Copyright Infringement Phishing Attempt

One of our customers received the message below through their contact form.

Don’t fall victim to one of the classic blunders, the most famous of which is “Never get involved in a land war in Asia,” but only slightly less well known is this: “Never click on a link, when a threat is on the line!”

These types of phishing attempts are designed to rattle you with enough accusations that you stop thinking critically.

This message is long on threats and contains zero details. There are basically 5 threats in this email, with the last one being a warning that her lawsuit will catch you by surprise.

Phishing attempts are vague because they’re sending the same message to a bunch of people, in hopes that somebody will bite. We’ve had customers that have received legitimate copyright infringement emails. Those emails are very specific as to what page on your website has what offending image. The fact that they want you to click on a link to see their proof is a major red flag. (And, yes, we’ve taught the customers to not just google an image and grab the first thing they find.)

Grammar and spelling can often be a big clue in phishing attempts. The grammar in this message is some of the better grammar we’ve seen in a phishing attempt, but frankly, the first line should give it away to anybody: What on earth is a “qualified photographer”? Professional, maybe. But “qualified”?

From: Mel Williams
eMail: <[email protected]>
Phone: 12129750669

Message Body:
Hi there!

This is Meleana and I am a qualified photographer and illustrator.

I was confused, 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 should be aware that you could be sued by the copyright owner.

It’s illegal to use stolen images and it’s so low!

Here is this document with the links to my images you used at your website and my earlier publications to get the evidence of my legal copyrights.

Download it right now and check this out for yourself:

[Malicous URL removed]

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

And if it doesn’t help, 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.

This e-mail was sent as a contact form submission

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