Example 246: Fake copyright infringement notices

Scammers accuse UMN recipients of copyright infringement via web forms.

We have seen several of these submitted via the public-facing web forms of legitimate University businesses. In each case, the claim and the sending email were fraudulent. The goal of the scam is to get recipients to click the link.

Indicators of Phishing

  • From a non-UMN email address, usually fake
  • Sense of urgency: “In case you do not cease [...] a court action will be started against you.”
  • Link is suspicious and unexpected

What to do if you receive one of these:


From: <[email protected]>
Date: Mon, Jul 19, 2021 at 3:15 PM

Subject: [listserv-name] E-mail from UMN Site

To: <[email protected]>

Cc: <[email protected]>

Message-------Hello there!

My name is Monica.

Your website or a website that your company hosts is infringing on a copyrighted images owned by me personally.

Check out this official document with the hyperlinks to my images you utilized at www.d.umn.edu and my earlier publication to find the proof of my copyrights.

Download it right now and check this out for yourself:


I really believe that you intentionally infringed my legal rights under 17 U.S.C. Section 101 et seq. and could be liable for statutory damage of up to $140,000 as set forth in Sec. 504(c)(2) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (”DMCA”) therein.

This letter is official notice. I demand the elimination of the infringing materials mentioned above. Please take note as a service provider, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act requires you, to remove and deactivate access to the copyrighted content upon receipt of this notice. In case you do not cease the use of the above mentioned infringing content a court action will be started against you.

I have a strong faith belief that use of the copyrighted materials referenced above as allegedly infringing is not authorized by the copyright owner, its legal agent, as well as legislation.

I swear, under penalty of perjury, that the information in this message is correct and that I am currently the copyright proprietor or am certified to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive and legal right that is allegedly infringed.


Monica Wallace



Phone-------fake phone number

[email protected]