Financial services company Citigroup has successfully ordered the transfer of a domain name that linked to a web page claiming to be a BBC news article providing access to cheap iPhones.
Yesterday, July 13, the National Arbitration Forum (NAF) transferred the domain citicardsthankyou.com to Citigroup after ruling that it was registered in bad faith.
The domain was registered to a user based in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean. Users clicking on the website, which at the time of publication is still live, are transferred to a site that looks similar to the BBC News page.
The BBC logo is used and at the top is a red layout similar to the BBC News website.
The website informs users that they can collect an iPhone for £1 ($1.60) if they visit an external link and put in their personal details.
In its claim, filed at the NAF in May 2015, Citigroup argued that using the disputed domain name to tranfer users to a phishing website amounted to bad faith.
Panellist Carolyn Marks Johnson agreed and said that the website’s method of “phishing” for individual user’s financial details was evidence of bad faith registration.
Johnson also found that the addition of the word ‘cards’ and the ‘.com’ domain was insufficient to prevent a ruling that the domain is confusingly similar with Citigroup’s registered US trademark for ‘Citi Thankyou’, which covers its customer loyalty programme.
The BBC was not involved in the dispute.
Citigroup was not available for comment.
NAF; National Arbitration Forum; iPhones; Citigroup; BBC