Scammers are constantly searching for new and more deceptive ways to trick people into giving away their money. Most recently, FairWinds received this notice from the “World Intellectual Property Database” urging our DigitalDNA business, which brokers domain and website deals, to renew its international trademark registration:
Some of you might have picked up on the fact that the “WIPD” looks a lot like “WIPO,” the World Intellectual Property Organization. They even mimicked WIPO’s font and logo. DigitalDNA has an international trademark registration pending with WIPO, and that is likely how WIPD found us: the people behind WIPD appear to have pulled information from WIPO’s public database and sent fake notices seeking registration renewal fees from trademark owners. Aside from recognizing the obvious discrepancy in the name and acronym, what really tipped us off was the URL the notice directs to. WIPO – the real WIPO – would never use a .BIZ domain. As a specialized agency of the United Nations, WIPO uses the .INT extension.
We wanted to post this to make sure other companies are aware of this scheme, and to warn them not to fall for it. We have also gotten in touch with our contacts at WIPO to alert them, and they are working to stop this scam.
ICANN has opened up a public comment period for NeuStar’s request for a phased allocation process of single and two-character domains in dot-BIZ.
Why? Really, who concerns themselves with dot-BIZ sites? They’re simply not used. NeuStar, where is the demand for this? Could it be nothing more than the “restocking” of the shelves that we see again and again in the domain name business whenever sales of domains slow down?