Many people illegally download movies and television shows from a variety of websites and the HBO series, “Game of Thrones” is the most downloaded show of all.  In a clever scam, recently people have been receiving a notice apparently from IP-Echelon, a company that enforces copyright claims for companies such as HBO, the producer of “Game of Thrones.”  The notice is forwarded to them, however, directly from their real Internet Service Provider, such as Cox Cable where this scam has been happening for the last month.  Cox has unwittingly been passing on these notices to their targeted subscribers.  The notice is a fake violation notice that IP-Echelon has determined that the person receiving the notice has illegally downloaded “Game of Thrones” or other copyright protected entertainment and that unless they pay a settlement within 72 hours, the matter will be turned over to their attorneys.   The person is then directed to a website where they can pay the settlement.  What makes this scam even more dangerous is that the phony IP-Echelon notice is actually forwarded by the intended victim’s real Internet Service Provider.  People falling for this scam end up paying a phony claim to a cybercriminal.


Of course, the best way to avoid this scam is to never illegally download copyrighted material, however even if you do illegally download copyrighted material such as “Game of Thrones,” you can never be sure when you receive a notice like this as to whether or not it is legitimate, particularly in this instance where the scammers were able to convince a number of Internet Service Providers to send out the notices to their customers.  The best course of action if you receive such a notice is to contact the real IP-Echelon directly which you can do by clicking on this link.