Get An Email About Images? Don't Believe The Hype!

Email Scams and Threats About Image Use


July 1st, 2021

Using Stolen Images?

A Guide About Email Scammers & The New Scam

Every once in a while I would get an email from a client asking me to clarify something about an email they received. Sometimes it was from competing companies making false claims of website issues in order to get their business, other times it was a random email stating that their website was filled with spelling errors. As a digital marketing company that works with many businesses, large and small, we would usually ensure them that the email was a scam and not to worry. At first, I would go through their website to confirm there were no errors, and wasted far too much time on it only to find nothing.

Now, the latest scam is what seems to be an official sounding legal threat to scare customers. They are given a link to click with "images" of "proof" that their images are being used on the client's website. When the links are clicked, I'm assuming the scammer has things set to steal their information or pass a virus to them. There seems to be 3 types of people sending these scam emails.
  1. Scammers distributing viruses and other malware.
  2. Scammers looking to cache in on unsuspecting people who don't know any better so they can get a payment based on false pretenses. 
  3. In a few cases, these customers were approached by a competing company just a few weeks later promoting their business. In fact, the same local company contacted several of these website owners. Fortunately, my client's are wise and trust in the work we do. Unfortunately, for those bad at marketing, the only way to market is to lie, and attempt to take someone's client by making false claims. Real marketers don't need to use such tactics as their skills are all that's needed.
So, I'm not sure if this is always connected to a scammer, a marketing company, or a company distributing viruses, but regardless of who you are getting these from, ignore them. Don't spend legal fees, don't respond, don't click on any links. Instead, report the email as spam, submit a complaint to the FTC. 

Real legal threats come from real attorney's by certified mail. They don't come from an email account from Joe Blow claiming you took their image and asking to settle for some insane amount. Never, ever, ever, give-in to these scams, or give them any time. There are laws protecting scammers in other countries and if you fall victim, you have little to no recourse to recoup your money... In the words of Grandmaster Flash, "Don't buy it!"

I wouldn't feel the need to post this if it were not for the fact that it's occuring so often. I get these scam emails, client's get them, and quite honestly, I am tired of explaining this to friends and clients. So for now on, I'm going to link to this article and hope that each and everyone reading this will start reporting these scammers and not give them any mind. Oh, and by the way, that prince isn't going to deposit millions into your bank account, so please, for the love of all humanity, don't give him your private information!!!


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