Have any of your customers reported finding a website that looks identical to yours? Scammers are responsible for thousands of fake websites each day. A fake website that replicates your business’s blog can damage your brand image, cost you money, and take advantage of your customers.
Luckily, protecting your business from a scammer that imitates or replicates your blog is possible. Keep reading below for the best tips on how to attack a fake website, protect your business, and prevent brand abuse.
But First, How Do They Do It?
Unfortunately, it’s easy for scammers to create a fake business website to take advantage of your business’s images and content. Here are the most common ways they do this:
Squatting A Legitimate Domain Name
Scammers can then use this domain to create fake or spoofed emails or other correspondence that may trick your customers into giving out their data. They can also create a website designed to trick your customers into thinking it’s your information. This can lead them to provide their personal information and their credit cards and bank accounts to scammers.
The combination of this dangerous tactic can easily take advantage of would-be customers who are shopping online—especially during the holidays! Cybersquatting is a severe threat to your business and should be taken seriously. If left unchecked, spoofed websites can easily trick potential customers into providing their data or credit card numbers.
Creating a fake domain or impersonating your website is just the first step in an online scammer’s illegal profit-making scheme through brand abuse.
Combined with a domain that matches yours and then used to sell similar products or services, these fakes can take advantage of would-be customers who think they are simply going to your website.
These fake websites can trick shoppers out of money, accounts, and personal information. Cybersquatting is a severe threat to your business and an increasing one. The number of scammers has risen as a direct result of COVID-19.
More and more people are shopping online every year, which has led to a rise in available domains for fraudsters to copy. With so many more possible targets and few domain names available for sale, fake sites became possible in ways they hadn’t been before. In fact, according to Statista, in 2020, there were a record-breaking number of cases about fake sites filed disputing trademark ownership.
Take Them Down with These Tips
Now that you know the seriousness of cybersquatting and cyberfraud, here are ways you can take fake websites down to protect your company from brand abuse:
- First, you need to find the registrant. Use ICANN to search through their contact page. If that doesn’t work, use Shopify, Squarespace, Wix, or GoDaddy to find the registrant’s name and contact info.
- We can try reporting to the site host, but if you don’t get a response, try contacting the server host with the cease & desist letter. Use ICANN if you still don’t have an answer.
- In addition to contacting the domain registrar or host, you can file with ICANN to remove your information from the money collection system.
- Suppose an illegitimate website is involved with illegal activities like phishing. In that case, you should report it to Google’s team of safe browsing specialists to get it de-indexed so that the site does not come up in search results.
Most scammers will respond to a service provider’s initial request to take down a fake website, though not always. The process can be lengthy and tedious – around one to seven days – so getting a scammer’s site taken down may not be worth it. However, if you value your company, it’s definitely worth the wait.
If you want to expedite the process, get in touch with experts like FraudWatch. We are a digital brand protection company that has helped our international client base with brand abuse since 2003. We are leaders in online brand protection from phishing, malware, social media, and mobile apps impersonation. Contact us today to learn more!