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Years ago I had a problem that my browser was opening Aviasales website instead of Imgur (the most popular image hosting, you know). The tech support guy said I have some malware and should check hosts files, then install Norton, blablabla -- I even believed him for a while and asked about the problem there. Later I've found a clue in web address bar and guy said that it's some "bad partner that places bad banners at Imgur" and that "they'll ban him".

After a year or two I started to hit their website again -- now I was coming there instead of the most popular online shopping website. That guy again said that it's malware but there were already other people in that support forum thread with other operation systems, and they were annoyed by the same thing. It appeared that once I've entered the "market.yandex.ru" without the "x" and it has permanently added the fake search engine into my Chrome so then when I typed "ma<tab>" it was leading me to their website, not the online shop I needed. Guy said they have no relation to that. But I'm pretty sure that it's not "some random hooligans" who are doing this, because these are the only cases of such kind that I face through all my personal 15-years long internet usage practice.

And now it strikes again! Few days ago I tried to get to my working email in a new browser and entered the "mail.yandex.ru" (there is mail service for domains by the same company as the online shop) without the first "." -- the same story. But now there is no support forum, nothing in Google's cache, nothing in Web Archive so people can't find my threads anymore to find out how to fix this. So I went to their VK page and asked there why they removed the support forum and why there are more domains that are doing these unwanted things. They answered (in Russian):

We pay those guys for what they do. Do the same and we'll pay you too.

Now I've found on Wikipedia (ru) that they were doing similar things to steal website visits from some Anywayanyday company.

How legal is it? What can I/we do to stop this? I don't want them to force people visit their website in such unfair way.

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In some cases the trademark holder may be able to take down the domain by submitting a UDRP claiming that the domain has been registered intentionally to trap users:

Register your trademark

While there are no laws against registering available domain names, there are laws against phishing and other malicious online activities. As a trademark holder, you can, under the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute Resolution-Policy (UDRP) launch a Uniform Rapid Suspension (URS) complaint with the World Intellectual Property Organisation if you suspect a domain name has been registered to intentionally trap the users. However, to be able to do that, you will first need to register your brand with the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH), ICANN’s database of protected trademarks.

RadixRegistry on Medium

However, the .ru ccTLD is not tied in with the UDRP system, so there is probably no hope for that specific domain.

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