Top 5 Domain Name Scams - Cybersquatting Guide (1/5)
Internet is growing at a very fast pace in China, each day more and more companies realize the importance of having their own website translated in Chinese to directly reach their local customers. As the internet industry is gaining more importance, it also attracts some bad practices such as Cybersquatting.
We have created this guide in order to give you an accurate insight about Cybersquatting, the guide is divided into five parts and covers all the aspects of Cybersquatting from the definition to the procedure you need to follow to take back your own domain name.
We strongly advise you to also read the other parts of our Cybersquatting Guide to have a clear picture of the cybersquatting practices:
- ICANN Procedure - Cybersquatting Guide (2/5)
- How to Negotiate your Domain Name - Cybersquatting Guide (3/5)
- How to Recover Your Domain Name in Court - Cybersquatting Guide (4/5)
Cybersquatting: Increasing Trend
In Asia and especially in China, Cybersquatting or also known as domain squatting, defined by the fact that someone is deliberately registers a domain name that is relevant to your brand, is increasing dangerously. The reason behind this trend is very simple; domain name registration is very cheap in Asia especially for the “.cn” and “.com.cn” extension names. Chinese generic top-level domain extension is not the only one to face the troubles of cybersquatting, it has been reported that some others extensions such as “.in” for India and “.kr” for Korea are becoming more and more popular.
Cybersquatting: Several Types of Scam
1. Park and Wait
The first one is known as the “park and wait” scam. Someone is registering many different domain names and just wait that a company is willing to buy their legitimate domain name, for of course, an overestimate amount.
2. Domain Name Front Running
The second one is called the “Domain name front running”, in this tricky one, a registrar uses insider information (based on the domain name requests made by future customers) to register domains in order to re-selling them or earning revenue by placing advertisements on the domain’s homepage.
In this situation, the registrar blocks the other registrars from selling the domain to another customer. This situation is possible as whoever registers a domain name will benefit a five days trial period, where the domain can be locked from the other registrars without the need to pay any fee. After the five days period called the “Grace Period”, the registrar is registering again the domain name and so on, keeping you away from your rightful domain name.
3. Typo Squatting or URL Hijacking
The third is slightly different as someone or a company is registering one or more domain names which are very close in terms of typology to your website brand’s name. This trick is called Typo squatting or URL hijacking.
Let’s say that your company is called “Example” and that you have launched your website called “example.com”, one person had the idea to register “examples.com”, “example.org” , “exemple.com” or “eexample.com”. The main goal of this trick is, of course, to grab some of your incoming traffic and display some advertising on their websites.
Most of the biggest internet companies have already registered several domain names close in terms of typography to their brand’s names. If your brand starts to be well known and if you are planning to expand beyond your traditional market, it may be a good choice to register the closest domain names to avoid further troubles.
4. Fake Emails Scams
This one is quite similar to the fake emails scams that you are receiving claiming that you are inheriting from your old and never seen uncle few thousand dollars. One day, an email appears in your inbox from a registrar company warning you that some people are trying to register a similar domain name than your original one. Of course, they will try to charge you if you want them to start a procedure and take back the domain or overpricing it directly to you.
5. Reverse Domain Hijacking
The Reverse domain hijacking happened when a legitimate trademark owners starts to take back your domain name by making fake cybersquatting claims against you. This claim often intimidates the rightful owner (you) who are being asked to directly transfer the domain name ownership to the trademark owner and avoid the legal procedure.