UsenetReviewz Alerting Readers to Copyright Infringement Scams, How to Identify Them, and What to Do

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In the last few months, UsenetReviewz editors have put a lot of thought into telling their readers about the new Copyright Alert System. They have covered what it is, how it works, how warnings will look, but now are telling their readers they may have missed one small detail.

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when we discussed the CAS articles, the subject of the possibility of scams surfacing was never put on the table by any of our editors.

“To err is human,” and the editors of UsenetReviewz asked their readers in a post titled, “Scam Alert: Copyright Infringement Scams Surfacing – Here’s What To Look For, And What To Do, If You Get One,” to forgive them for their apparent negligence. The post tells their readers that “when we discussed the CAS articles” the subject of the possibility of scams surfacing was never put on the table by any of our editors.

While the US-CERT (US Computer Emergency Readiness Team) reported on the email scam as recently as October of last year, UsenetReviewz editors didn't react to alert their readers because of the speed in which the first scams were exposed and put down, but the Senior Editor, Marion Marshall, says the website has had a recent uptick of readers concerned about emails they have received. He said, "We became concerned about our readers not acknowledging legitimate letters as much as we worried about some getting drawn in by the scam." He explains that some of their readers have reported malware being installed if a link in the fake emails is clicked on. "So we took action to protect our readers who weren't sure about the letters they had received," Marshall said.

In the post, readers are directed to a February 2013 TorrentFreak article that explains one particular scam in detail. The post then gives the reader some sample text from a second scam email, and a link to the full text of that email, though the post tells readers that the scam on The Internet Patrol website has been shut down. “The entire thing looks almost perfect,” Mr. Marshall says, and claims that in some of the scams, the law firms that are shown as the sender actually exist, though the post claims that none of the firms listed have denied sending the emails.

In most cases, if the email is ignored, it will stop, according to the Senior Editor, but the UsenetRevewz post advises readers to examine the email closely to ascertain as to its legitimacy. There are three things that the editors said should be done to determine the legitimacy of the email: A) Check the website of the law firm, a new or shallow, (Not many pages, or posts,) website is a good indication the email is a fake; B) The “Cease and Desist” will have very specific details (name of infringed material, exact time and date of infringement, IP address, etc.) of the accusation; and C) Contact the firm using outside sources, not the links provided in the email.

While the first two suggestions are somewhat “scam specific”, the third suggestion is one that everyone should apply to any suspect emails received. The UsenetReviewz post then goes on to say that, “At the end of the day, making sure that you aren’t being scammed out of your hard earned money is entirely up to you.” Then points out that as long as there has been an internet, there has been scammers ready to take advantage of the unsuspecting. The post claims: “Law enforcement agencies worldwide have been chasing internet scammers since its [the internet] inception, and every agent will tell you: Not many get caught.”

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