This illegal streaming scam wants to ruin Christmas

Online scammers are out to ruin Christmas, this time demanding large sums of money in fake piracy fines from those who might have illegally streamed live sport, TV shows, or movies.

TorrentFreak reports internet users in Germany are receiving emails accusing them of using the illegal streaming service Kinox.

The letters, which mimic those that are sent out by actual authorities, allege infringement of content owned by 20th Century Fox.

While this particular scam doesn’t seem to have affected Brits at this stage, we’d advise everyone to keep their eyes peeled for dodgy emails over the festive period and report them to the authorities as there’s every chance a similar ruse could hit the UK.

Related: Best Kodi box

In demanding a total of 367 Euros (about £325) from the recipient, the letter even features the user’s IP address, browser and operating system. It seems the scammers were able to gain this information from user’s machines from a third-party link.

The correspondence even cites a ruling from the European Court of Justice, which points to illegal content streaming in the region. It then asks users to make a payment to a bank account in the UK.

You can see a copy of the emailed letter below:

fake streaming fine letter

Telltale signs

However, the letter does have some telltale signs of a scam, as German consumer group Tarnkappe points out.

For example, there’s no mention of a specific film, a time or a date, all elements likely to appear within any legitimate letter from a service provider, content owner or law enforcement agency.

“Do not pay. It is rip off. Report to the police,” Tarnkappe says.

The scam comes amid renewed crackdowns on streaming through Kodi add-ons. Some third-party developers are receiving cease and desist letters from a wide range of rights holders.

Related: Is the Kodi crackdown doomed to fail?

An estimated 30 million people use Kodi to stream content and the number appears to be growing, amid mainstream availability of so-called ‘Kodi boxes’ that run the legal media server software.

Have you fallen victim to scammers demanding money for frequenting illegal streaming sites? Drop us a line @TrustedReviews on Twitter.

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