemy, followed by your government telling you they're to blame for the collapse. I can't really blame them. Many of them ARE poor, and the US DOES put out an air across the whole world that it's richer than it is. The US is that rapper in the club who just walks around throwing his money in everyone's face. Then his next album doesn't sell and he's back on the street.If you don't want people to think you're rich and arrogant, stop spending money trying to "save" other countries and save ours.

    Another ignorant; Romania has never been a "soviet". Ever.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , March 23, 2012 3:10 AM
    house70The above is why one should not get their info from MSM; also, this is proof that thinking you understood an article doesn't make you smarter. "scammers are supporting the economy"? Really? Do you have the slightest idea how many scammers would take to support a country's economy? no, you don't. "That's why the government doesn't do a thing"? For starters, there have been a couple of Romanian hackers that have been on the news, and each time they have been caught and prosecuted by the local police. Yes, they were NOT extradited or anything, but they were prosecuted in their own country, like in any civilized nation. Second, this is a rare occurrence (hacking at that level). Also, there was someone from Romania that hacked into some NASA servers and I believe some other govt. agency here. He was also found and prosecuted in Romania. Thirdly, not even in countries that are notorious for their software piracy (China, Russia) one can not say that this type of activities is what's supporting their respective economies. Try to get informed on a subject before bad-mouthing someone. And again, stop getting your info from MSM. Your brain might thank you one day.

    The specific article that I was referring to was physically written on the New York Times newspaper a year or two ago in the business section. How I remember this is that I was personally affected by one of these sorts of scams when I first started using the internet four or five years ago. So any insight how these organizations work, made me feel a bit relived that there are people investigating such a thing. I haven’t kept the copy, since it was thrown away to the recycle bin. Tried to find it on New York Times search engine using different key words, but couldn’t find it. So I used google and found the article, it just happened to be on the “Magazine” website, a site that I never read or use, but it is the New York time article that I read, only needed the city name to finish my post. The writer does exist in New York Times database; it just happens that not everything written in the physical copy is also saved in the internet (or could only see it if I happen to subscribe their service). Sorry for the mistake with the economy, I meant regional economy like a city or province. Look at how the drug cartels are affecting Mexico regionally and as a whole. As for the extraction thing, I don’t know how you came to a conclusion from my post. And sorry for sounding like I was bad mouthing the Romanian people, I really didn’t meant it that way, just the individual people who are aware and gave up on ethical responsibility. Btw, we are talking about criminals who take advantage of innocent and naive internet user like children and the elderly who normally want to trust people.
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