Another new video game announcement, and with it comes the scammers.
Activision officially revealed Call of Duty: Ghosts this week, and now a number of fake beta websites are already online promising unsuspecting users free beta keys to the game.
Not only do the sites use the game’s artwork, but the operators of these websites use domain names similar to the title to trick people into believing that they are on an official Call of Duty website.
While these sites are obviously phony, there’s always someone who falls for the trick.
GhostsBeta.com (WHOIS) was registered in early April as rumors of the game spread. Today, the website (pictured below) tells visitors that beta access is strongly limited and that their site is the only place where gamers can gain access. All you need to do is tweet a message or publicly recommend the site on Google+ to get your fake beta key. At of the time of this story, dozens have fallen for the scam.
GhostsBeta.net (WHOIS) was just registered this week and the owner has wasted no time setting up a landing page (pictured below), but it looks like their is still more work to do. You are encouraged to choose a console, however, when you click the Submit button, you are redirected to a suspended account page located on blackops2beta.com (another fake site that was quickly outed for scamming users).
As excitement grows for the game, expect the pace of fake beta sites going live to increase.
Dozens of domain names have already been registered and not by Activision. Here’s a sampling:
CallofDutyGhostsBeta.com (WHOIS) – parked at Register.com
CallofDutyGhostsBeta.net (WHOIS) – parked at Go Daddy
CallofDutyGhostsBeta.org (WHOIS) – does not resolve to a website
CallofDutyGhostsBeta.info (WHOIS) – parked at Go Daddy
CallofDutyGhostBeta.com (WHOIS) – parked at NameCheap
CallofDutyGhosts.com redirects visitors to the game’s listing on Amazon.
CallofDutyGhost.com is redirecting visitors to http://www.callofduty.com/ghosts/masks, however, it’s registered to an resident of Illinois who has listed the name for sale on Go Daddy for $2,000 USD.
Activision may not sit idle.
In 2011, the company won a dispute for ModernWarfare3.com.
In the past year, other video game companies have taken legal action against people operating fake beta websites. Take-Two has filed several complaints over fake Grand Theft Auto V websites and domains — and won.