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Clara Edberg — 29/04/20

Increased registrations of Corona-related domains linked to digital fraud.

The current situation around the world does not stop crime on the internet, instead we see more and more attempts of online fraud. According to, over 6,000 Corona-related domain names were registered during one week in mid-March, a large number of which have malicious content on their web pages.

So, what is important to keep track of then?

Many criminals exploit crises and this crisis is no exception. It is easy to register domains cheaply, without really having to undergo any special checks or regulations. This makes it easy for criminals to create similar addresses to larger organizations online. In this case, many charities’ and information sources’ URLs have been copied with another extension, and then used for the wrong purpose, such as phishing attempts, dissemination of incorrect information, and sale of pirated goods.

Usually, email is used as a channel for fraud. One tip is to check if the domain name’s email address really matches the specified mail sender’s. For example, if you receive an email from what appears to be WHO (World Health Organization), take an extra look at the domain name. Does it appear to be from WHO? Open your browser and go to the WHO website to ensure that they use the same domain name as the one in the mail. Research is vital, do a check up on the organizations that are contacting you.


How should you as a company or organization act?

Do you suspect that criminals are using your brand online for the wrong purpose? Or maybe you just want to act proactively to reduce the risk of a third party making digital infringements on your brand? Then the absolute best and safest measure is to protect relevant domain names (wording and extensions you use, for markets you operate in), and to complement with domain name monitoring that alerts if someone else registering a domain name including your name. Well-functioning and secure SSL management on your domain names that are connected to websites, is also a hygiene factor that protects your web visitors.


Here we’ve gathered a few tips for companies that want to proactively protect their business from digital fraud:

  1. Have a clear domain strategy and domain policy that ensures that you have the right domain ownership that protects your business, and that your domains are managed safely. A domain strategy explains why you should manage your domains in a certain way, while a domain policy explains how to best manage them.


  1. Set up domain monitoring on your important names. With the help of a domain monitoring service you can get information about where and when domain registrations are made containing your monitored names or words. By monitoring your trademarks and important domain names, you can notice at an early stage if someone else is using your names incorrectly and act quickly before too much damage is done.


  1. Make sure you have valid and updated SSL certificates linked to your domain names.This indicates that your website is safe for your visitors. The certificate prevents information about your visitors, such as credit card numbers etc. from being hacked and ending up in the wrong hands. SSL certificates are also something that is valued by search engines when indexing a website.