Court shuts down '.usa' internet address scam

A US court shut down a Web site that capitalized on post-September 11 patriotic fervor to sell fake Internet domain names with suffixes such as ".usa" and ".brit," the Federal Trade Commission said on Monday.

A variety of defendants based in the U.S. and the United Kingdom launched an aggressive junk e-mail campaign that urged Internet users to sign up for the star-spangled addresses after the hijacking attacks of Sept. 11, the FTC said.

The messages linked to a Web site, (, that urged users to reserve addresses such as www.surfin.usa that did not work, the FTC said. The Web site also sold other fake domains, including .brit and .bet, the FTC said.

The FTC said it managed to secure a court order shutting down the Web site and preventing it from setting up offshore and at $59 per registration, the Web site probably took in at least $1 million.

News source: Reuters

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