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Scammers are defrauding consumers and businesses with scam websites that impersonate well-known brands.
Businesses impersonated by scammers may suffer brand damage and loss of consumer trust and confidence.
Your customers may lose money and personal information if they engage with these fraudulent websites.
How to protect your business from scams
If you’re a business, there are steps you can take to protect your brand online:
Monitor use of your brand and business name
Just like you might monitor your market, you should also monitor the use of your business and brand name.
You can do this yourself, or use a monitoring and removal service.
This helps you detect and remove fraudulent websites before any harm is done to your business or customers.
Take action if your brand or website is being impersonated
If your brand or website is being impersonated, you should:
- Find out who hosts the fraudulent website. You can do this using a free public verification website. Search online for 'who hosts this website' to find these services
- Find out how to make a report through the hosting provider’s website: this might be an online form or email. Include details of the impact on your intellectual property rights
- Report the impersonation to the website hosting provider and ask them to remove it. As you own the intellectual property in your business and brand, you're best placed to make the report
- If your brand is being used in scam ads on social media, also report this activity directly to the platform
- Report scam websites to Scamwatch. This helps the National Anti-Scam Centre raise consumer awareness about recognising and avoiding scams.
How to protect your customers from scams
Follow these steps to help protect your customers from losing money or personal information to business impersonation scams:
Be scam-smart with customer communications
- Let your customers know how your business communicates with them so they can identify when a message is fake
- Promote the use of a secure app if you have one
- Don't use links. Hyperlinks in messages and emails are often associated with scams. If you state that you don't use them when contacting your customers, it makes scams easier to spot.
Have a clear process for dealing with scams
- Create a clear process for your customers to report website impersonations to you. This makes it easier for you to act quickly
- If your business is being impersonated, put warnings on your social media accounts, website, app and at points of sale to let customers know what's happening, with links to Scamwatch to report the scam and find advice on how to protect themselves.