My colleague at work revealed to me today that he had sent a cheque for £290 to a firm called ACS Law.
He had received a very threatening letter from this firm which he showed me.
In it ACS Law said that they had evidence that he had downloaded a single album track last October using uTorrent.
They named the track and his IP address and said that if he paid the £290 within 28 days no further action would be taken but if he didn't he would be taken to court and possibly be liable for a fine of many thousands of pounds, be banned from the internet and even face imprisonment.
He was guilty as charged and in a panic sent off the cheque.
I've looked into this and it seems to be somewhat of a scam reliant on scaring people into sending money when there really isn't sufficient evidence to actually take to court.
ACS Law letter writing continues - Which? News
As it turned out my colleague had downloaded this track but it could have been his kids etc. and the way ACS Law operates is definitely very dubious.
Naturally I don't imagine for a moment that users of this forum would do such a thing, but if you know any patch wearing parrot fanciers you might want to give them a heads up.
It seems the best response is to ignore the correspondence. If you enter into a dialogue with this firm they've got you.