A type of scam attempt email that has been heavily circulating of late threatens the recipient with legal action under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DCMA) if supposedly copyright-protected content is not removed from a firm’s website. One example here:

From: Abuse to [your URL]

Sent: July 12, 2022 3:08 PM

Subject: LETTER OF INTENT TO SUE. Copyright infringement ‌ ‌ ‌

Remove copyrighted content from your website [your URL]

Contact the legal department immediately. Contact details are in the full letter

*             This offer of settlement and/or out-of-court settlement of this matter and avoidance of litigation is valid for 7 days from the Effective Date.

*             Governing Law. This Letter of Intent is governed by the laws of Canada and falls under the jurisdiction of the DMCA International Community

*             Sincerely, DMCA Protection Technical Department

The emails are accompanied by links and/or attachments that may contain a virus. As we’ve warned in the past, similar scam attempt emails have been rampant, and other virus-infected email links or attachments may sometimes appear to be from a financial institution or company (e.g. a package delivery service), or, in recent times, with regard to COVID-19 from the CRA or Service Canada. Once an infected link or attachment is opened, the virus will begin to corrupt the victim’s system files.

Whatever format you receive, programs in these emails install themselves and encrypt files on the computer’s hard drive and are extremely difficult to remove with no guarantee that your data can be recovered. Here’s are some ways to protect yourself:

  • Be vigilant about the legitimacy of all emails received – do not open email attachments or click links from unverified senders
  • Never click on a pop-up that claims your computer has a virus
  • Turn on your browser’s pop-up blocking feature
  • Keep your anti-malware and firewall programs up-to-date and perform scans on a regular basis
  • Schedule regular system updates and maintain backups of your data to ensure that your files are protected
  • Never download anti-virus software from a pop-up or link sent to you in an email
  • If your computer becomes infected, have it cleaned by a computer repair service to remove any malware.

For tips to avoid being victimized, or to report or seek advice on dealing with fraud and scam attempts, contact Cynthia Nield at cnield@lians.ca or 902 423 1300, x346.