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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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Activision hints at new Call of Duty gaming glasses via domain names

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2

It looks like Activision may be marketing some new glasses with its upcoming launch of Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, which is slated to be released on November 18, 2012 in the USA.

The speculation comes way of several domain names that were privately registered back in July 2012 according to Whois historical records:,,, and

This week, all of the privacy details were removed on the names, officially revealing Activision as the owner.

In 2010, when the Black Ops video game was first published, an $80 a pair of Call of Duty: Black Ops-themed gaming glasses were also released.

As of right now, none of the domain names resolve to a web page, and from what I can tell, Activision hasn’t made any official announcement.  So, for now, the roll out of new Call of Duty glasses will have to remain speculation.

(Image of Quadrotor Overwatch via

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Activision applies for ‘The Roman Numeral II’, other Black Ops 2 trademarks

The Roman Numeral II

Activision applied for several U.S. trademarks this past week related to Call of Duty: Black Ops II which is scheduled to be released this November.  The trademark applications include “The Roman Numeral II”, “The Future is Black” and “There’s a Soldier in All of Us”.

Activision submitted two trademark applications (85673176, 85673166) for “The Roman Numeral II” which, of course, can be seen in the cover-art for the video game in a solid orange color.

“The Future is Black” is a tagline for the game and was used in the official reveal trailer that was published back in the beginning of May.  The filing (Serial Number: 85673145) like the others in the batch, covers computer game software and entertainment services.

The company looks to be protecting its IP as it ramps up marketing ahead of the game’s release.

“There’s a soldier in all of us” has been a tagline for Black Ops since the first game released worldwide in November 2010.  The trademark application (Serial Number: 85673131) was filed along with the others on July 10.

If you haven’t seen the official reveal trailer, you can watch it below.

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Sequel may be closer as Activision secretly acquires domain

Black Ops 2

A sequel to Call of Duty: Black Ops, one of the best-selling games of all-time, may seem more likely as it appears Activision has secretly acquired the domain name

First registered in May 2010 shortly after Black Ops was announced, the domain remained under Whois privacy up until this week using Go Daddy’s Domains by Proxy service.

Now, the domain (Whois) has switched from Domains by Proxy to the privacy service provided by internet brand protection company MarkMonitor, who caters to over half the Fortune 100, of which Activision is a client.

In August, I reported that Activision went through MarkMonitor to buy up a slew of Black Ops domains, all the way up to 

Missing from the list was 

A deal has now apparently been struck.

Treyarch, the development studio behind Call of Duty: Black Ops, hasn’t officially gone on record to say it is creating a sequel.  But with all these domain acquisitions, signs point to a Black Ops 2 being a very strong possibility in 2012.

If a cash amount was paid, the sale price of the domain will likely remain unknown, as the previous owner’s identity and contact information were hidden through Go Daddy’s privacy service.

As of today, does not resolve a web page.

[Update 1 on February 17, 2012: Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 has been outed by Amazon reports GameSpy.]

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Top 10 Stories of 2011: #2 Activision battles for domain

Modern Warfare 3

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

My coverage of the whole affair from beginning to end drew thousands of thousands of page views, along with mentions from nearly every major video gaming news site and blog.

It was Activision’s decision to file a domain dispute over that earned the number two spot in the Top 10 stories of 2011.

The coverage began in January 2011, when I wrote about Activision missing out on several Modern Warfare domain names, including 

In May, information and dates were leaked on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 to Kotaku

Shortly after the online buzz started, the owner of put up a website and literally gained thousands of fans on Facebook overnight.  Then the website abruptly went offline for days, in what appeared to be a response by the owner to Activision’s lawyers. 

When the site came back online however, the same owner launched a revamped website that lashed out at Activision, in a series of statements and videos, throwing support instead to Call of Duty’s biggest competitor – Electronic Arts’ Battlefield 3.

Still, at this point, no one else was covering it.

It was my story on re-directing to EA’s Battlefield 3 website in July that started drawing attention by sites like Kotaku.  The move to forward the domain proved embarrassing for Activision.

What followed were a series of breaking stories that continued to draw massive traffic.

In mid July, Activision officially filed a complaint with the National Arbitration Forum that I got my hands on. 

After the complaint was filed, Go Daddy removed the privacy service on the domain, revealing the identity of the owner.

In September, Activision triumphed and the domain was ordered transferred.

By October, the domain resolved to

If Activision decides to release a Modern Warfare 4, it may want to handle things a little differently.  As of today, doesn’t belong to Activision.