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Cybersquatters swoop on Lloyds TSB-HBOS websites

Cybersquatters swoop on Lloyds TSB-HBOS websites

A click farm has already registered the name www.lloydstsbhbos.co.uk as cybersquatters seek to make money out of the shake-ups going on in the banking world.

Most of the eight different versions of the address, including .com and .info, were registered yesterday, when the news broke that Lloyds TSB was mounting a rescue bid for HBOS, and some were registered today.

Changes in the ownership of US banks have also prompted click farmers to register sites such as www.bofaml.com, after Bank of America bought Merrill Lynch, and www.lehmanbarclays.com, after Barclays bought some of Lehman Brothers' US operations.

Another site name, www.bankofamericamerrilllynch.com, has already been placed on eBay.

NetNames is responsible for managing and protecting online brands for international corporations and Jonathon Robinson, its chief operating officer, said: "This speculative activity highlights the need for organizations of all sorts to take a firm grip on the issue of online brand management and to understand all of the issues involved.

"The lightning speed at which these sites are emerging shows how quickly issues can escalate. As the banking industry faces some of the most urgent merger and acquisition talks of this century, cybersquatters are quickly cashing in by registering domain names for their own monetary gain."


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