Cameroon’s ccTLD, Plagued By Typosquatters, Drastically Reduces Registration Fee

Cameroon’s ccTLD, best known for attracting scammers and spammers who typosquat the equivalent .com domain names, is reducing the annual registration fee from CFA130,000 (US$233) to CFA7,000 ($12.50) according to a report in Business in Cameroon.

According to the report, there is a low awareness of the Cameroonian country code top level domain, with Ebot Ebot Enaw, director of the country’s national ICT agency saying ‘that many people do not know where they can register .cm domain names and some do not even know the price.’

To address the lack of awareness, Cameroon Telecommunications has launched a promotional campaign for the country’s ccTLD to explain the advantages of .cm domain names and how they can be registered. As of 2016 there were around 53,000 .cm domain names registered, with price being a major disincentive.

But there may be another disincentive. As Krebs on Security reported in March this year, “if you try to visit some of the most popular destinations on the Web but omit the “o” in .com (and type .cm instead), there’s a good chance your browser will be bombarded with malware alerts and other misleading messages — potentially even causing your computer to lock up completely.” Having your company’s domain name in such a crime-ridden ccTLD may not be much of an incentive for businesses and consumers.

With prices being lowered, and without changes in eligibility, it’s likely .cm will only become even more spammier. It’s also unclear if the reduction applies to second and/or third level domains.