Scams - Domain Registration
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There are companies online who have taken to domain registrations frauds in a big way, misleading and cheating several individuals and companies along the way. Their mode of operation is simple. They have official sounding names similar to those of the domain registrars and send notices resembling notices to domain holders who have registered their domains with other services. The ploy is to get one to pay higher prices to switch to their company under the guise of issuing stern reminders. Out of fear of being deregistered several people pay up without realizing that they are being taken for a ride. To be on the safe side one must ignore these notices and check thoroughly if they are genuine. Other examples of fraud are to use one’s credit card to renew domain names automatically unless one opts out of it. It is difficult to locate the opt-out option and one has to fill out myriad forms to wriggle out of this registration system.
These companies send false invoices in the hope that some absentminded employee will pay the charges. Actually, they do provide a service, which unethically switches one’s domain name registrar. So they are guilty of not fraud but misleading gullible individuals. They coerce innocent people by exploiting their ignorance and fear. But sometimes they lock the domain registration making it impossible to get back one’s money or switch back to one’s original registrar. The wise thing to do is to always check with one’s existing registration agent on receipt of such a letter.
Many companies get hold of the domain registration database of the ICANN/Nominet. They build an automated bot, which hunts from the likes of WHOIS using scripts, and builds a database of those domains that are expiring. This is not difficult since domain registration details are legitimately made available for public inspection. This is legal so they cannot be persecuted for this activity.
There is no law to prevent this form of domain registration. The onus rests solely on the purchaser or the receiver of the notice. One must read the fine print in such mails with utmost care. Such companies like Domain Registry Services are not legal registrars, but agents and can therefore be hauled up in court for misleading the public. The damage caused by such scamsters badly affects the business of the legitimate companies. Their customers get confused and there is loss of business to impostors. This ignorance leads to bad experiences and hence is terrible for the company’s image.
The only way to harm the interests of such fraud perpetrating companies is to make their names public so that other people are warned against falling prey to their ploys. One must alert all banks, business associates to avoid transactions with such companies. They should be denied access to conduct online business anytime in the future. Thus, the best punishment for such fake domain registration companies is to close down their business permanently so that they are unable to fool more gullible people.
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