What fraudulent activity has taken place?

Fraudulent activity can be broadly divided into three categories, each with its own implications:

  1. Some or all of your website has been copied:
    • someone has copied all or part of your website, including for example, individual pages, text, images, graphics and/or logos
    • you may be able to contact the host or registrar for the infringing website to ask them to take it down
    • this type of fraudulent activity may require the involvement of the courts in order to protect your intellectual property rights

  2. Someone has registered an identical or very similar domain name:
    • for example, someone, without a legitimate interest in doing so, may register the domain name http://www.fresh-fields.com, which is very similar to the real domain name, http://www.freshfields.com
    • this may require you to pursue a dispute resolution procedure, for example, for generic top level domains, the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) administered by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)

  3. Someone has hacked your website:
    • someone has gained access to (or hacked) your web hosting account and has edited or replaced your homepage
    • a sign of this having occurred is that the correctly typed URL in your browser will be that of your registered domain name, but the page displayed will be an unexpected, fraudulent one put there by hackers
    • to rectify this you may need to liaise with your web hosting company to re-secure your account and take down the fraudulent website or pages