Domain Name Registration is a legitimate activity and one that is necessary for businesses to undertake if they want to secure their business name for use on their own websites. However, like a lot of other legitimate businesses, Domain Name Registration companies are being imitated by cyber criminals, who want to steal your money.
FraudWatch International has seen this type of scam over and over again. At least 10 times a year, we receive emails regarding our domains. A number of our clients constantly receive these emails too.
What is the scam?
The domain name registrant of a legitimate domain, such as fraudwatchinternational.com receives an email from a “Domain Registrar” in Asia – often China and Hong Kong. The premise is always the same – someone has applied to register the same Top Level Domain in the Asian market, (i.e., .cn, .hk, etc…). So for example, someone in Asia has tried to register the FraudWatch International domain name in China – ‘fraudwatchinternational.cn’
The representative from the Asian Domain Registrar explains, in the email, that they ran a search and, because the domain name is the same as ours, they want to check to make sure the other party can register the domain.
They say that we can stop the domain being registered overseas, but only by registering the extra domains ourselves and paying the relevant registration fees.
Even though FraudWatch International doesn’t respond to these scam emails, we have NEVER seen these domains actually registered.
What do the emails look like?
Below is an example of a Domain Name Registration request email.
What do these emails hope to gain?
They are a scam, in one of two ways. They are:
- An attempt by criminals to gain Credit Card Credentials.
- A very poor marketing campaign by a semi-legitimate domain registrar from Asia.
To reiterate, FraudWatch International has never seen these domains actually registered after these types of emails are received, either by FraudWatch International, or by our clients.
What should you do if you receive this type of email?
Our advice is to ALWAYS ignore these types of emails. NEVER respond and engage the criminals!