No Surprise: Scammers Focus On Tricking The French With False Three Strikes Infringement Notices

from the but-of-course dept

We’ve seen similar scams for a few years now, but with the French three strikes administrators, Hadopi, sending out 650,000 first strike notices, it should come as no surprise that the scammers have jumped in to try to take advantage of people. They’re sending notices to people pretending to be infringement notices from Hadopi. They ask people to click through to access their report. Following the link brings you to a cleverly faked Hadopi website, which asks for a registration code and provides the following instructions:

?To get the access code by SMS: Send CODE to 81083. For the confirmation code by SMS: send CODE to 81015. To get the access code by phone: call the following number: 0899 230 141. Confirmation code by phone: call the following number: 0899 230 148.?

And that’s where the scam part comes in. The numbers are apparently premium access numbers, meaning that sending those text messages will end up costing quite a bit. Pretty sneaky. Yet another example of the kind of collateral damage created when you set up systems that treat people as guilty without any hearing or trial. It leaves itself wide open for abuse from scammers.

Filed Under: , ,

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “No Surprise: Scammers Focus On Tricking The French With False Three Strikes Infringement Notices”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment

Why do numers surive for longer than a tiny bit of time?

What surprises me with these scams (making people call/sms to “premium” numbers) is: why do the numbers continue to stand? Shouldn’t it be relatively easy to, if not figure out who’s behind it (ok, that might be nontrivial), at least to stop the service?
In my country the press speculated that bacause the telcos running the numbers get a nice cut off what the scammers make (for providing the service), they are not too motivated to stop this.

That Anonymous Cowardsays:

Re: Re: Why do numers surive for longer than a tiny bit of time?

Because we are just a service provider that someone has used for wrong doing.

It should be easy to find out who is behind it, the money is paid to someone. But the telcos have no interest in having this revenue stream dry up. Besides you have the added bonus of being able to say the people who answered must be guilty of something if they thought the accusation was true and tried to pay it off.

In the US for a long time there was a scam called “cramming” where bad people would stuff a bunch of costly services onto your bill without your permission. They kept this going for a very long time, and the telcos seemed reluctant to just stop the ability of this to happen.

New Mexico Marksays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Why do numers surive for longer than a tiny bit of time?

FWIW, We have a bad habit of accidentally putting our dog’s name (and our last name) on most forms where we think there is any reasonable chance of getting spammed or worse. One result is that our dog now gets more junk mail than we do.

This worked out especially well one time when we noticed that a new “service” had been showing up on our phone bill for several months. We called the telco to protest and they insisted that according to their records, ordered it and there was nothing they could do. We calmly replied that we knew with 100 percent certainty that the individual they claimed ordered it had not done so, and that we would gladly prove this in court (plus damages) if they did not immediately stop the service and refund all charges. They backed down right away and we got a full refund with no further questions asked.

While we were bemused by this event it is sad to consider that this doesn’t really help more vulnerable people who get get bullied by these telco-crammer “partnerships”, does it?



Re: Re: Why do numers surive for longer than a tiny bit of time?

From the linked article:
“The fake site has been taken down and the number has been blocked by the authorities, but will no doubt reappear on another compromised server with a new number in due course.”

It takes time before someone that gets caught in these type of things reports it to the authorities, it then takes a bit more time for the authorities to confirm it and shut it down. Who knows how many people will get sucked in before then, and then it is just a matter of rinse and repeat with a new batch of victims.


Re: Re: Re: Re: Why do numers surive for longer than a tiny bit of time?

Yup, I have to say I haven’t read TFA. (I was half-sleeping back when I wrote my comment.)

Thinking of this a bit more, it’s not a black-and-white situation: there probably is a whole spectrum of services using these numbers, from completely ok to shady to outright scams using these numbers. So it might be tough to decide in some cases if it’s still ok or not.

In fact I could see some similarities between pushing telcos to police over this and pushing ISPs (or other companies, like YouTube) to police over their users’ actions. Though it still feels a bit different: a scam seems worse to me than a “civil” copyright infringement.

But like in copyright infringement, deciding if given “service” is a scam or not might be blurry, so should anybody force telcos to do it?

Similarly, as some people argue ISPs have no motivation to crush on illegal filesharing because they make some money out of that, the same can be said about telcos and these “premium” numbers.

Still, something doesn’t sound right in this comparison… feel free to point it out.

Anyway, in the end it’s the law enforcement that should deal with that quickly and try to find and punish the scammers.


