Internet addresses corresponding to proposed bank mergers have been snapped up by cybersquatters, with the BBC reporting that domain names for the merged Bank of America/Merrill Lynch and Lloyds TSB/HBOS have already been sold to people who have no connection with the banks.
As plans to sell the bankrupt Lehman Brothers surfaced last Friday, cybersquatters acted on reports that Barclays, HSBC and Bank of America were in the frame as potential buyers and acquired the Barclayslehman.com, Hsbclehman.com, Hsbclehmanbrothers.com and Bofalehman.com domain names.
And after Bank of America moved for troubled Merrill Lynch, cybersquatters registered Bankofamericamerrilllynch.com and Bofaml.com.
As speculation mounted of a merger between Lloyds TSB and HBOS, cybersquatters bought up Lloydstsbhbos.com and Hboslloydstsb.com.
Cybersquatters buy available domain names in the hope of making big cash by selling them onto the organisations that may really need them. As they wait for a potential buyer to come and claim their obvious web name, many put pay-per-click ads on the sites to raise cash from confused visitors.
The Bankofamericamerrilllynch.com domain was put up for auction on the eBay site.