There is an email scam that has been circulating for several months now and I want to make sure everyone is aware of it and takes care to avoid becoming a victim.
If you receive an email that looks anything even remotely like what is shown below, DO NOT CLICK ANY LINKS and DO NOT REPLY TO IT. It is a malicious attempt to get you to download malware to your computer and if that happens, the bad guy could seize control of your computer and try to do all or some of this:
The name of the malicious sender used to be “Mel” and the email was worded a bit differently than what you’ll see below. The new sender is “Brittany” and they’ve changed the wording of the email slightly. However, the constant in this scam is the link they include will point to https://sites.google.com/. You should immediately delete the email. Period. End of sentence. If you do that and you DO NOT CLICK ANY LINKS IT CONTAINS, you have likely avoided a huge, costly headache. To illustrate, the recent Colonial Pipeline East Coast fuel outage in our area was the direct result of this type of attack. As an aside, that attack may have backfired somewhat as it brought unwanted attention to the secretive hacker community.
Here’s an email that one client received. I added the text in BOLD CAPS and all links have been redacted.
My name is Brittany.
Your website or a website that your company hosts is infringing on a copyright-protected images owned by myself.
Take a look at this document with the links to my images you used at [YOUR WEBSITE ADDRESS] and my earlier publications to get the evidence of my copyrights.
Download it now and check this out for yourself:
https://sites.google.com/view/ [REST OF LINK REDACTED]
I believe you have willfully infringed my rights under 17 U.S.C. Section 101 et seq. and could be liable for statutory damages as high as $150,000 as set forth in Section 504(c)(2) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (”DMCA”) therein.
This letter is official notification. I seek the removal of the infringing material referenced above. Please take note as a service provider, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act requires you, to remove or disable access to the infringing materials upon receipt of this notice. If you do not cease the use of the aforementioned copyrighted material a lawsuit will be commenced against you.
I have a good faith belief that use of the copyrighted materials described above as allegedly infringing is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.
I swear, under penalty of perjury, that the information in the notification is accurate and that I am the copyright owner or am authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.
If you get something like this, DO NOT CLICK ANY LINKS. For added piece of mind, you can contact us with any questions.