Have you ever bought a 'Booleri' instead of the popular brand 'Bisleri?' Have you purchased a product and then realized that it has typographical errors in the packaging? Have you seen product pages using brand colors of a well-known brand?
Has that ever made you wonder if the two products are from sister companies or if you have been duped? Duplicating renowned brand products is a common practice. With the virtual world re-inventing the marketplace, the threat of duplication has become complex. Along with brand identity, counterfeiters are duplicating domain names to dupe buyers.
The typoglycemia effect and fake domain names
Websites, emails, and ad campaigns are a platform for brands to communicate with their buyers. The online presence of a brand builds its image. It is a medium to tell customers the values of the organization. For the customers, websites and emails are a source of information communicating the best deals! Given the importance of online platforms for driving revenue, they are a coveted target of cybercriminals.
Fake or look-alike domain names confuse buyers into believing that the web page they are visiting is original. Fake domain names are very similar to the original ones. The human mind is unable to distinguish slight differences. So if you happen to see a 'fipkart.com,' you are likely to read it as the famous 'Flipkart.com.' People tend to look for the whole, instead of parts. Thus, we read words instead of letters. The tendency of the human mind to comprehend scrambled words unconsciously is the typoglycemia effect.
How do fake domain names impact a brand?
A brand's reputation offers a competitive edge in a challenging market. During economic churns, it is the brand image that helps organizations stay afloat. Brand image is the intangible asset building on trust. Fake domain names are a threat to the brand's intangible as well as intangible ways.
Revenue loss for ads:
Paid ads are essential for digital marketing campaigns. Fake domain names can lead novice market experts to host their ads on fake websites. The ad campaigns hosted on fake websites will result in poor traffic. Also, the ads may show up alongside objectionable content, turning customers away.
Loss of communication channel for offers:
Lucrative offers keep your customers engaged and loyal. Emails and banner ads on websites are valuable tools for communicating the best deals to regular customers. If look-alike email ids spam your customers, they may be skeptical of clicking on any of your future emails.
Data privacy and scammers ruin customer experience:
Building trust is a long and arduous task. Online shopping requires users to provide their bank and personal details. Fake and look-alike websites scam customers and can hack their accounts. Customers who fall prey to such cyber crimes may never trust the brand again. The negative customer experience can lead to revenue loss for the company.
Substandard and spurious products:
Spoof URLs can be hard to detect. Other than phishing, spamming, and hacking users, these websites may be a source for selling counterfeit products. The websites may offer lucrative prices to lure unsuspecting people. But the products they sell can be spurious and unsafe for customers.
A customer who feels duped is unlikely to trust the brand again. Even if the customer may be angry with the scam website owner, the original band pays the price. The sense of betrayal gets projected on the original brand. Making fake URLs is cheap and easy. There are 1000s of fake websites going live every day. However, with fraud protection technology, brands can safeguard themselves from online threats and protect their customers.