What makes this a phishing message?
This very simple, but effective, targeted phishing scam used an alleged DMCA copyright infringement claim to get recipients to click on a suspicious link.
There are a few clues that the message is a forgery:
- The criminal is sending from a hotmail.com account instead of an @berkeley.edu address
- The criminal claims the recipient is using images on a nonexistent website: website.berkeley.edu
Tips if Something Seems Off:
Double-check the email address before responding
Look to make sure the email address is correct. In Gmail hover your mouse over the sender name for the email to display. On a mobile phone or a touchscreen, press and hold the link (don't tap!) to reveal the actual URL. (Look in the bottom left corner of the browser window.) Don't click on a link unless it goes to a URL you trust.
Follow up with the sender separately
If you didn’t expect it, reject it. Or follow-up with the individual directly in a separate email or call/text to confirm.
Report and/or flag it
From: Shafaq <Chyannestudio867@hotmail.com>
Subject: Attention: website.berkeley.edu DMCA Copyright Infringement Notice
My name is Shafaq.
Your website or a website that your company hosts is infringing on a
copyright-protected images owned by myself.
Take a look at this document with the links to my images you used at
website.berkeley.edu and my earlier publications to get the evidence of
Download it right now and check this out for yourself:
I believe you have willfully infringed my rights under 17 U.S.C. Section
101 et seq. and could be liable for statutory damages as high as
$150,000 as set forth in Section 504(c)(2) of the Digital Millennium
Copyright Act (”DMCA”) therein.
This letter is official notification. I seek the removal of the
infringing material referenced above. Please take note as a service
provider, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act requires you, to remove
or disable access to the infringing materials upon receipt of this
notice. If you do not cease the use of the aforementioned copyrighted
material a lawsuit will be commenced against you.
I have a good faith belief that use of the copyrighted materials
described above as allegedly infringing is not authorized by the
copyright owner, its agent, or the law.
I swear, under penalty of perjury, that the information in the
notification is accurate and that I am the copyright owner or am
authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is