Fake Domain Sellers Nailed

  |  December 3, 2002   |  Comments

The FTC wins a settlement in a scam involving the sale of phony dot-USA domains in a spam campaign that capitalized on American patriotism after 9-11.

A handful of companies accused of selling phony domain names such as ".usa" have agreed to a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission, which had accused them of operating a scam that may have taken as much as $300,000 from consumers.

Sophisticated users, of course, would not be caught up in anything like this, but it's the constant stream of newbies that has spurred the Internet's growth. And the scam capitalized on Americans' sense of patriotism after the terrorist attacks on the United States.

The FTC said the settlement will bar the defendants from misrepresenting the usability of domain names and prevent the companies from selling their customer lists.

The government alleged that after the events of Sept. 11 last year, the companies launched a spam campaign to advertise domain names ending in ".usa." Subject lines in their email read, "Be Patriotic! Register .USA Domains." A hyperlink in the email connected consumers to a Web site where they were offered the advertised domain names for $59 each.

".brit" and ".scot" domains also were being sold and were equally unusable. The defendants will turn over as much as $300,000 being held in merchant accounts for consumer redress, the FTC said.

The settlement involves TLD Network Ltd., Quantum Management (GB) Ltd., Quantum Management U.S. Inc., TBS Industries Ltd. and Thomas Goolnik as an individual. The FTC said that redress payments will be available to consumers in the UK and other countries, as well as the United States.

ClickZ Live Toronto Twitter Canada MD Kirstine Stewart to Keynote Toronto
ClickZ Live Toronto (May 14-16) is a new event addressing the rapidly changing landscape that digital marketers face. The agenda focuses on customer engagement and attaining maximum ROI through online marketing efforts across paid, owned & earned media. Register now and save!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

ClickZ Today is our #1 newsletter.
Get a daily dose of digital marketing.

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Featured White Papers

ion Interactive Marketing Apps for Landing Pages White Paper

Marketing Apps for Landing Pages White Paper
Marketing apps can elevate a formulaic landing page into a highly interactive user experience. Learn how to turn your static content into exciting marketing apps.

eMarketer: Redefining Mobile-Only Users: Millions Selectively Avoid the Desktop

Redefining 'Mobile-Only' Users: Millions Selectively Avoid the Desktop
A new breed of selective mobile-only consumers has emerged. What are the demos of these users and how and where can marketers reach them?

Jobs

    • Contact Center Professional
      Contact Center Professional (TCC: The Contact Center) - Hunt ValleyLooking to join a workforce that prides themselves on being routine and keeping...
    • Recruitment and Team Building Ambassador
      Recruitment and Team Building Ambassador (Agora Inc.) - BaltimoreAgora, www.agora-inc.com, continues to expand! In order to meet the needs of our...
    • Design and Publishing Specialist
      Design and Publishing Specialist (Bonner and Partners) - BaltimoreIf you’re a hungry self-starter, creative, organized and have an extreme...