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Thousands of Swedes hit with porn surfing bills

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Thousands of Swedes hit with porn surfing bills
15:01 CET+01:00
A Swedish company with a dubious past has sent out invoices to thousands of Swedes demanding payment for allegedly visiting pornographic websites.

Police in Blekinge, south Sweden, have received over 3,000 reports about the company's fake porn surfing bills from people around the country.

The invoices threaten to expose the recipients as porn surfers if they don't pay.

The company behind the invoices in on the warning list of the Swedish Trade Federation (Svensk Handels).

"This is a form of blackmail. They send an SMS to them claiming they've been porn surfing and write something like 'if you don't pay we're going to expose you as a porn surfer on our website'," Per Geijer, head of security at the trade federation, told the TT news agency.

Billy Ingemarsson, head of the Blekinge police's IT crimes unit, told Sveriges Radio (SR) the current wave of complaints is the highest number of reports that have been filed with the Blekinge police, which may need to call in extra staff to deal with the case.

"We're getting between 15 and 25 reports every day," he told the broadcaster.

Ingemarsson is leading the investigation and said the company may be prosecuted over fraud, attempted blackmail and crimes against the Debt Recovery Act.

Most invoices are nearly identical, stating that the recipient has viewed a pornography site and has either downloaded or watched a film, thereby entering into an agreement with the site owners.

Reminder invoices with penalty fees are sent out to those who do not pay the original bill. In some cases, the amount doubled.

The company behind the invoices is based in Blekinge and has branches in the neighbouring Skåne province. It has been listed variously as LDB Finans and under personal names.

In another case, thousands of Swedes payed faked fines for surfing on porn sites, depositing millions into fraudsters' accounts.

Letters sent out at the end of the summer of 2012 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 of between a few hundred kronor (100 kronor = $15) and several thousand kronor.

The Local/nr

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