Here’s a scam we’ve seen numerous times this year via our clients’ contact forms. They are using scare tactics via allegations of copyright infringement by claiming that you are using images they own on your website.
We are always positive these accusations are false because we only use images we’ve purchased or taken ourselves, or images our clients have provided (which we’ve had them guarantee they’ve produced themselves).
The company and contact names vary but this one especially caught my eye because the scammers are trying to represent themselves as HubSpot — a very legitimate and trusted company (we are NOT a HubSpot partner or customer, by the way).
Here’s The Full Content of The Fake Copyright Form (description field):
Your website or a website that your organization hosts is infringing on a copyright-protected images owned by our company (hubspot Inc.).
Take a look at this report with the hyperlinks to our images you used at [client’s website] and our previous publications to get the proof of our copyrights.
Download it right now and check this out for yourself:
[Google storage link]
I think that you intentionally infringed our rights under 17 USC Section 101 et seq. and could be liable for statutory damages of up to $130,000 as set-forth in Sec. 504(c)(2) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (”DMCA”) therein.
This letter is official notification. I seek the elimination of the infringing materials mentioned above. Please be aware as a company, the DMCA demands you to eliminate and disable access to the infringing content upon receipt of this particular notification letter. If you do not stop the utilization of the above mentioned infringing materials a court action can be started against you.
I do have a strong self-belief that use of the copyrighted materials described above as presumably infringing is not approved by the copyright owner, its legal agent, as well as laws.
I swear, under penalty of perjury, that the information in this message is correct and hereby affirm that I am certified to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is presumably infringed.
Very truly yours,
Tips for Dealing with Spam Contact Form Completions
Most importantly, NEVER click the link in emails you suspect to be fraudulent. They can contain malware, spyware, ransomware, or any other type of malicious content.
Legitimate claims about copyright infringement will not come through your content form — at least not without a follow up via email and/or phone. You would typically receive a phone call or an email.
If you suspect a contact form completion is false or fraudulent, search some of the specifics in the email. Copy and paste a few lines from the description field. You might find an article like this one that helps confirm it is false. Also, google the person mentioned (the alleged submitter of the form) along with the company name to see if they have LinkedIn or Facebook profiles. If it’s an actual person, feel free to reach out if you aren’t sure. He or she might be more surprised than you about the information.
Delete the email and form entry so you never have to worry about accidentally clicking the link later.
It’s a crazy world. Stay alert.