The latest scammers were so good, they even fooled Cox Communications. Here’s what to watch our for…
According to TorrentFreak, scammers are now using anti-piracy tracking company IP-Echelon and rights holders like Lionsgate to send false DMCA notices and settlement agreements to internet service providers (ISPs). These are fraudulent, and you should not respond (and definitely not pay a fine). Instead, please send them to email@example.com and we will publish the fraudulent notice and report this to proper authorities.
Currently, there are two prominent anti-piracy companies known for sending direct DMCA notices — with a settlement fee — to ISPs: Rightscorp and CEG TEK. Besides these two, few others are known to proceed in this manner, including IP-Echelon. However, scammers portraying themselves as Lionsgate recently sent a DMCA takedown notice to a Cox subscriber who had downloaded a pirated copy of the movie Allegiant.
On top of the takedown notice, the subscriber was also faced with the ultimatum of a $150 settlement fee. Either that, or face legal action.
TF was alerted by this and their suspicions grew, so they decided to reach out to IP-Echelon and Lionsgate, to which IP-Echelon responded…
”The notices are fake and not sent by us. It’s a phishing scam. The case is being investigated by US law enforcement.”
The fact that scammers are getting away with this is worrying, but what’s even more shocking is that Cox Communications was also initially fooled. These scammers were clever: they knew that once they had sent the DMCA notice to Cox, Cox would forward this to their subscribers (which they did). Previously, Cox refused to pass those notices along, though all of that changed with a massive legal loss against Rightscorp and BMG Music.
As a result, recipients were getting threats forwarded from Cox, which made the letters look even more authentic.
Initially, Cox wasn’t even aware of the issue. One customer responded to Cox asking whether it was ‘real’ or a ‘scam,’ none of which made Cox question the authenticity. Quite the opposite: Cox responded confirming that it was ‘real’. It was only later that they realized that they had fallen victim to a scam.
So please beware! Any internet subscribers receiving a settlement demand from IP-Echelon are being prompted to make their internet service providers aware of this. There’s a good chance it’s a scam.
(Pixaby Image, CC0 Public Domain)