If Your Photos Are Being Used By Scammers – Stolen Photos

(Last Updated On: August 28, 2022)

If Your Photos Are Being Used By Scammers

Your Stolen Photos

What You Should Do?

A SCARS Guide

What To Do If You Find That Your Photos Are Being Used By Scammers

What Should You Do?

If your photos are being used by scammers you have power!

First, it is important to understand how this happened.

You Probably Let Them Do It!

In today’s internet, you have to be in control of your privacy and who has access to your information.

Facebook, Instagram, Google, Tumblr, Picasa, Pintrest, all allow control over who can see your photos – take advantage of these controls and lock them down.  If you don’t know, get your friends to help yo or Google it! Don’t just hope for the best!

When you post photos to a dating website, you have lost control, so be very careful about what you post.  Once they are posted, the dating website operator has complete control of when, where, and how those photos are displayed – it’s in their Terms and Conditions agreement (just like every other website, platform, or app.)

Yes, you agreed to that!

The website, platform, or app is not liable for the misuse of your photos!*

What Do You Do After The Scammers Have Them?

You actually have power in this case, but most victims of impersonation do the wrong thing!

Most people who have had their photos stolen notify the website or platform about fake profiles and demand that they are taken down or removed. This is the wrong thing to do – because you are letting the website or platform make a decision for you.

Instead hit them with a nuke! File a copyright complaint.

In most of the world, you own your photos and have the right to control who can or cannot copy them.

When you notify a website about an abuse they are not protected, they are not immune from liability. They have to respond or you can sue the website for copyright abuse.

Therefore, if you see a stolen photo THAT YOU own, send a copyright complaint to the website.

If you are in the United States, we have a law called the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.  This allows you to force their removal if you did not place them there.

There are limitations, for example, when SCARS displays stolen photos to advise potential victims, this falls under the common “fair” use provisions because we present them for Crime Evidence Preservation and because we are a media outlet (when we act in this capacity).  But a dating website or social media has no such right and you can force them to be removed and hold them liable if they refuse or reappear.

Facebook & Social Media

Each major platform has its own way to notify them about copyright infringement.  You can do a Google search to find it, for example: “twitter copyright complaint” or use their internal search for “copyright complaint.”

Use their page, tools, or interface to file a complaint always first.

Before you file a complaint get organized. You will need proof that you own the photos – usually, this is the link to your original photos, typically on their platform – when they were first uploaded. Don’t try to do this from a PHONE – use a computer so you can capture links easily. If you don’t have one go ask the help of a friend or family member.

When you file a complaint, take screenshots of every page and form you fill in. If they offer an opinion to print or save your complaint do it. This is to enforce your rights later on if needed. Pay attention and get it done right.

They will take this seriously, and so should you – they have to – and they will respond.

They may ask questions, so pay attention for notifications. Respond to them.

If you have provided the proof needed, they will remove the photos and probably the offending profile too.

Keep all the information you provided, because if they were stolen once it will happen again. Once you have done it once, it is just a few minutes to do it again.

The Digital Media Copyright Act, otherwise known as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act or simply the DMCA, is a U.S. Federal copyright law that was meant to curb Internet piracy of digital media. The bill was passed in the U.S. Senate by unanimous decision on October 12, 1998 and was signed into law by President Bill Clinton seventeen days later.

Since that time, the DMCA has been implemented in many notable court cases. It is essentially the law that made it illegal to download copyrighted digital media such as music, movies, and software, and is what the RIAA and MPAA have used to combat piracy in the courts.

But it also applies to photos too!

So What Is the Digital Media Copyright Act?

So exactly what is the Digital Media Copyright Act and what’s all the commotion about? Well, the DMCA is still a heated topic today because of its use in the fight against online piracy and its effects on Internet users.  But it can also help in the fight against online scammers that use photos to steal identities of others.

The DMCA is comprised of five titles and implements two treaties signed at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Geneva conference in 1996. The five titles are as follows:

  • Title I: WIPO Copyright and Performances and Phonograms Treaties Implementation Act
  • Title II: Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act
  • Title III: Computer Maintenance Competition Assurance Act
  • Title IV: Miscellaneous Provisions
  • Title V: Vessel Hull Design Protection Act

Now that’s a lot of legal wordiness and doesn’t really explain the key points of this document. Allow us to translate this for you. We will list the important points made in this law doctrine and cite examples of how they have influenced activity on the Web.

