After losing two of the largest torrent sites, KickassTorrents and Torrentz.eu, there’s a lot of uncertainty and doubt in the torrent community.
Many people are looking for alternatives to their favorite sites and a natural response is to look for mirrors.
KAT.am was one of the first sites to present itself as a replacement. While it misleadingly claimed to have a copy of KAT’s database, a flurry of news reports helped the site to gain traction.
This ended abruptly last week. The mirror’s domain name was suspended after a complaint from the Motion Picture Association, forcing the operators to move elsewhere.
However, for the past few days KAT.am has been back in action. At first glance it appears to be a fully working mirror, but people who try to download something will be prompted to register a ‘free’ account.
“Free Account Required. You must create a Free Account to access KickassTorrents,” the popup notification reads.
The signup page redirects to a scammy portal, and requires people to enter their credit card details if they want a free trial.
Needless to say, this has nothing to do with the original KickassTorrents site, and has all the signs of a classic pay to download scam, which usually ends in disappointment for those who sign up.
So how can it be that scammers managed to get hold of the popular domain?
Well, as it turns out the .AM domain registry simply made the domain available for registration again after it was suspended. This allowed the scammers to pick it up, and link it to their KickassTorrents ripoff.
The “register to download” mirror scam isn’t anything new. Several other “mirrors” employ the same tactics and have been doing so for years. However, with the current confusion created by KickassTorrents’ demise, they can do a lot more damage now.
For this reason, we can probably expect many more scammy sites to appear during the days and weeks to come.