“Hello there!

This is Melissa and I am a experienced photographer.


I was baffled, to put it nicely, when I came across my images at your website. If you use a copyrighted image without my approval, you must be aware that you could be sued by the owner.


It’s illicitly to use stolen images and it’s so mean!


Check out this document with the links to my images you used at <insert your domain> and my earlier publications to get evidence of my copyrights.



Download it now and check this out for yourself:

<Link to some file on Google Drive – removed>

If you don’t delete the images mentioned in the document above within the next few days, I’ll write a complaint on you to your hosting provider stating that my copyrights have been infringed and I am trying to protect my intellectual property.


And if it doesn’t work, you may be pretty damn sure I am going to report and sue you! And I will not bother myself to let you know of it in advance.”

This was an email one of my customers received through the contact form on their website from Melissaphoto857@hotmail.com.

I’ve been involved with copyright issues before so am diligent about using only legitimate photos. My customers know to do the same, so this email was a surprise. If you get something like this, here are some basic steps you can take to see whether it could be legitimate.

First step: Don’t Click the LINK!!!

1) Do a search for the email address in a search engine. If you can’t find it, the sender is probably not a professional photographer. Otherwise their email address would be listed somewhere. There were no hits for this email address in a Google search.

2) Read carefully. Is the email written well? If someone’s about to sue you, their grammar will probably be better than “It’s illicitly to use stolen images . . .”

3) Search for a string of text in the email using quotation marks. I did a search for this phrase: “I was baffled, to put it nicely, when I came across my images at your website.” When I found it and the rest of the message on another site, that was another strong suggestion the email wasn’t legitimate.

So there you go. Three steps you can take to debunk this and other types of odd messages you receive through your website or email.

Remember: don’t click on any links!

Hope you’re having an amazing Saturday 🙂