Fake anti-piracy warnings hitting UK users

Fake anti-piracy warning emails are being sent to users with money requests in an attempt to profit from the UK Digital Economy Act’s upcoming law, which states that ISPs may be entitled to send warning emails to users found pirating or downloading pirated software.

This fake campaign started just a few days after Ofcom, revised the code for the law. However, even though the Ofcom revision states that warning emails could start being sent to users by 2014 at the earliest, it hasn’t stopped scammers trying to profit earlier. An example of the fake warning email can be seen below:

Although experienced users will likely know a scam when they see one, one can only feel sorry for users that fall for this dodgy campaign.

Source: Net-security

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16 Comments

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I agree with there. Very poor legal jargon as well... at least get the grammar right. anybody who is dumb enough to fall for this email should be ashamed of themselves. although, as already suggested, in the face of blind panic people do habx over money without stepping back for a moment, and thinking. What a crock of BS.

a skilled user can download... and non-skilled person cannot so will should be like... wtf? i did not dl'ed anything illegal and would phone their ISP

SPEhosting said,
a skilled user can download... and non-skilled person cannot so will should be like... wtf? i did not dl'ed anything illegal and would phone their ISP

you are assumeing a lot there, my parents are in their 60's and they use the net, yet aren't skilled, my dad if he got this would freak out and think it was legit and not call the ISP to find out about it... he'd call a lawyer and waste money retaining them trying to defend against something that is fake or call the police directly and ask about it...

neufuse said,

you are assumeing a lot there, my parents are in their 60's and they use the net, yet aren't skilled, my dad if he got this would freak out and think it was legit and not call the ISP to find out about it... he'd call a lawyer and waste money retaining them trying to defend against something that is fake or call the police directly and ask about it...

and in a great world the lawyer would tell him it was a scam and charge him nothing for the time. In our world though the lawyer will tell him its a scam and charge him 100 for his time. One would hope the lawyer then sent 50 to the scammer.

As you read it, the closer they get to the bit where they want your money the worse the errors get. I think the scammer was getting over excited by the prospect of making free money

Teebor said,
As you read it, the closer they get to the bit where they want your money the worse the errors get. I think the scammer was getting over excited by the prospect of making free money

just like some pay for a glowing username on this forum..

air- said,

just like some pay for a glowing username on this forum..

Glowing username? admiteddly I've not spent much time in the forums here any more but whats that all about then?

Huh? "no_reply@.legislation.gov.uk"? Is that even a valid email address with the dot after the "@"?

Meph said,
Huh? "no_reply@.legislation.gov.uk"? Is that even a valid email address with the dot after the "@"?

No its not, but its quite a clever way of obscuring the legitimacy of the email.

The user might wonder if the email actually true. So they might try either;

Emailing back, via reply button - In this case, it'll fail to deliver as the email address is not valid. This gives the victim a arguably 'valid' email address in their eyes creating some sense of false security of giving them the freedom to email back and question the authority on the matter. Something a lot of people won't do even if they're perfectly innocent or well with in their rights.

Secondly, if the user does try to check if there is even a legislation website and WTF is all this about, they can put ".legislation.gov.uk" into most browsers and the browser will either prefix www to the beginning or pass it to the search engine, and that'll provide them with the correct webpage anyway. Again, this confirms to the user its a valid email.

Of course it all depends on how educated, worried and how much money the user has. Small fines like this are well known in the motoring community, Fixed penality fines raging from parking offences and speeding, to bust brake lights can all carry a small charge around the same price tag.
Speeding in the UK will get you a ticket of £60 + 3 points on your license. A lot of the cases in the UK are not legally applied due to incorrect camera setup, bad logging, user errors etc yet the vast majority of users simply pay the fine due to have the money to do so and just get on with it, or simply don't have the money to goto court to defend themselfs even if they wanted to. I assume this scam is working on the same principle.

As well as all the obvious grammatical errors the email uses the US version of 'authorisation'.

Anybody with even basic reading comprehension should be able to tell that it's a fake, while experienced users should be put off by the bizarre email address (a full stop after the @ symbol) and no email government agency would process payments in that manner.

So many grammatical errors and nonsense in that email. What kind of person falls for that? /rhetoricalquestion

billyea said,
So many grammatical errors and nonsense in that email. What kind of person falls for that? /rhetoricalquestion

As much as I would like to agree, unfortunately people under fear or confusion fall for lots including what is obvious to others.