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Domain name scam

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Domain name scam

We were called yesterday from a company telling us that they had a client wishing to register domain names very similar to ours. Remarkably, they also happen to be Landscape Architects.
The caller wondered if we would have a problem with this. Of course if we did, we could register the domain(s) ourselves - through him of course at £50 per name per year.

Is there anyone that this sort of behaviour can be reported to? I know of at least one case in Canada which went to court and the company accused of the scam settled for $375,000 or so. Is there any legislation under which these people can be prosecuted here in the UK?

thanks

Keith Pocock
5 REPLIES
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Domain name scam

Not really.

The differance between the two scams you refer to are large.

The canadian scam was with regards to the real domain, and not a similar one.

This scam uses what is a perfectly legal and free domain to pursue.

Think of it this way.

This scam is trying to sell you new double glazing

The older scan is trying to sell you double glazing that you already own.
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Domain name scam

If they do register the domain and its similar to your name which is copyrighted and trademarked you can go after them since their in the same line of business. If they were a differen market area i believe youd have greater difficulty.

Just look at microsoft and mikrowesoft.com (albeit microsoft lawyers are more than trigger happy and willing to twist anything)

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/01/26/mike_rowe_goes_soft_hands/
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Domain name scam

In the case of Mikerowsoft, he eventually sold his site to microsoft in exchange for a load of goodies and a brand new site.
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Domain name scam

Only because it was a total PR screwup. The lawyer hounds were more than willing to string him up.
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Domain name scam

This the text regarding the Canadian lawsuit which I got from an article on the web. Following the link and reading the article about the lawsuit is confusing as it talks about both "identical" and "similar" domain names, but it seems to me to be very similar to what the company that called us was doing. In either event I am in no doubt that the practice is at the very least unscrupulous.

Quote
They're Stealing Your Name!

Oh, this is a popular one! Here's how it works.

A representative of the "Scam Domain Store" or other operation contacts you by phone or fax to warn you that another company is trying to register a name almost identical to yours. You have to ACT NOW or they will sell that domain name to this other customer! Your online identity will be stolen!

Say your company name is MarsupialWorld.com and that's the only domain name you own. The domain scammer will tell you that "another party" (usually the scammer himself) wants to register MarsupialWorld.net, MarsupialWorld.biz, MarsupialWorld.org, etc. Unless you act within the next few hours to purchase the names yourself, then the scam artist will sell them to this other party who will probably turn them into kangaroo fetish sites and ruin your reputation as a serious dealer in kangaroo and opossum art!

They want you to give them your credit card number so they can register the domain name for you. Of course there will also be a hefty service charge to stop the other application. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) fined a Canadian company $375,000 for bilking customers this way.

The best way to keep these scam artists at bay and keep someone else from hijacking your Internet identity is to register names and extensions close to yours when you register your main domain name. Then set up the alternate domain names to automatically redirect visitors to your main site.


We are probably going to ignore the call to us. I am 99% certain that there is no company about to register the domains he mentioned - especially not another landscape firm. We might consider buying some additional domain names very similar to our own, but not at the inflated prices quoted by the scammer (£50 per name per year).

Keith