You may have been receiving two very common email scams tailored for businesses. One is about copyright for images on your website, and the other is about a domain renewal.
Subject: Copyright Images
The subject line for these scam emails or forms submitted on your website is something like: “You have no legal rights to use my images without my approval! It’s illegal! You’re committing a legal offense! You must remove these images NOW!!!!!”
This can get the adrenaline running pretty quickly. But rest assured, this is a scam. DO NOT click on the link in this email or reply to it in any way.
But AM I using copyright images on my website?
Maybe (unless we made it. 🙂 The very best thing to do is to have your website images all be unique to you – taken by local photographers or your cousin Pete who loves photography – or created by a website designer you employ (like us!).
The second best option is to BUY stock images. We like Adobe Stock. It’s affordable and we source many images there for websites we build. There are a lot of “free for use” sites that are good for social media and websites…but it is harder to prove if ever asked, that you sourced your photos from these sites. If you don’t know if you own the rights to use an image, the best idea is to use something else.
But again, the spam email like the one referenced above is nothing to worry about.
Subject: Domain Renewal
The subject line for these scam emails or forms submitted on your website is something like: “IMMEDIATE ATTENTION REGARDING YOUR DOMAIN IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY.”
First and foremost, registrars of domains DO NOT use website contact forms to alert you to your domain expiration. Is the email from your registrar? If not, it’s a scam. This is a good rule of thumb for emails of all sorts that might come through a contact form. No legitimate business will contact you that way unless they are selling something.
Do you know who your registrar is and when your domain expires?
You should. No one likes it when their website goes down unexpectedly and this is the most common reason. The real notices could be in your spam folder or going to an old email address so take the scam above as a reminder to double-check you’re getting registrar emails and that you know when your domain needs to be renewed. 🙂
Tip: Your domain should never be registered in anyone’s name other than the business owner. If this is the case, you can have the domain transferred easily.
Last word: Always run a potential scam by us or your IT contact before clicking or downloading anything that looks unusual! Better safe than sorry. This is how cybersecurity failures and extortion happens.
For more cybersecurity tips, check out this previous blog post.