Icelandic fishing company Samherji has been impersonated online, with an unidentified, UK-registered website issuing an apology for the company’s activities in Namibia, currently the subject of ongoing legal proceedings in Namibia.
A moderately (at first glance) convincing website set up under an UK domain name carries an apology for involvement related to the Fishrot scandal and claims to acknowledge the severity of the allegations against it.
The spurious website effectively admits all of the allegations that have been levelled against Samherji and promises to ensure that the funds are returned to the victims and contribute to righting this injustice.
The statement, believed to have also been sent to various media outlets, is signed by Friðrika Eysteinsdóttir, claiming to be the company’s director of communications.
Samherji has issued a statement to the effect that ‘unknown dishonest parties have sent a fake press release in Samherji’s name to foreign media outlets.’
‘Neither the website nor the press release has any connection with Samherji or the company’s employees,’ a genuine Samherji representative commented.
‘This appears to be a planned attack that the company takes very seriously. Samherji will request that the fake website is taken down.’
It’s worth questioning whether by drawing attention to this, Samherji have triggered a Streisand effect – and this can be seen as a lesson in ensuring that every potential URL close to a company’s name is accounted for and out of circulation.