While just about everyone shares content through social media that they find on other sites on the Internet, many of those people do not consider the possibility that their republishing the material could involve a copyright infringement.  In some instances, copyright holders will complain to social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram requesting material infringing on their copyright be removed and in some instances even ask for payment.  All of the social media sites have their own procedures for filing and responding to such complaints.

Scammers are taking advantage of this, as they do everything else, to turn it into a scam by sending phony copyright infringement notices such as the one reproduced below.  These notices prompt the targeted victim to click on links to object to the claim of copyright infringement.  In some versions of this scam, merely clicking on the link will download dangerous malware.  In other versions of the scam, the victim is prompted to provide his or her password which can lead to the scammer being able to take over the victim’s social media account and use it to scam others.  In still other versions of the scam, the victim is prompted to provide personal information that is used to make the person a victim of identity theft.

Here is a copy of one such bogus notice.

TIPS

As I have often warned you, never click on links in emails or text messages unless you have absolutely confirmed that the communication is legitimate.  In this particular case you can go to the particular social media you are using and find out its rules regarding copyright infringement complaints. Here, for instance, is a link to the Instagram page describing its copyright policy and how it works. https://www.facebook.com/help/instagram/126382350847838

It is always a good idea to use dual factor authentication on all of your accounts so that in the event the security of your password is compromised, no one can still access your account.

For those of you receiving the Scam of the day through an email, I just want to remind you that if you want to see the ever increasing list of Coronavirus scams go to the first page of the http://www.scamicide.com website and click on the tab at the top of the page that indicates “Coronavirus Scams.”  Scamicide has been cited by the New York Times as one of three top sources for information about Coronavirus related scams.

If you are not a subscriber to Scamicide.com and would like to receive free daily emails with the Scam of the day, all you need to do is sign up for free using this link. https://scamicide.com/scam-of-the-day/