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Checking for Stolen Photos on Site

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Site URL: https://www.getwine55.com/

Hi, we just got an online form submission from someone who says they're an illustrator and we're using their images illegally and if we don't remove them in the next couple of day, they're going to sue. They included a link to a google folder that supposedly had the images but the link didn't work. I checked that it was an actual google link before clicking it, but I supposed it could still be some kind of a phishing scam. I tried sending an email to the address provided but that came back as undeliverable. I tried googling the illustrators name and found nothing.

To my knowledge, all our images are from stock sites or unsplash. We did use a designer on some flyers, the images for which made its way on to the site so I suppose we could be using the wrong license for posting on the web or the designer may not have licensed them properly, though I doubt it.

Does anyone know of a way to sweep our site for any stolen imagery? Is that even possible? I don't even know the right way to ask that question. 🙂  Or do you think that form submission was some kind of scam?

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  • 4 months later...

This has been reported in several places as a phishing scam. Here's one report but there are many others: https://www.sangfroidwebdesign.com/hack-prevention/phishing-alert-fake-email-claiming-copyright-infringement/

We got a message ourselves today through a Squarespace contact form. We've also seen it through our old Wordpress site.

My guess is your message says something like this: "This is Meleena and I am a qualified photographer. I was discouraged, putting it lightly, when I saw my images at your website. If you use a copyrighted image without an owner's permission, you must be aware that you could be sued by the copyright holder..."

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@SwehAs long as you didn't submit any credit card information, or log in anywhere after clicking links in the submission, you should be alright. In any case, if you're worried about your site or email address being compromised, I would recommend changing your Squarespace account password:
https://support.squarespace.com/hc/en-us/articles/206537317-Resetting-your-Squarespace-password

You can also add two-factor authentication for heightened security of your account:
https://support.squarespace.com/hc/en-us/articles/360000044827

Reach out to your email provider to learn how to change your password there on their end.

cg1q_g5kO_xGfCuu4Be7izVV_NRhqDc4ve0tGQPjM9KcJEsGk7_r2aOC3TvFDREPcEBeqkVyVYkbcd2f5SqEBwjMR67QYD2Kew-OhW65fVNWvTGdP1cmXHWUSbycirsSKTcnHL_G
SPENCER CHRISTIE
CUSTOMER OPERATIONS ADVISOR
HE/HIM

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  • 2 months later...

I’m so relieved to hear this is a scam! I’m a makeup artist and every client photo posted on my portfolio website has been approved and sent by clients I’ve worked directly with. I was so concerned that maybe I had missed citing a photographer on a photo and immediately responded to resolve the issue only to have the email address return invalid. Did a little more digging and couldn’t find any photographs with that name. So frustrating!! I’m going to change passwords and look into reCAPTCHA right now! 

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  • 2 months later...

We just had the same thing done to us. First time was 2 weeks ago. we clicked on the link and it took us to our website. We thought that the 1 image that our developer used may have been the problem picture so we removed it and I emailed the person back (it actually went through) but never heard back from her. 

This morning I received another email from another person, with the same issue. But this time I am 100% positive that all my material is genuine and my own production. So again I email this new person multiple times and it all comes back undelivered. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Just got one this morning. It had me pretty shook until I noticed a couple warning signs - poor capitalization, no evidence or indication of the copyrighted photos in the email body, the fact the notice was sent through a website form and seemingly not submitted to Squarespace's copyright email,  and identical wording to other scams cited. I also noticed that they used the name of a person who has a photography business, but the email address doesn't match the one listed on their business page.

If Squarespace received a legitimate notice of infringement, it would contact the individual itself or flag the claimed media until action was taken, wouldn't it?

Stay safe out there!

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  • 1 month later...

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