Phishing Alert: Image Copyright Infringement Email

Phishing Alert: Image Copyright Infringement Email

Phising Scam

Phishing Alert: Image Copyright Infringement Email

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Business website owners should be on the lookout for an email phishing scam that uses image copyright infringement as a means of trying to intimidate the recipient into clicking on a link. Our research indicates that this scam will often use a websites contact form to send a message claiming that the website owner has used an image without permission.

We have reproduced the email further below. There are variations of this scam where the wording can differ slightly, but the essence of the message is the same. If you get this email, then do not click on the link contained within. Our research indicates that this is a form of ransomware. The link will take you to a file that when downloaded will attempt to “hijack” your computer. We can’t confirm exactly what the hacker’s intentions are, but most likely they will want to extract personal information and they may also lock you out of your device demanding payment before restoring your access.

This scam also highlights the importance of only using images on your website where you have permission. Copyright infringement is a real issue and the scam tries to impersonate what is essentially a “cease and desist” order. These can be followed up by legal action with an intention to seek financial compensation or damages. So one sure way of knowing that the email is a scam is (on your website) to only use your own images or professional images that you have paid for.

———- Contents of Scam Email ———

Hello,

This is Melainie and I am a qualified illustrator.

I was baffled, to put it nicely, when I came across my images at your website. If you use a copyrighted image without an owner’s approval, you need to be aware that you could be sued by the creator.

It’s against the law to use stolen images and it’s so wicked!Here is this document with the links to my images you used at yourwebsitedomain.com.au and my earlier publications to get the evidence of my legal copyrights.Download it right now and check this out for yourself:

{this is where the scammer will place the url which if clicked will take you to a malicious file}

If you don’t get rid of the images mentioned in the file above during the next few days, I’ll file a to your hosting provider letting them know that my copyrights have been severely infringed and I am trying to protect my intellectual property.

And if it is not enough, for damn sure I am going to take legal action against you! And I will not bother myself to let you know of it in advance.

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