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Beware: Fake ‘Call of Duty: Ghosts’ beta websites already springing up online

Call of Duty: Ghosts Beta

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. (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.

Ghosts Beta (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 (another fake site that was quickly outed for scamming users).

Ghosts Beta .net

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: (WHOIS) – parked at (WHOIS) – parked at Go Daddy (WHOIS) – does not resolve to a website (WHOIS) – parked at Go Daddy (WHOIS) – parked at NameCheap

Believe it or not, Activision didn’t register (WHOIS) or (WHOIS) before cybersquatters got to the names first. redirects visitors to the game’s listing on Amazon. is redirecting visitors to, 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

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.

Talking about this story: SlashGear,, and Gamezone

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Fake ‘Modern Warfare 4 Beta’ website taken down after news of scam spreads [UPDATED]

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 4

As of today, a website that promised users beta codes to the yet-to-be-announced “Modern Warfare 4” has been taken down.

The website went offline only after news of the scam, which operated on the domain name, spread across the internet in the past 24 hours.

A YouTube video apology posted earlier by Sn4gamers “claims” they hired a third-party to help grow their Facebook page, but were unknowingly victims of a scam themselves.

Being a victim seems somewhat questionable, since the Facebook message stayed online for days before being deleted.

Facebook Mw4 Beta code message

The good news is, the site is now offline.

The scam involved promising beta codes to “Modern Warfare 4” if users posted a link to the site to other game pages on Facebook, including the official Call of Duty Facebook page, which has more than 1 million likes.

You can see screenshots of the fake beta site here and get an idea of what unsuspecting people encountered when visiting the page, now that nothing but an error page appears online.

Sn4gamers also deleted a Facebook post encouraging users to visit the site and download the MW4 beta code.

This isn’t the first time and won’t be the last time a fake beta website crops up online.

Just last year, Microsoft took control of the domain names and, after filing complaints against their owners.

In January 2013, Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc, filed several domain complaints against the owners of Grand Theft Auto V beta domain names.

The domain has already been ordered transferred to Take-Two, while three other cases are pending that involve, and

UPDATE 2 – March 5, 2013 – The WHOIS record has been updated from this to this.

UPDATE 1 – March 4, 2013 – The home page of now displays the video explanation that was uploaded to YouTube.

Talking about this story: VG247 and

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Fake “Modern Warfare 4 Beta” site launches on web address of the same name [UPDATED]

Modern Warfare 4 Beta

There never seems to be a shortage of scams online.

As speculation grows that Activision’s next installment in the Call of Duty series will be “Modern Warfare 4”, the number of fake sites will grow that prey on people hoping to get an invite to the beta version of the game.

This week, the so-called “social network 4 gamers” website that goes by the shortened name “Sn4gamerrs”, launched a fake Modern Warfare 4 Beta website on the matching domain name:

The fake Beta site has been set up to do nothing more than deceive users and drive up Sn4gamers’s Facebook likes and views on their other social networking accounts.

A link was posted Friday to their Facebook page (which has since been deleted) telling people they could download the free MW4 code.

Facebook Mw4 Beta code message was registered this month to a Rhode Island resident according to WHOIS records, not to Activision Publishing.

When you enter the fake web site, you are instructed to follow 3 easy steps in order to download the code, as shown in the screen shot below.  As you can see from the instructions, the goal is to trick unsuspecting users into spreading the information on social networks.

Fake Modern Warfare 4 Beta site

When you scroll to the bottom of the page, a message warns you that you must complete all steps before getting your “code”, but of course, there’s no need.

If you click the link at the very bottom of the web page that says, “Click Here to Get Your Free MW4 Beta”, a new web page appears that allows you to choose a platform.

MW4 Beta scam

The scam by Sn4gamers continues on with a fake code and then finishes off, laughably enough, with Sn4gamers asking people to take a survey because, “…it’s the least you can do to support us so we can continue to give out free betas.”

Despite the obvious and absurd claims by many scams, fake Beta sites continue to be a problem and people continue to be duped.

In the case of the fake MW4 beta site, using “Modern Warfare 4” in the domain name is a desperate attempt to trick and confuse even more visitors.

As I wrote about last September, Ubisoft took ownership of a web address used in a Ghost Recon Beta scam.  Also in 2012, Microsoft took control of the domain names and, after filing complaints against their owners.

While Activision did confirm last month that it will release a new Call of Duty in 2013, it’s not even official yet as to which game in the Call of Duty series it will be.

My guess is the person behind Sn4gamers may receive a strongly worded letter from Activision’s lawyers in the near future, that, or a complaint will be filed over the domain name.

Activision won rights to the domain in 2011, bringing a saga that dragged on for months to a close.

The company doesn’t own  I spoke to the owner of the web address in 2011 by email, who made headlines in 2009 after launching a website that threatened to hurt a clown if the game development studio behind Modern Warfare, didn’t play ball the ransom demands.

UPDATE 1 March 4, 2013 6:29PM EST – It appears the folks behind, have gotten the message, after a number of news outlets and gaming blogs picked up this story.  The fake beta site was taken down in the past hour and a blank WordPress blog now appears on the home page.

Talking about this story:  Examiner.comVG247, PC Games, IGN Boards,, Product Reviews,, GameZone,,, EGMNOW,, Power Unlimited, Gamekapocs and

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Activision registers new Skylanders domains – Kao’s Alliance, Super Force, Nano Force, Swap Force [UPDATED]


UPDATE 1: Activision revealed Skylanders SWAP Force, the next installment in the popular franchise at Toy Fair 2013.

ORIGINAL STORY: Last month, Activision reported that the Skylanders franchise crossed $500 million in retail sales in the U.S.

Now it looks like the company is set to expand the hot franchise, according to a handful of new domain name registrations made through the internet brand protection company MarkMonitor.

On January 30, 2013, four names were registered: (WHOIS), (WHOIS), (WHOIS) and (WHOIS).

The domains were privately registered using MarkMonitor’s WHOIS privacy service DNStination, suggesting Activision wants to keep the projects under wraps for now.  There’s little possibility the names belong to anyone else.  MarkMonitor is in the business of protecting some of the world’s biggest brands, and Activision’s own (WHOIS) is managed through the firm.

Right about this time last year, Activision registered the Skylanders Giants domain names through MarkMonitor, which was first reported here.  Skylanders Giants was eventually announced a few weeks later and went on to be one the top holiday gifts of 2012.

Given the timing of the latest registrations and last year’s timeline, it’s possible an official announcement may be forthcoming for Skylanders Kao’s Alliance, Skylanders Nano Force, Skylanders Super Force and Skylanders Super Force.

At the time of this story going online, none of the domains resolve to a website.

Talking about this story: Forbes, Joystiq, Geeky Gadgets, TheHDRoom,, GoNintendo, Nintendo Everything and darkSpyro

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Activision acquires ‘Command Line Systems’ dot com domain name

Command Line Systems

Chalk this up to unusual domain names that companies register.

According to WHOIS records, Activision Publishing, Inc, now owns, a name that was first registered back in January 2011.

The identity of the owner was hidden behind Go Daddy’s Domains By Proxy (DBP) service, however, this week the privacy service on the domain name was removed, revealing Activision as the owner.

According to Wikipedia, “a command-line interface (CLI) is a means of interaction with a computer program where the user (or client) issues commands to a program in the form of successive lines of text (command lines).”

It appears the company has plans for the domain, but what exactly, is unknown at this time.

Currently, resolves to a blank web page.

(Image via