9
$\begingroup$

I have noticed some spam answers in the last couple of days which were apparently posted by an "illustrator". Take a look: click, click. In short, the message was that their copyrighted images was apparently used in this website and no credit was given. So, they are accusing us for stealing the images and they will apparently "sue us". They provided a link (don't click it) which apparently shows the images we used. Their final statement is:

If you don't get rid of the images mentioned in the file above during the next several days, I'll file a to your hosting provider informing them that my copyrights have been severely infringed and I am trying to protect my intellectual property.

Now, these are just spam answers and the best way to tackle them is to downvote, flag them for deletion and ignore the threat behind the message. I am sure I have seen this type of answer in five different places, all coming from different accounts and giving themselves various "female names". How to tackle these spammers? And how authentic is their message?

$\endgroup$
13
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ It’s fake. I’ve clicked on the link before, it doesn’t point to anything. Please flag these as spam, not just NAA or other normal flags. $\endgroup$
    – orthocresol Mod
    May 13 at 6:55
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Moreover, they posted their "claims" in the threads with no illustrations whatsoever. Don't bother. If they were smart, they would instead contact Stack Exchange Inc instead of spamming in the Q&A section. $\endgroup$
    – andselisk Mod
    May 13 at 6:57
  • $\begingroup$ @orthocresol That make sense. Btw, I kind of avoid clicking on random unknown links fearing that it might lead to any potential virus download or lead me to any unsafe websites. You do have guts by clicking these links. $\endgroup$ May 13 at 9:02
  • $\begingroup$ @andselisk Hmm, I have also seen such spam answers on other communities leading me to believe that these spams are present everywhere and is affecting network wide. $\endgroup$ May 13 at 9:03
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Yeah, in general definitely don't click on untrusted links :-) $\endgroup$
    – orthocresol Mod
    May 13 at 9:36
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @orthocresol I thought that "spam" flags on SE were meant only in the limited meaning of "unsolicited advertising", and that "rude or abusive" should be used instead. Has this been changed? $\endgroup$ May 13 at 11:59
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @LinearChristmas Hmmmm, yeah, you are right. I know SE has a kind of specific outlook on 'spam'. But if we take a broader (and more realistic) view of 'spam', it would include unsolicited messages for "advertising, phishing, spreading malware..." (OED), so this would probably qualify. (It seems to me that their intention is to scare us into responding to them and thus possibly getting sucked into some kind of shady deal.) From a more practical point of view, I don't really care which of the two people use: either 'spam' or 'rude or abusive' is fine, as long as they're the "big red flags". ;-) $\endgroup$
    – orthocresol Mod
    May 13 at 12:05
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @orthocresol Thanks for clarifing! When I first flagged things on SE, the difference was (very politely) pointed out to me. I was surprised by the limited nature as well; I assumed that it might be useful for statistics (on SE kitchen/engine side) to make the distinction. Your indifference wrt flags as long as they're "big and red" (khm) is duly noted. Personally, I sometimes joke to myself that there should be custom flags on April 1st every year, of the type "whodis?" etc, etc. $\endgroup$ May 13 at 12:25
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @LinearChristmas I have a vague impression that SE has some kind of algorithm that is trained on existing spam / R/A flags, etc., but I could well be making it up. Well, obviously there is a difference the two, and sometimes it's quite clear which should be used, but in the 'grey area' I'm personally not too fussed about which people opt for. Not sure what the other mods think about it. Custom flags would be amazing if they let the community deal with it, people can get a taste of being a mod for 1 day :-D $\endgroup$
    – orthocresol Mod
    May 13 at 12:28
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I agree with orthocresol that the point is to flag it in such a way that SE might see it as serious but that it is ultimately up to them how to respond. Nilay does a service bringing this up so people are aware of this here. And yes, don't click on potentially hazardous links ;-) $\endgroup$
    – Buck Thorn Mod
    May 13 at 14:55
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @NilayGhosh You can click everything you want inside any Linux distro installed in VirtualBox or other VM. $\endgroup$
    – andselisk Mod
    May 14 at 16:09
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Note that is a known worldwide scam, "Mel* image copyright scam". $\endgroup$
    – Andrew T.
    May 24 at 9:28
  • $\begingroup$ @AndrewT. Thanks for the info. Adding in my answer. $\endgroup$ May 24 at 14:14
9
$\begingroup$

They are spammers trying to spread fake threats. If you encounter them, follow these steps:

  1. Downvote (if you like)
  2. Flag them as spam
  3. Enjoy your coffee

Update: @AndrewT pointed out in the comment section that it is a worldwide scam: https://petapixel.com/2021/03/09/beware-these-emails-that-look-like-photo-copyright-takedown-requests/

$\endgroup$

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .