I’ve written a few articles over the last month about some of the bad things that are being done with domain names during the Coronavirus Pandemic. While it would be great to think that everyone who registers a domain during a time like this is doing it for the right reasons, as we all know, scammers and criminals flock to domain names in an attempt to give them legitimacy and trick people into thinking they’re a reliable source.
Well it looks like the US Justice Department is now stepping in to help stop some of the worst offenders, most recently seizing CoronaPrevention.org after the owner tried to sell it for Bitcoin.
The action follows Attorney General William Barr’s request that the department prioritize detecting and prosecuting illicit activities relating to the coronavirus pandemic.
A warrant obtained by the U.S. The Department of Justice alleges that the owner of coronaprevention.org listed the domain for sale “on a hackers forum” the day after President Donald Trump declared a national emergency in response to COVID-19.
The seller’s ad promoted the domain as an effective means to sell “high markup in demand products,” pricing the site at a premium.(Source – CoinTelegraph)
The owner of the domain was trying to sell it for $500 so this wasn’t a case where the price tag was high and got someone’s attention, instead it’s what the seller suggested the domain name be used for, i.e. selling high markup in-demand products. The seller was approached by an agent who pretended to be someone selling fake test kits.
The HSI agent pretended to be selling fake coronavirus test kits, which the site’s owner described as “genius,” adding that they had intended to sell fraudulent tests but “couldn’t get enough cash to bulk buy them from Alibaba.”(Source – CoinTelegraph)
This is just sick IMO and I’m glad to see the Justice Department step in and shut this guy down. Situations like this can bring out the best in some people, and the worst in others. I hope this gets more attention and dissuades more people from trying to do something similar. At a time like this we need to come together to help each other, and people using this as a time to scam people and make money, need to get what’s coming to them.