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Brand Protection 101: 7 Common Brand Impersonation Scams and Solutions

In this blog, we will discuss various brand impersonation scams that can seriously damage a company's reputation and customer trust. We’ll also provide strategies to protect your brand.

In this article, we cover:

7 Common Brand Impersonation Scams

Brand impersonation scams can take many forms. Here are seven common types of brand scams:

  1. Rogue website scams: Scammers create convincing websites that mimic a brand's online presence. They use domain spoofing, cybersquatting, similar domains, typo-squatters, and imitation sites. Traffic diversion schemes with online ads or SEO manipulation direct search traffic to these scam sites, where scammers will sell counterfeits or otherwise defraud potential customers, creating ill-will for your brand.
  2. Social media impersonation: Fake profiles are created to sell counterfeit products or simply take customers' money, again creating ill-will while directing sales away from your brand.
  3. Counterfeit products: Counterfeiters and grey market sellers distribute fake products under a brand's name, damaging the brand's reputation and customer trust. This problem is so significant, that the market size of all fake goods trade is roughly the same size as Hong Kong’s GDP ($466 billion), and larger than Ireland or Portugal’s entire domestic output.
  4. Fake apps: Scammers create fake mobile apps that resemble a brand's website, aiming to collect fees, sell counterfeit products, or gather information for future scams.
  5. Email impersonation: Fraudsters may send emails posing as a brand to deceive customers and steal their information or direct them to a fake site, fake app, or fake social media account.
  6. Brand collaboration scams: Fraudsters may send messages claiming that a brand wants to collaborate, but they require the recipient to purchase the product, cover shipping costs, or create free content.
  7. Brand vishing/phishing: Scammers use phone calls or messages to trick customers into providing sensitive information by posing as a trusted brand. This tactic is incredibly common … and incredibly harmful to a brand’s reputation.

Strategies To Protect Your Brand From Impersonation Scams

To safeguard your brand from impersonation scams, consider implementing these strategies:

  • Register and enforce your intellectual property through proper trademark registration.
  • Employ community managers to monitor your social media accounts, and to communicate with your audience about scams. Also — and obviously — obtain verified pages with checkmarks.
  • Purchase not only your main domain, but also obtain your related domains, such as the .org and .net domains, as well as similar domains and common misspellings.
  • Track your brand online using automated searches of the US Patent and Trademark Office or business intelligence services.
  • Strengthen relationships with partners, vendors, and retailers to prevent the sale of fake products.
  • Utilize brand registry systems to shut down counterfeit sales. Amazon, for example, has recently implemented a brand registry system that appears to be helpful for many brands.
  • Monitor for unauthorized email traffic containing your name or logo.
  • Employ protective services to stop phone number spoofing.
  • Monitor audio call content for unauthorized brand mentions through your communication service provider or a partner like YouMailPS.
  • Use full-service brand protection services like YouMailPS.
  • Involve courts and law enforcement to shut down networks, and gather the necessary proof to fight in court or via law enforcement action.


How A Brand Reputation Management Service Can Help 

A turn-key brand reputation management service provides comprehensive defenses against a wide range of brand impersonation schemes, mitigating enterprise damages and deterring brand abuse recurrence.

The top brand reputation protection companies minimize phishing and vishing attacks, and also include surveillance of explicit unauthorized brand name mentions and implied references to brand relationships on a variety of channels. The service should surface illegal brand usages on social media, chat sites, voice services (phone calls), emails, and other online media.These solutions will generally also offer alerts, reporting, mitigation, and support for litigation against bad actors.

Look for brand reputation management solutions that are highly automated, employing human and AI-based intelligence to identify consumer perceptions and spot trends. Also search for solutions which are able to offer zero-hour identification of unwanted robocalls, protecting against the fallout of brand imposter attacks perpetrated by bad actor campaigns.

Brand impersonation scams can severely damage a company's reputation and customer trust. To safeguard your brand, it is essential to be aware of the common types of brand scams and implement robust strategies to protect your brand from these threats. Partnering with a brand reputation management service like YouMailPS can provide comprehensive protection and help maintain your brand's integrity.

Don't let brand impersonation scams tarnish your hard-earned reputation. Contact YouMailPS for a quick, no-obligation demo on turnkey brand protection and secure your brand against fraudsters and scam artists.



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