Sarah Coble, 27 March 2020
American domain registration companies are taking steps to combat coronavirus-related fraud. Budget hosting provider Namecheap Inc. has halted automated registration of website names that reference the COVID-19 health crisis. The Los Angeles–based company’s action comes after a surge in fraudulent websites seeking to profit from the pandemic.
Online scams proliferating from the coronavirus outbreak have included fraudulent charity websites, sites selling fake vaccines and cures, and infection-tracking sites that deliver malware. In an email to customers sent on March 26, Namecheap CEO Richard Kirkendall said the company was removing terms such as “coronavirus,” “COVID,” and “vaccine” from the company’s domain availability search tool.