Online scam targets former MegaUpload users

The shut down of the MegaUpload file sharing web site in January caused millions of its users to lose their data. Now it appears that at least some of these former MegaUpload users are being targeted by a new type of online scams, designed to scare them into paying "fines" for downloading alleged pirated content.

TorrentFreak.com reports that the scams involves a letter from a fake German law firm, Dr. Kroner & Kollegen. The letter claims that this law firm is representing several media businesses and presents the person with "evidence" that they have downloaded pirated content from these companies from MegaUpload.

The letter, which is presented as an attached PDF file in an email, says that the MegaUpload user may have to deal with fines that could reach 10,000 euros. However, the letter also claims it can make this threat go away for a payment of a mere 147 euros. Obviously the intent is to scare former MegaUpload members and then have them spend what they think is a small price to pay instead of a larger fine.

This scam has apparently hit some MegaUpload users in Europe but so far it doesn't seem to have reached over to users in the US. Nevertheless, people should be on the lookout for this kind of fraud.

Image via TorrentFreak

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6 Comments

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You'd have to be a total idiot to open an attachment in an e-mail let alone fron an unsolicited email.

JJ_ said,
You'd have to be a total idiot to open an attachment in an e-mail let alone fron an unsolicited email.

I very carefully check attachments in emails. I will usually get the full source of the message, manually uudecode the attachment, then decipher the binary contents. The manual uudecode is usually done on one of many sites that can do so safely and give it to me as text so I can tell what it contains. The last one I checked out had a rather common javascript hijack embedded in it.

The bad/sad thing is that in Germany these cease-and-desist letters are allowed to be sent just by email. If you ignore them or if they land in your junk folder and you don't respond within the specified time-frame (usually just a few days), the lawyer can take the case to court and request the compensation, which is usually €10.000 EUR or more. This is obviously unfair, but it's legal.

Nexx295 said,
The bad/sad thing is that in Germany these cease-and-desist letters are allowed to be sent just by email. If you ignore them or if they land in your junk folder and you don't respond within the specified time-frame (usually just a few days), the lawyer can take the case to court and request the compensation, which is usually €10.000 EUR or more. This is obviously unfair, but it's legal.

I sure hope Germans are aware of Sandboxing tools