12 domains sued for spoofing Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp

facebook on a mobile phone
(Image credit: NurPhoto / Getty Images)

Facebook is suing 12 domains that masquerade themselves as Facebook websites. The domains were registered by Indian proxy firm Compsys Domain Solutions Private Ltd., but Facebook is not suing that company directly.

On Monday, Facebook confirmed it had filed a lawsuit in a Virginia court to “prevent fraud and stop the malicious use of our company and product names.” It was not immediately clear whether the suit had been filed in federal or state court.

The social media giant said domains like Facebook-verify-inc.com, instagramhjack.com and videocall-whatsapp.com were designed to deceive people by "impersonating our family of apps".

Facebook’s director and associate general counsel of IP Litigation, Christen Dubois, announced the lawsuit in a media release, writing :“We regularly scan the internet for domain names and apps that infringe on our trademarks and today’s lawsuit is part of this ongoing effort to protect people from phishing, credential theft and other methods of online fraud.”

No response

Despite contacting Compsys about the offending domain names and requesting it to take them down, Facebook said it didn’t receive a response from the Indian firm and therefore decided to file a lawsuit. 

Dubois added: “Registrars and proxy services have a responsibility to take down deceptive and malicious websites.

"And we will continue to take legal action to protect the people who use our services.”

This isn’t the first time that Facebook has taken legal action against imposter domains. It filed similar lawsuits against Namecheap and its proxy service this March, and OnlineNIC and its proxy service in October last year.

Nicholas Fearn is a freelance technology journalist and copywriter from the Welsh valleys. His work has appeared in publications such as the FT, the Independent, the Daily Telegraph, The Next Web, T3, Android Central, Computer Weekly, and many others. He also happens to be a diehard Mariah Carey fan!