File Sharing

The illegal file-sharing of copyrighted materials is probably the most widely known and openly discussed effect of the Digital Media Copyright Act. It is illegal to host, share, or download copyrighted works, including music, movies, books, software, etc.  This is what we are focused on here.

Safe Harbor

Title II of the DMCA creates a safe harbor for Internet Service Providers (ISPs) against copyright liability if they meet the guidelines and block access to ”or remove” allegedly infringing material after receiving notification from the copyright holder.  In other words, after you notify the ISP or Hosting company.  Remember, there are limitations, but a scammer’s use of your photo seriously qualifies.

A safe harbor is a legal term that means that as long as the ISPs comply with the copyright holder’s request (and take down the material) then they will not be held legally accountable for the infringing material.

Conclusion

In summary, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act lays the groundwork for all Internet-related copyright law and is the basis that a lot of court cases and online activities are carried out on.

Sample DMCA Notice Letter

You would send this to the Dating Website Owner/Operator or Social MediaCompany (such as Facebook) and if that fails to their hosting company!

Look up the company contact information here:   Use The WHOIS Search for their Domain name

You should send this by Registered Mail – yes in an envelope – so you have a record of it being sent and received.

Insert your information below:

SAMPLE DMCA TAKEDOWN NOTICE

My name is INSERT YOUR FULL LEGAL NAME and I am the legal owner of copyrighted material described below.  A website that your company hosts (according to WHOIS information) is infringing on at least one copyright owned by my company.

A photo/image of myself was copied onto your servers without permission. The original PHOTO, to which we own the exclusive copyrights, can be found at:

PROVIDE YOUR WEBSITE or SOCIAL PROFILE URL

The unauthorized and infringing copy can be found at:

PROVIDE THE DATING WEBSITE URL – THE ACTUAL PAGE ADDRESS

This letter is official notification under Section 512(c) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (”DMCA”), and I seek the removal of the aforementioned infringing material from your servers. I request that you immediately notify the infringer of this notice and inform them of their duty to remove the infringing material immediately, and notify them to cease any further posting of infringing material to your server in the future.

Please also be advised that law requires you, as a service provider, to remove or disable access to the infringing materials upon receiving this notice. Under US law a service provider, such as yourself, enjoys immunity from a copyright lawsuit provided that you act with deliberate speed to investigate and rectify ongoing copyright infringement. If service providers do not investigate and remove or disable the infringing material this immunity is lost. Therefore, in order for you to remain immune from a copyright infringement action you will need to investigate and ultimately remove or otherwise disable the infringing material from your servers with all due speed should the direct infringer, your client, not comply immediately.

I am providing this notice in good faith and with the reasonable belief that my rights are being infringed. Under penalty of perjury I certify that the information contained in the notification is both true and accurate, and I have the authority to act on behalf of the owner of the copyright(s) involved.

Should you wish to discuss this with me please contact me directly.

Thank you.

/s/YOUR NAME

Address
City, State Zip
Phone
E-mail

You would send this to each person involved: The website operator company, the legal contacts in WHOIS, and the hosting company.  Don’t worry about notifying the scammer, it will not matter and there is nothing they can do about it.

This is how this works, and if they do not do as you direct, then you have a case for a lawsuit.

REMEMBER

Remember, the scammers still have their copies of the photos, and those are not going to go away.  This is why we maintain copies of the photos here, as a record of the fact that your identity has been stolen.  We know it is embarrassing to see them here, and that you would want them removed also, but these photos are helping you make your case against the dating website, and against future reappearances of the photos.  This is a permanent record that your identity has been stolen, and helps everyone involved identify that fact.  If we have a photo of a minor child, please let us know and we will remove it.

Just remember, we all have a responsibility to help fight scammers.  They are like cockroaches, and if we do nothing they only spread.  It’s all about the money!

PLEASE SHARE SO OTHERS WILL KNOW

SCARS Publishing Self-Help Recovery Books Available At shop.AgainstScams.org

Scam Victim Self-Help Do-It-Yourself Recovery Books

SCARS Printed Books For Every Scam Survivor From SCARS Publishing

Visit shop.AgainstScams.org

Each is based on our SCARS Team’s 32-plus years of experience.

SCARS Website Visitors receive an Extra 10% Discount
Use Discount Code “romanacescamsnow” at Checkout

Always Report All Scams – Anywhere In The World To:

Go to reporting.AgainstScams.org to learn how

U.S. FTC at https://reportfraud.ftc.gov/#/?orgcode=SCARS and SCARS at www.Anyscams.com
Visit reporting.AgainstScams.org to learn more!

