Urgent! Beware of Fake Copyright Emails

Urgent! Beware of Fake Copyright Emails

Recently I’ve had multiple clients report that they received emails (usually from website contact forms) notifying them of copyright images being used on their website. I knew it was a scam immediately because I only use licensed images or images taken by my clients when designing websites. There are occasions where a client will send me an image that does not belong to them, and I am extremely clear that if the image is used, you could get sued. It’s not worth it.

Email scams usually have a few giveaways that help identify them. The first is the most common – improper English or misspellings. This email has both. Another VERY concerning part of this scam is the fact that they provide a link to “see an example” of the copyright materials. In this case, it’s a Google Drive link. If you click on the link a file will be downloaded to your computer and your computer and network can be compromised immediately. Additionally, they’re able to see your Gmail address if you’re logged in when you click the link. With that, they can find out more information about you by using simple Google searches. They will use that information in future correspondence to intimidate you into complying with their demands. Most times they want Bitcoin because it’s tough to trace.

Below are two examples of the emails. They are very similar:

Email 1

Hello,

This is Melina and I am a certified photographer.

I was surprised, frankly speaking, when I came across my images at your web-site. If you use a copyrighted image without my consent, you should know that you could be sued by the copyrigh owner.

It’s unlawful to use stolen images and it’s so mean!

Check out this document with the links to my images you used at [URL HERE] and my earlier publications to get evidence of my legal copyrights.

Download it right now and check this out for yourself:

THIS IS WHERE THE GOOGLE DRIVE LINK IS

If you don’t delete the images mentioned in the document above within the next few days, I’ll write a complaint on you to your hosting provider stating that my copyrights have been infringed and I am trying to protect my intellectual property.

And if it doesn’t work, you may be pretty damn sure I am going to report and sue you! And I will not bother myself to let you know of it in advance.

Email 2

Hi there!

This is Melisha and I am a experienced illustrator.

I was baffled, frankly speaking, when I came across my images at your web-site. If you use a copyrighted image without my approval, you must be aware that you could be sued by the copyrigh owner.

It’s against law to use stolen images and it’s so filthy!

Take a look at this document with the links to my images you used at [URL HERE] and my earlier publications to obtain evidence of my copyrights.

Download it right now and check this out for yourself:

THIS IS WHERE THE GOOGLE DRIVE LINK IS

If you don’t delete the images mentioned in the document above within the next several days, I’ll write a complaint against you to your hosting provider stating that my copyrights have been infringed and I am trying to protect my intellectual property.

And if it doesn’t work, you may be pretty damn sure I am going to report and sue you! And I will not bother myself to let you know of it in advance.

This email has misspellings, improper grammar, links and threats. That’s pretty much standard for any scam email. If you get one of these emails DO NOT CLICK ON THE LINK.

When you work with Brian Houdek Web Design you work with me – a skilled freelance website designer and digital marketing expert in the Chicago area

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