FTC: Court Freezes Assets in Phony-Domain E-Mail Offer

Share this article:
A federal court has ordered the shutdown of an e-mail offer that used appeals to patriotism to sell fake Web addresses in the bogus ".usa" domain, the Federal Trade Commission said yesterday.


The e-mail scheme, operated by companies in the United States and United Kingdom, offered Web address registration for $59 each. Federal officials said the operation probably netted more than $1 million from consumers.


According to the FTC, the e-mails carried the header "Be Patriotic! Register .USA Domains" and bore the message, "The latest domain name extension has arrived .USA!!! It's the fresh, new, exciting Web address that is taking the world by storm. Who wants to be .com when you can now be .USA. Register your .USA domain name today exclusively at http://www.dotusa.com."


The companies responsible are not accredited domain name registrars, the FTC said. Furthermore, the .usa domain is not usable on the Internet.


The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, located in Chicago, approved an FTC request to freeze the assets of the companies temporarily. The FTC seeks a permanent halt to their operations and a return of consumer payments.


The companies charged by the FTC included TLD Network Ltd., Quantum Management Ltd. and TBS Industries Ltd. The operators of the companies are in London.


Originally, the companies marketed Web addresses in the .brit and .bet domains, which are also bogus, the FTC said. After Sept. 11, the companies began marketing the .usa domain.


The United Kingdom's Office of Fair Trading has provided assistance in the case, the FTC said.


Share this article:
close

Next Article in News

Sign up to our newsletters

Follow us on Twitter @dmnews

Latest Jobs:

More in News

News Byte: Comcast Expanding Global Ad Delivery Through Partnership

News Byte: Comcast Expanding Global Ad Delivery Through ...

Through a partnership with Adstream , Comcast's AdDelivery Service expands its footprint across the globe.

40 Under 40 2014: Nominations Are Now Open!

40 Under 40 2014: Nominations Are Now Open!

It's time to nominate the 2014 crop of young marketing luminaries for Direct Marketing News's 40 Under 40 Awards. The deadline is Friday, June 6, 2014.

News Byte: MediaCrossing Partners with ASL Marketing on Youth Marketing Tool

News Byte: MediaCrossing Partners with ASL Marketing on ...

The digital media trading firm and marketing database company aim to help marketers target 13 to 34 year olds.