FIND SCAMMER PHOTOS ON
ScammerPhotos.com

FIND SCARS ON FACEBOOK
CLICK HERE

Legal Disclaimer:

The content provided on this platform regarding psychological topics is intended solely for educational and entertainment purposes. The publisher makes no representations or warranties regarding the accuracy or completeness of the information presented. The content is designed to raise awareness about various psychological subjects, and readers are strongly encouraged to conduct their own research and verify information independently.

The information presented does not constitute professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment of any psychological disorder or disease. It is not a substitute for professional medical or mental health advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Readers are advised to seek the guidance of a licensed medical professional for any questions or concerns related to their mental health.

The publisher disclaims any responsibility for actions taken or not taken based on the content provided. The treatment of psychological issues is a serious matter, and readers should consult with qualified professionals to address their specific circumstances. The content on this platform is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, a therapist-client relationship.

Interpretation and Definitions

Definitions

For the purposes of this Disclaimer:

  • Company (referred to as either “the Company”, “We”, “Us” or “Our” in this Disclaimer) refers to Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. (registered d.b.a. “SCARS”,) 9561 Fountainbleau Blvd., Suit 602, Miami FL 33172.
  • Service refers to the Website.
  • You means the individual accessing this website, or the company, or other legal entity on behalf of which such individual is accessing or using the Service, as applicable.
  • Website refers to RomanceScamsNOW.com, accessible from https://romancescamsnow.com

Website Disclaimer

The information contained on this website is for general information purposes only.

The Company assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions in the contents of the Service.

In no event shall the Company be liable for any special, direct, indirect, consequential, or incidental damages or any damages whatsoever, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tort, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Service or the contents of the Service. The Company reserves the right to make additions, deletions, or modifications to the contents on the Service at any time without prior notice.

The Company does not warrant this website in any way.

External Links Disclaimer

This website may contain links to external websites that are not provided or maintained by or in any way affiliated with the Company.

Please note that the Company does not guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of any information on these external websites.

Errors and Omissions Disclaimer

The information given by SCARS is for general guidance on matters of interest only. Even if the Company takes every precaution to ensure that the content of this website is both current and accurate, errors can occur. Plus, given the changing nature of laws, rules, and regulations, there may be delays, omissions, or inaccuracies in the information contained on this website.

SCARS is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information.

Fair Use Disclaimer

SCARS may use copyrighted material that has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. The Company is making such material available for criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research.

The Company believes this constitutes a “fair use” of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the United States Copyright law.

If You wish to use copyrighted material from this website for your own purposes that go beyond fair use, You must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Views Expressed Disclaimer

The Service may contain views and opinions which are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other author, agency, organization, employer, or company, including SCARS.

Comments published by users are their sole responsibility and the users will take full responsibility, liability, and blame for any libel or litigation that results from something written in or as a direct result of something written in a comment. The Company is not liable for any comment published by users and reserves the right to delete any comment for any reason whatsoever.

No Responsibility Disclaimer

The information on the Service is provided with the understanding that the Company is not herein engaged in rendering legal, accounting, tax, medical or mental health, or other professional advice and services. As such, it should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional accounting, tax, legal, medical or mental health, or other competent advisers.

In no event shall the Company, its team, board of directors, volunteers, or its suppliers be liable for any special, incidental, indirect, or consequential damages whatsoever arising out of or in connection with your access or use or inability to access or use the Service.

“Use at Your Own Risk” Disclaimer

All information on this website is provided “as is”, with no guarantee of completeness, accuracy, timeliness or of the results obtained from the use of this information, and without warranty of any kind, express or implied, including, but not limited to warranties of performance, merchantability, and fitness for a particular purpose.

SCARS will not be liable to You or anyone else for any decision made or action taken in reliance on the information given by the Service or for any consequential, special, or similar damages, even if advised of the possibility of such damages.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about this Disclaimer, You can contact Us:

  • By email: contact@AgainstScams.org

PLEASE NOTE: Psychology Clarification

The following specific modalities within the practice of psychology are restricted to psychologists appropriately trained in the use of such modalities:

  • Diagnosis: The diagnosis of mental, emotional, or brain disorders and related behaviors.
  • Psychoanalysis: Psychoanalysis is a type of therapy that focuses on helping individuals to understand and resolve unconscious conflicts.
  • Hypnosis: Hypnosis is a state of trance in which individuals are more susceptible to suggestion. It can be used to treat a variety of conditions, including anxiety, depression, and pain.
  • Biofeedback: Biofeedback is a type of therapy that teaches individuals to control their bodily functions, such as heart rate and blood pressure. It can be used to treat a variety of conditions, including stress, anxiety, and pain.
  • Behavioral analysis: Behavioral analysis is a type of therapy that focuses on changing individuals’ behaviors. It is often used to treat conditions such as autism and ADHD.
    Neuropsychology: Neuropsychology is a type of psychology that focuses on the relationship between the brain and behavior. It is often used to assess and treat cognitive impairments caused by brain injuries or diseases.

