In continuation of my earlier blog on “How to protect your business from fake trademark infringement and “domain slamming” scams,” below are some key suggestions:
How to protect yourself
If you don’t recognize the sender, then most likely the notice you have received is a scam to entice you into buying domain names through them. Run a search on the company and determine if it even exists, but don’t click on the links in their email.
Even if the company looks legitimate, check its reputation. It is always a good idea to search the Better Business Bureau (BBB) when dealing with companies you are not familiar with. Having the BBB logo on a website does not mean the business is necessarily in good standing. Some companies might even have an alert against them on the company’s BBB page. In some cases, action may have been taken by the Competition Bureau of Canada.
If you receive a domain renewal notice, be sure that it is coming from the registrar for that domain name. All registrations are handled by registrars (who you registered your domain with). You can check your domains at www.webnames.ca/whois.asp or call your registrar.
If you have a trademark, you have to defend it. For the price of a domain, my advice is to cover at least the major extensions. Read my article on this topic at biv.com.
If someone is infringing on your trademark you can submit a dispute through ICANN’s Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy; for .ca domains, CIRA’s Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy.
You can also subscribe to a domain privacy service which protects you from spam, telemarketers and identity and domain theft. Think of this service as an unlisted telephone number through your telephone company. If you register a .ca as an individual, your contact information is already private by default. If you register .ca as a business or register other domain extensions, you will need to buy a separate privacy service through your registrar.
If you feel like you have been a victim of deceptive practices or a scam, report the issue.
•Competition Bureau of Canada
•Better Business Bureau
•Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre
The main point to remember when receiving any communication is to read it fully and carefully and always deal with companies you trust.