Re: Re: pirate masnick

Your bitterness and disappointment always make me smile. I see it as a positive thing. It shows me that those of us against the current copyright laws are indeed having an impact. The copyright maximialists are helpless and they know it. The only recourse they really have is to curse the heavens in disgust and post nonsense on blogs like this one. How can that not put a huge smile on the faces of everyone? ๐Ÿ˜€


Re: Re: Re: Re: pirate masnick

To answer the question : The french’s “Partie Pirate” failed to get enough backer to get aknowledged as a party this year, better luck next one ๐Ÿ™‚

Oh and by the way there is a funny tidbit people should know , the scam and the real mail are awfully similar in a way since if you delete the mail upfront, even if it was real as long as you do not reply to it they cannot move up to the next “Strike” since the law stipulate that it is only allowed to move to the next stage if the recipient of the mail actually read it.

Anonymous Herosays:

I’m really not surprised that this has popped up, but in all fairness, this sort of thing happens all the time, to all sorts of companies and government services. There are plenty of legitimate reasons that France’s three-strikes law should not have been put into place; it would be best if we could focus on those. Scams like this need to be addressed, but they are ultimately a sideshow that can detract from the law’s deeper problems.


Re: Re:

Scams like this need to be addressed, but they are ultimately a sideshow that can detract from the law’s deeper problems.

I can’t agree there. To me it seems that one oth the worst aspects of th law (the fact that it creates a new para-legal process outside the normal rules) is intimately connected with the existence of these scams. The existence of the law creates uncertainty in the minds of scam victims, which the scammers are exploiting. In other words if you fixed the problems with the law the scams would not have arisen.


If Hadopi was about to stop these type of scams people would love to have censor laws in place.

Maybe the industry should use these as propaganda instead of focusing on their monopoly that sounds bad. look bad and nobody cares.

Now scammers trying to cheat others? Everybody would love a law that took everything from those people without due process or scrutiny, the politicians would then be able to step into the sun again.

Never mind that what empowered the crooks in the first place was laws made to protect special interests or that they would be stripping due process and start doing what they did with every other censor tool available just start labelling others criminals to justify it, but in this case they have something that the public also don’t like and can show it to everyone.

How many would buy into that line of thinking?
Given the child pornography paranoia I believe the numbers would be high.


This reminds me of some scams I’ve heard of collection agencies pulling. Like pretending to be the police and saying they’re going to arrest you if you don’t pay off the debts you owe right away. That of course is illegal, but it’s quite profitable for unethical collection agencies willing to buy the debt for pennies on the dollar.


Oh, that's low. /Pirates/ getting scammed.

Sure, maybe not everyone who calls is an actual /pirate/; it’s guilty conscience that prompts the call though, that makes them “wide open for abuse from scammers”. There’s a down side to pirating. As in the Bible: “the wicked flee when no man pursues”.

And of course Mike thinks that his acolyte pirates should suffer no consequence at all…


Re: Re: Re: Re: Oh, that's low. /Pirates/ getting scammed.

It’s NOT a guilty conscience. It the fear of the bully that is larger and much more powerful than you. You hope all you lose is your lunch money.


If I was contacted by HADOPI and accused of stealing my first impulse would be to call them and get as much information I can to be used against them during a legal defense (or just to tell them “Come at me Bro” because I live in another country.) When I see something wrong on a bill, I tend to call the company immediately and let them know that there is a problem. I would certainly get hit by these scammers calling for more information, not because I have a guilty conscious.

The Groove Tigersays:

Re: Re: Oh, that's low. /Pirates/ getting scammed.

Yes, of course. If you get a “legitimate” HADOPI letter, and you have done nothing wrong, then you can safely ignore it. Same thing if you get sued, or get a police order for your arrest. It’s not like you have to, you know, try to clear things up, just ignore stuff and everything will be a-ok.

I suppose that’s the argument you’re making. If the police come to arrest you, just say “I would prefer not to” and they will understand that the charges against you are false.


Re: Re: Oh, that's low. /Pirates/ getting scammed.

Except that when I’m being threatened with something I know I didn’t do, I still freak the hell out. Not because I think I ‘deserve it’ but because “WHAT THE FUCK?! HOW THE HELL DID YOU GET THAT IDEA?! WHAT?! WHAT?! WHAT THE FUCK?! I DON’T EVEN WHAT?! and perhaps in the modern day WHO THE HELL STOLE MY IDENTITY AND WHAT DID THEY DO WITH IT?!”

Confusion is a very potent emotion, much more so then fear.


” Yet another example of the kind of collateral damage created when you set up systems that treat people as guilty without any hearing or trial. It leaves itself wide open for abuse from scammers.”

I could see this line coming from far, far away. It’s bullshit, but I could see it coming.

Mike, you are getting to the point of blaming the victim for getting raped. By your logic, it’s a bank’s fault for having an online banking option that scammers can use as a basis to steal your info by creating fake versions of it. Perhaps you would want to blame facebook or paypal for similar scams that used their name.

