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 San Francisco Revolutionize your digital marketing campaigns at ClickZ Live San Francisco! (August 10-12) Educating marketers for over 15 years, we return to San Francisco this August with our action-packed, educationally-focused agenda that will cover every aspect of digital marketing. Early Bird rates available through Friday, July 17 - save up to $300! Register today.

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

US Consumer Device Preference Report

US Consumer Device Preference Report
Traditionally desktops have shown to convert better than mobile devices however, 2015 might be a tipping point for mobile conversions! Download this report to find why mobile users are more important then ever.

E-Commerce Customer Lifecycle

E-Commerce Customer Lifecycle
Have you ever wondered what factors influence online spending or why shoppers abandon their cart? This data-rich infogram offers actionable insight into creating a more seamless online shopping experience across the multiple devices consumers are using.

WEBINARS

Jobs

  • Online Marketing Analyst
    Online Marketing Analyst (FULLBEAUTY Brands ) - New YorkINTRODUCTION: Are you interested in a unique career opportunity where you can represent...
  • Copy Editor
    Copy Editor (ClickZ / Search Engine Watch) - New YorkROLE OVERVIEW The role of the copy editor for ClickZ has many demands. Ultimately, the copy...
  • Editor
    Editor (Search Engine Watch) - New YorkRole Overview Search Engine Watch (SEW) provides tactical advice and information for businesses and site...