JMiks /
9 July 2014Copyright

Law firms react to copyright scam

Law firms in Germany have been forced to react to a scam in which thousands of fake copyright notices containing viruses were sent to internet users, claiming to be on the firms’ behalf.

Around 30,000 fake emails citing copyright violations about tracks from Jay-Z, James Blunt and others have been sent to internet users in the last few days.

The emails, which make cash demands, appeared legitimate as they included details from genuine law firms known for sending out copyright infringement notices.

The emails demand that up to €500 ($680) is paid within 48 hours and that a lawsuit will be launched if it is not.

Recipients are then told to click on an attached file for more details which leads to a virus.

One firm, Sasse & Partner, which has offices in Munich and Hamburg, has issued a statement denying involvement in the scheme.

“The ‘warnings’ are sent under the name of our lawyer Jan Spieldenner. The perpetrator or perpetrators are apparently making use of the fact that our firm regularly sends warnings on behalf of various clients and has thereby acquired a certain reputation.

“We point out that the warnings provided by us are never sent as a Zip file,” the company explained.

Another firm, Wilde Beuger Solmecke, also issued a statement denying they were responsible for the letters.

“So far, it is still unclear what exactly is causing the Zip file. However, it is very likely that it contains a virus, which is to spy on the credit card and account information,” the law firm wrote on its website.

The firm added that the time limit of 48 hours to respond was an indicator of fraudulent behaviour.

Other law firms to have been targeted included Kruse and Rechtsanwalt Carsten Peter.

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