Beware of the Copyright Infringement Scam

  • April 20, 2024
  • Bradley Taylor

beware of the copyright infringement scam

Having been a webmaster for over 20 years, I have seen my share of scams come and go. The spoof emails trying to get you to log into your bank or godaddy account are getting better and more convincing looking. It is a good idea to never click any links in an email no matter how convincing it is, unless you are expecting that email at that very second.

A newer scam I have seen develop in the last several years is the “copyright infringement” scam aimed at owners of websites. It will usually read something like this: “We regret to inform you that we have received a copyright infringement report concerning content on your page”.

The senders behind this scam are hoping you freak out and reply right away. They will sometimes try to send you to a convincing looking website to help fool you. They may even mention something about a potential lawsuit. In actuality, they are trying to extort money from you for something you didn’t do.

Because I manage dozens of clients’ websites, I see these messages all the time. They are sent in mass to businesses via their contact forms, email address or even social media. They have even sent letters through the mail.

The senders of these messages are located in “the usual suspects” of countries, namely Nigeria and India. Sometimes they may emanate from an Eastern European country, Pakistan or Russia. They come from these places because they fear little punishment for their illegal activity. The governments there don’t really care about this activity, although we have seen India pick up their law enforcement efforts in recent years.

Course of Action

Simply don’t respond to these people. Usually, the messages are being sent by a bot anyway, so responding will just make you appear on their radar. Delete and block the profile from where the message came. It’s basically spam and should be treated as such.

If you believe the message is authentic, reach out to your web developer and share your concerns. They will remove the image immediately. You may also consider contacting your attorney. If there is copyrighted material on your site, the entity contacting will usually just ask that you take it down before looking bring you to court.


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