The police suspect people in Sweden, Switzerland and Lichtenstein are responsible for the fraud, reported Swedish national television SVT.
To one of the accounts that the police have traced, at least 1,500 and perhaps as many as 3,000 Swedes have paid the fake fines, thereby earning the suspects millions of kronor.
“Heaps of these fines have been sent out and a lot of people have been paying them,” said the Stockholm police force’s fraud expert Jan Olsson to SVT.
The letters that were sent out to thousands of Swedes at the end of summer stated that the recipient had downloaded pornography and that the action had been traced. In order to avoid charges being pressed, the fake letters stated, the person would have to pay a sum, between a few hundred kronor (100 kronor = $15) and several thousand kronor.
According to the police, few police reports have been filed, and the hidden cases are believed to be numerous.
“Since it says in the letter that you’ve down loaded porn, it becomes very sensitive. It’s not something you want to tell your wife about,” said Olsson to SVT.
His advice to those affected is clear:
“Definitely don’t pay anything. There’s no legal ground for this, and the Anti-Piracy Bureau has warned the public about this, it’s pure fraud.”