– Have you ever encountered one of your puppy photos being used on a website without your permission? Many people have and of course have wondered how their photos ended up there.
The answer to this puzzle in most cases lies with the puppy scammers. If you have nice photos of your pups and perhaps adult dogs online – be it your Facebook Page, a website like pups4sale, a blog, etc, they can be targeted by scammers who will copy your images, place a fake ad on a website such as those featured on the pups4sale hall of shame, and use your photos in their fake ad.
To further help you combat the scourge of puppy scams, the Daily Dog would like to alert you to a handy online tool called “TinEye”, which can be found by clicking here. TinEye is an image search tool that aims to identify the original web site a photo was placed on and any subsequent sites it has been uploaded to. For example, say you had advertised a litter of pups on pups4sale, and a frustrated scammer (who of course would not be able to advertise on our site due to the security and checks in place 😉 ) decided your images would be useful to help him run his scams on one or more of the many unmonitored classified sites that infest the internet..
He then copies and saves your puppy photos, places a fake ad on one of the “hall of shame” websites mentioned above and uses your photos in the ad, pretending they are of his (non-existent) dogs. Tineye provides a way to keep an eye on your photos online, and if you find your images being used without your permission on a website, you can then contact the admin of the site in question, alert them to the problem and ask them to take the image/s off their site. Some admins are more cooperative than others (as we have found when asking sites listed on our hall of shame to act against scammers!), but at the very least you can identify if your images have been used without your permission.
TinEye has not been around very long, but as its database expands, it is continually improving in terms of its ability to identify the original source of images. Ethical sites like pups4sale can contribute their database of images to Tineye’s database so advertisers can use this tool to check if their images have been used elsewhere – and perhaps without their permission.
So do give TinEye a try, and let us know if you find your images being used without your permission. The pups4sale team would be very interested to receive your feedback on what we consider to be another handy tool to combat the bad guys.