New Scam Threatens Alleged Infringers with Jail Time if They Don’t Settle

Ars Technica points out a new scam trolling internet users with legal threats demanding cash settlements for alleged incidents of infringement. An organization calling itself the Internet Copyright Law Enforcement Agency (ICLEA) recently sent out copyright infringement notices to victims warning them that "if this matter is not settled by Friday, March 1, 2013 then you may face serious potential criminal and/or civil charges filed against you. If you are arrested for felony criminal copyright infringement you will be fingerprinted, photographed, and held in jail until you are arraigned in court."

Recipients of those threatening letters have been asked to pay amounts ranging from $395 to $495. Under the law ONLY the government can throw a person in jail or indict them.

The website related to this organization used to look like this, but now it has been scrubbed and contains very little information.

It now contains the message: "Effective immediately, the Internet Copyright Law Enforcement Agency has ceased operations. Please disregard any notices you received from us, and please do not send us any payments."

Prior to being outed by the Internet the ICLEA claimed to be "an international organization that helps to enforce copyright laws on the Internet worldwide by informing potential copyright law violators regarding the serious criminal and/or civil liability they may face, and providing them with an opportunity to help them comply with copyright laws."

The notices from the ICLEA first started appearing on February 19, and those who received them claim they came by certified mail. One person who received a notice actually downloaded the music she had been accused of downloading illegally, which likely means that the scammers have managed to collect file-sharing information from the Internet and connect that data to real names and addresses…

Another target of the scam claims that he received an email this morning telling him to disregard past notices and promised not to bother him again. The person sending the email used various methods to keep himself anonymous.

Source: The Internet Patrol by way of Ars Technica

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