In the last month, we’ve had two clients receive similar emails. Both mentioned images that were used illegally on their website. Since we purchased all images for them, we were sure it was a scam. Fortunately, both clients forwarded us the email without clicking on anything.
PLEASE be on the lookout for any email like the one below:
This is Meleena and I am a qualified illustrator.
I was discouraged, putting it lightly, when I recognised my images at your website. If you use a copyrighted image without an owner’s permission, you’d better know that you could be sued by the owner.
It’s unlawful to use stolen images and it’s so mean!
See this document with the links to my images you used at (website name) and my earlier publications to obtain the evidence of my ownership.
Download it now and check this out for yourself: (a link supposedly to a document listing the pages with the images in question)
If you don’t delete the images mentioned in the document above within the next few days, I’ll file a complaint on you 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, you may be pretty damn sure I am going to take legal action against you! And I won’t give you a prior notice again.s
There a are a few ways to immediately identify this as a scam:
- Misspelled word – recognised instead of recognized (This technically isn’t a misspelling. That’s how the word is spelled by non-Americans—so it’s more an indication that it’s from another country.)
- Request to download a file – never legit unless requested
- Threatening language – used to scare recipient into action
- No contact information – can’t confirm claim
This is just one of the many scams out there, but it’s rather prevalent these days. We thought we should send out a warning. Remember, NEVER download a file from an email you don’t recognize or remit any kind of payment to a person or company that you can’t confirm.