In a move that underscores the growing concern over online fraud and financial scams, BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, is taking legal action to shut down 44 copycat websites, some of which operate in the cryptocurrency space. The investment giant is escalating its efforts to protect investors and its brand from imitators who seek to deceive unsuspecting individuals.
On Tuesday, October 10, BlackRock filed a lawsuit against the owners of 44 internet domain names, including “Blackrock,” “Aladdin,” “capital,” “crypto,” and “investments,” in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. The asset manager claims that the domains were registered in bad faith in order to take advantage of consumer confusion and divert traffic using strategies like pay-per-click advertisements, malware, and email phishing assaults.
Over 95% of the 500 most popular websites on the Internet are the target of “typosquatting,” according to studies cited by the firm’s attorneys from Wiley Rein LLP. In this practice, a domain name that represents a typographical error on the official website is registered. BlackRock claims that by registering names that are confusingly similar to its own, the organizations have violated the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act.
Most of those Cointelegraph checked, in contrast, either did not open or were standard cybersquatting on the domain name. There were a few domain names related to cryptocurrencies, including crypto-blackrock.com and blackrock-crypto.net, both of which failed to launch.
BlackRock searched the Whois database for information on domain registrations that were available to the general public to determine who the owners were.
Based on this pretext, it is requesting compensation, the return of the infringing domain names to its ownership, as well as injunctions to prevent the defendants from using its trademarks BLACKROCK, ALADDIN, and BLK in the future.
Copycat domain names are frequently used in conjunction with ad networks like Google and Facebook to spread malware or advertise fraud. According to a Cointelegraph investigation from earlier this year, victims of phony websites promoted through Google Ads have lost more than $4 million.
As the battle against online fraud continues, BlackRock’s actions signal a significant step forward in combating financial scams, particularly in the cryptocurrency sector, and the outcome of this lawsuit will likely have implications for how the industry addresses similar challenges in the future.