My email regularly features people trying to spoof famous sites for profit, usually to obtain your username and password so they can break in and steal your money. Are you going to blame the banks for this?

I know you hate the three strikes law. But geez, can you try to be a little less transparent on your hater mentality?

The eejitsays:

Re: Re:

You just equated copyright infringement with rape.

One of these causes considerable psychological trauma, the other may cause financial trauma. The fact that, in your opinion, the two are equal shows your disdain for something that many consider worse than the actual killing of a person. And you claim to be on the “right” side?

If you’re on the “right” side of this debate, I don’t want to be on the “right” side.


Re: Re: Re: Re:

Nope, I did not in any way equate copyright infringement with rape. Nice mis-read, nice attempt to ignore the point. Are you really that stupid, or are you just trying hard to be a fucking asshole about it?

The point is only the “blame the victim” mentality. Replace “rape victim” with “victim of Nigeria Scam Mail” or “victim of credit card fraud” or “victim of a drunk driver”, and you get the same results. Like it or not, Hadopi isn’t to blame for this stuff, they are the victims of it as well.

If you can get your head out of your ass for a minute, maybe you can understand that basic idea.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop ยป

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Report this ad??|??Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...
Older Stuff
12:25 Australian Privacy Commissioner Says 7-Eleven Broke Privacy Laws By Scanning Customers' Faces At Survey Kiosks (6)
10:50 Missouri Governor Doubles Down On 'View Source' Hacking Claim; PAC Now Fundraising Over This Bizarrely Stupid Claim (45)
10:45 Daily Deal: The All-in-One Microsoft, Cybersecurity, And Python Exam Prep Training Bundle (0)
09:43 Want To Understand Why U.S. Broadband Sucks? Look At Frontier Communications In Wisconsin, West Virginia (8)
05:36 Massachusetts College Decides Criticizing The Chinese Government Is Hate Speech, Suspends Conservative Student Group (71)
19:57 Le Tigre Sues Barry Mann To Stop Copyright Threats Over Song, Lights Barry Mann On Fire As Well (21)
16:07 Court Says City Of Baltimore's 'Heckler's Veto' Of An Anti-Catholic Rally Violates The First Amendment (15)
13:37 Two Years Later, Judge Finally Realizes That A CDN Provider Is Not Liable For Copyright Infringement On Websites (21)
12:19 Chicago Court Gets Its Prior Restraint On, Tells Police Union Head To STFU About City's Vaccine Mandate (158)
10:55 Verizon 'Visible' Wireless Accounts Hacked, Exploited To Buy New iPhones (8)
10:50 Daily Deal: The MacOS 11 Course (0)
07:55 Suing Social Media Sites Over Acts Of Terrorism Continues To Be A Losing Bet, As 11th Circuit Dumps Another Flawed Lawsuit (11)
02:51 Trump Announces His Own Social Network, 'Truth Social,' Which Says It Can Kick Off Users For Any Reason (And Already Is) (100)
19:51 Facebook AI Moderation Continues To Suck Because Moderation At Scale Is Impossible (26)
16:12 Content Moderation Case Studies: Snapchat Disables GIPHY Integration After Racist 'Sticker' Is Discovered (2018) (11)
13:54 Arlo Makes Live Customer Service A Luxury Option (8)
12:05 Delta Proudly Announces Its Participation In The DHS's Expanded Biometric Collection Program (5)
11:03 LinkedIn (Mostly) Exits China, Citing Escalating Demands For Censorship (14)
10:57 Daily Deal: The Python, Git, And YAML Bundle (0)
09:37 British Telecom Wants Netflix To Pay A Tax Simply Because Squid Game Is Popular (32)
06:41 Report: Client-Side Scanning Is An Insecure Nightmare Just Waiting To Be Exploited By Governments (35)
20:38 MLB In Talks To Offer Streaming For All Teams' Home Games In-Market Even Without A Cable Subscription (10)
15:55 Appeals Court Says Couple's Lawsuit Over Bogus Vehicle Forfeiture Can Continue (15)
13:30 Techdirt Podcast Episode 301: Scarcity, Abundance & NFTs (0)
12:03 Hollywood Is Betting On Filtering Mandates, But Working Copyright Algorithms Simply Don't Exist (66)
10:45 Introducing The Techdirt Insider Discord (4)
10:40 Daily Deal: The Dynamic 2021 DevOps Training Bundle (0)
09:29 Criminalizing Teens' Google Searches Is Just How The UK's Anti-Cybercrime Programs Roll (19)
06:29 Canon Sued For Disabling Printer Scanners When Devices Run Out Of Ink (41)
20:51 Copyright Law Discriminating Against The Blind Finally Struck Down By Court In South Africa (7)
More arrow