Have you received an email or form submission that says "Your website or a website that your company hosts violates the copyright-protected images owned by me"?

It may look like this:



Your website or a website that your organization hosts is infringing on a copyright protected images owned by our company (somecompany Inc.).

Take a look at this document with the URLs to our images you used at yourwebsite.com and our earlier publication to obtain the proof of our copyrights.

Download it now and check this out for yourself:


I think you've intentionally violated our rights under 17 USC Sec. 101 et seq. and can be liable for statutory damages of up to $120,000 as set-forth in Section 504 (c)(2) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (”DMCA”) therein.

This message is official notification. I seek the elimination of the infringing materials described above. Please take note as a service provider, the DMCA demands you to eliminate or terminate access to the infringing materials upon receipt of this particular notice. In case you don't cease the utilization of the previously mentioned infringing content a court action will be commenced against you.

I do have a good faith belief that utilization of the copyrighted materials referenced above as presumably violating is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, as well as laws.

I declare, under penalty of perjury, that the information in this letter is accurate and hereby affirm that I am permitted to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive and legal right that is presumably infringed.

Best regards,
Some name
Legal Officer



Phishing scams are easy to spot. How do we know this is a phishing attempt?


To begin with, the "claim" of infringement of copyright is incredibly vague.

In the past, copyrighted images were unintentionally used, and attorneys sent notices. "Hey, you used this image on this page."


Secondly, this is a dubious use of the DMCA - scary-sounding "legal" language. Sec. 504(c)(2) mentions $120,000 in damages as "setforth" (not a word). It's actually $150,000. Make sure you do your homework, scammers. For the record, this amount seems to vary between versions of the scheme.


Take note of the last paragraph, as well. In this case, either the copyright "proprietor" or someone authorized to act on his or her behalf is posing as the owner of the rights. Seeing a scammer with an identity crisis is always sad LOL.


Last but not least, this links to a consumer-grade file server. The email is bogus and is easy to verify if it is real or not. Don't click on a link like this in an unsolicited message ever.