Fact Check

Crosby & Higgins Copyright Infringement Notice

E-mail phishing scam poses as notification from Crosby & Higgins law firm about a copyright infringement case.

Published Mar 24, 2010


Phishing bait:   E-mail notification from Crosby & Higgins law firm about a copyright infringement case.

Example:   [Collected via e-mail, March 2010]

From: Reyna Ellison
Sent: Wed Mar 24 02:26:40 2010
Subject: Lawsuit filed against you.

March 20, 2010
Crosby & Higgins
350 Broadway, Suite 300
New York, NY 10013

To Whom It May Concern:

On the link bellow is a copy of the lawsuit that we filed against you in court on March 11, 2010.

Currently the Pretrail Conference is scheduled for April 10th, 2010 at 9:30 A.M. in courtroom #33.

The case number is 3485934. The reason the lawsuit was filed was due to a completely inadequate response from your company for copyright infrigement that our client Daughters of Columbus is a victim of Copyright infrigement:


Daughters of Columbus has proof of multiple Copyright Law violations that they wish to present in court on April 10th, 2010.


Mark R. Crosby
Crosby & Higgins LLP


Origins:   In March 2010 spammed e-mails went out purporting to be notices of copyright infringement lawsuits sent by the New York law firm of Crosby & Higgins for cases involving various clients (e.g., Daughters of Columbus, Lumberton Trading Company).

Crosby & Higgins sent no such notices; the messages were phishing schemes intended to lure recipients into clicking on links contained within them in order to trigger the installation of malware. Crosby & Higgins has posted an alert on its web site about this scam:

As many of you are probably aware by now, Crosby & Higgins LLP has become the latest victim in what is now an urgent problem in internet security — a "phishing e-mail scam." Millions of these phishing e-mails are sent every day pretending to come from reputable firms when in fact they have nothing to do with them. Unfortunately, there is no way for any of these firms to prevent fraudulent e-mails from masquerading as communications from legitimate businesses. What happened in this instance is that some individual or organization created a fraudulent phishing e-mail purporting to be from an attorney at the firm, and "advising" the recipient that they have been sued for copyright infringement. Although the e-mail contains numerous signs of being fraudulent, it appears just authentic enough to cause alarm for its recipients. Worse, the e-mail includes an attachment infected with a malicious "Trojan Horse" virus which we understand was successfully intercepted by many antivirus software programs.

Like hundreds of other innocent firms that have been victimized by phishing e-mails, Crosby Higgins LLP deeply regrets any inconvenience this may have caused. Please be assured that we are doing everything we can to spread the word and take the fight back to those responsible for this malicious act.

Last updated:   24 March 2010

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.