Cybersquatters were quick off the mark to snap up domain names after last week’s announcement of David Beckham’s multi-million dollar move to join the Los Angeles Galaxy football team.

In one of the fastest-ever cases of cyber-squatting, domain names relating to the American team were bought and used to redirect visitors to pay-per-click adverts. Domain names using several variations of the iconic footballer and his new club have now been bought, with one squatter managing to secure www.davidbeckhamgalaxy.com, www.beckhamgalaxy.info and www.beckhamgalaxy.com.

Security firms said this highlights the need for celebrities to be aware of the problems that can be caused by cybersquatters, who often direct visitors to nuisance sites. Retrieving such domain names can also be complicated so every effort should be made to register them swiftly before they get into the wrong hands.

Chief operating officer of domain name service NetNames, Jonathan Robinson, commented on the speedy cyber-squatting, stating it was the “online equivalent of the first day of the Harrods sale”.