SCARS and the members of the SCARS Team do not engage in any of the above modalities in relationship to scam victims. SCARS is not a mental healthcare provider and recognizes the importance of professionalism and separation between its work and that of the licensed practice of psychology.

SCARS is an educational provider of generalized self-help information that individuals can use for their own benefit to achieve their own goals related to emotional trauma. SCARS recommends that all scam victims see professional counselors or therapists to help them determine the suitability of any specific information or practices that may help them.

SCARS cannot diagnose or treat any individuals, nor can it state the effectiveness of any educational information that it may provide, regardless of its experience in interacting with traumatized scam victims over time. All information that SCARS provides is purely for general educational purposes to help scam victims become aware of and better understand the topics and to be able to dialog with their counselors or therapists.

It is important that all readers understand these distinctions and that they apply the information that SCARS may publish at their own risk, and should do so only after consulting a licensed psychologist or mental healthcare provider.

SCARS IS A DIGITAL PUBLISHER AND DOES NOT OFFER HEALTH OR MEDICAL ADVICE, LEGAL ADVICE, FINANCIAL ADVICE, OR SERVICES THAT SCARS IS NOT LICENSED OR REGISTERED TO PERFORM.

IF YOU’RE FACING A MEDICAL EMERGENCY, CALL YOUR LOCAL EMERGENCY SERVICES IMMEDIATELY, OR VISIT THE NEAREST EMERGENCY ROOM OR URGENT CARE CENTER. YOU SHOULD CONSULT YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER BEFORE FOLLOWING ANY MEDICALLY RELATED INFORMATION PRESENTED ON OUR PAGES.

ALWAYS CONSULT A LICENSED ATTORNEY FOR ANY ADVICE REGARDING LEGAL MATTERS.

A LICENSED FINANCIAL OR TAX PROFESSIONAL SHOULD BE CONSULTED BEFORE ACTING ON ANY INFORMATION RELATING TO YOUR PERSONAL FINANCES OR TAX RELATED ISSUES AND INFORMATION.

SCARS IS NOT A PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR – WE DO NOT PROVIDE INVESTIGATIVE SERVICES FOR INDIVIDUALS OR BUSINESSES. ANY INVESTIGATIONS THAT SCARS MAY PERFORM IS NOT A SERVICE PROVIDED TO THIRD-PARTIES. INFORMATION REPORTED TO SCARS MAY BE FORWARDED TO LAW ENFORCEMENT AS SCARS SEE FIT AND APPROPRIATE.

This content and other material contained on the website, apps, newsletter, and products (“Content”), is general in nature and for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical, legal, or financial advice; the Content is not intended to be a substitute for licensed or regulated professional advice. Always consult your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider, lawyer, financial, or tax professional with any questions you may have regarding the educational information contained herein. SCARS makes no guarantees about the efficacy of information described on or in SCARS’ Content. The information contained is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible situations or effects. SCARS does not recommend or endorse any specific professional or care provider, product, service, or other information that may be mentioned in SCARS’ websites, apps, and Content unless explicitly identified as such.

The disclaimers herein are provided on this page for ease of reference. These disclaimers supplement and are a part of SCARS’ website’s Terms of Use. 

All original content is Copyright © 1991 – 2023 Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. (Registered D.B.A SCARS) All Rights Reserved Worldwide & Webwide. Third-party copyrights acknowledge.

U.S. State of Florida Registration Nonprofit (Not for Profit) #N20000011978 [SCARS DBA Registered #G20000137918] – Learn more at www.AgainstScams.org

View the claimed and or registered indicia, service marks, and trademarks of Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc., All Rights Reserved Worldwide

Contact the law firm for the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Incorporated by email at legal@AgainstScams.org

Share This Information - Choose Your Social Media!

Please Leave A Comment - Tell Us What You Think About This!