An ABMP member reported receiving an apparent scam email stating that images on the member’s website were “stolen” and being used illegally. This is a common phishing scheme and is not limited to ABMP members or their websites. The email asks the recipient to click on a Google Drive link, which is actually a file download that allows the hacker access to the user’s system, creating serious vulnerabilities in the victim’s device and network.
The malicious actor usually identifies themselves as a “professional photographer” or “licensed photographer,” and goes by the name “Mel,” “Melinda,” or, in the case of the ABMP member’s email, “Meleana.”
If you receive this phishing email, do not click the link it contains, and delete the email immediately.
The text of the email received by the ABMP member is below.
Subject: Submit a Testimonial
First Name: Mel
Last Name: Mehta
This is Meleana and I am a licensed photographer.
I was baffled, putting it lightly, when I came across my images at your website. If you use a copyrighted image without an owner's license, you'd better know that you could be sued by the creator.
It's against the law to use stolen images and it's so wicked!
Check out this document with the links to my images you used at <link removed> and my earlier publications to obtain the evidence of my ownership.
Download it right now and check this out for yourself:
<link removed for security>
If you don't get rid of the images mentioned in the file above during the next couple of days, I'll file a 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 doesn't work, for damn sure I am going to take legal action against you! And I won't give you a prior notice again.