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CitizenHawk TypoAlert: Over 10,000 Cybersquatting Domains on Ten Top US Retail Bank Sites

May 21, 2007; 06:11 AM
CitizenHawk, a leading provider of digital brand management solutions, today reported that there are over 10,000 cybersquatting domains infringing on the trademarks of ten of the top US retail bank web sites. These statistics include typo domains as well as other potential trademark-infringing domains:

Bank of America - 1,595
Bank of the West - 118
Capital One - 2,519
Citibank - 1,082
Commerce Bank - 475
HSBC Direct - 83
Sun Trust - 600
Wachovia - 2,318
Washington Mutual - 465
Wells Fargo - 1,557

"Cybersquatting is particularly insidious in industries such as financial services where people are entering their financial information online," said Graham MacRobie, co-founder, president and chief executive officer of CitizenHawk. "With online fraud on the rise and the increasing sophistication of scam tactics, it is imperative that financial institutions ensure the security of their domains."

According to the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG), many phishing schemes (where Internet scammers use email lures to "fish" for passwords and financial data) use cybersquatting to convince recipients to respond to their emails, by "hijacking brand names of banks, e-retailers and credit card companies." For example, phishers send e-mails that might lead consumers to counterfeit websites that are a one-letter misspell of their bank's domain name. Because these typo domain names are very similar to the real ones, consumers are often tricked into divulging financial data such as credit card numbers, account usernames, passwords and social security numbers to scammers.

"In order to help prevent phishing schemes, a key first step is to identify and stop anyone squatting on your company's domains," added Ari Master, chief operating officer of CitizenHawk. "It is also critical to constantly monitor these domains for new instances of cybersquatting, which could provide an early warning of potentially fraudulent activity. By addressing the issue of cybersquatting head-on, retail banks can take a key step towards identifying and thwarting phishing schemes and protecting their customers."

For an immediate, free estimate of how many cybersquatters are on your domains, please visit

About CitizenHawk
CitizenHawk is a leading provider of digital brand management solutions that enable companies to monitor, protect and enforce proper use of their brand online. CitizenHawk's patent-pending technology crawls the Web to search for possible misspellings of domain names, identifies instances of trademark infringement, pinpoints how these sites are being monetized, sends notices of fraudulent activity to domain owners, interrupts the flow of money being paid to trademark infringers, and automates legal action to get fraudulent sites stopped for good. Customers include,, 1800PetMeds and Greenberg Traurig. Founded in 2006, CitizenHawk is a privately held company based in Aliso Viejo, California. For more information about CitizenHawk, please visit

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CitizenHawk Cracks Down on Online Fraud with Launch of TypoSquasher - April 16, 2007



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