Technology and Business Law Blog

Next Level of Spams

‘Spams have been around for a while since the Internet and the e-mail systems got popular. Apart from the Viagra e-mails, for years I have been getting requests from Nigerian nationals to help get millions of US dollars out of that country, one look at these mails and it is so obvious that it is a hoax. Another notably one was when I put an ad on Craig’s list to sell my car and I get an very authentic looking e-mail from a supposedly car dealer who will not be able to take a look at the car personally but will be sending a check much greater than the amount for the car drawn on so and so bank for me to en-cash and send him back the balance. To my reply that you will need to send a money order or cashier’s check there was no response.

Then there are these phony bank notices which look like real sophisticated and authentic and states something like this:

We detected irregular activity on your credit card and for your security, your online banking profile has been locked due to inactivity or because of too many failed log-in attempts“, and then the email asks you to click on a given link which would lead to an authentic looking bank home page where you are asked to log in and provide your account number, expiration date etc.We need to be real alert and watch out for little tell tail signs like misspelling, not the exact company logo, wrong URL, incorrect copyright notation.

Now, taking it to the next level according to this article in the Washington Post, people are getting e-mails telling them that they are about to be killed but if the recipient of the e-mail would pay a stated amount of money then they will be spared. This is real cyber space extortion and in these kinds of e-mails even if a few people responded to the mail out of fear and revealed their personal information then the sender has benefited in the process.

There are also e-mails from supposedly FBI agents and the State Department asking for banking information. It is best not to click on any of the given links and not respond to the e-mails. It is a good idea to register a complaint with the Internet crime complaint center at www.


February 27, 2008 Posted by | Cyber safety, Fraud, spam | Leave a comment

A New Anticybersquatting Coalition

Apple’s iPhone is barely out and there are apparently 22,000 domain names that are copycats or imitations. Cybersquatting has become such a big problem and legal issue. There is a new watch group or coalition called Coalition Against Domain Name Abuse (CADNA) which plans to combat cybersquatting. The most common legal right infringed by cybersquatters is Trademark and Service mark rights. The Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA) was signed as an amendment to the Lanham Act and it took effect on November 29, 1999. This domain name dispute law was intended to give trademark and service mark owners legal remedies against defendants who obtain domain names “in bad faith” that are identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark.

We will have to wait and see how CADNA is different and effective from other such coalitions and how they plan to combat this huge problem of cybersquatting.

July 26, 2007 Posted by | Cybersquatting, Domain name registration, Fraud, Lanham Act., Phishing, Trademark | 1 Comment