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IT frauds

Domain Renewal Group Fraud


A couple of days ago the following letter has been delivered to my British postal address.

Domain Renewal Group Fraud Letter

Domain Renewal Group Fraud Letter

A quick glance to the letter on my way to work pushed me to write this blog post. The so-called “Domain Renewal Group”, sender of the above letter, seems to have a quite interesting business model, in fact. Just, it looks a bit fraudolent to me. Let’s see what they do in detail.

First of all, the group performs a whois on a series of expiring web domains, extracting the postal address of the domain holders. Using that information for commercial purposes is illegal according to the terms of use of whois, which explicitely prohibits the use of the WHOIS data “for advertising, direct marketing, marketing research, or similar purposes”. A couple of months before the domain expires, the group sends the domain holders a copy of the above letter, which they define – in bold – a “courtesy to domain name holders” and a “reminder that your domain name registration is due to expire in the next few months”. The domain holder might think it’s his own hosting provider who is sending the reminder. Actuallly, the domain holder has never registered the domain with this Company. In fact, he has never used their services before. The letter is actually not a domain renewal form – as you would suppose – but a request of domain transfer from your current Registrar to a completely new service provider – i.e. the “Domain Renewal Group” -. They even dare to insert a “Reply requested by” date on the top of the letter. To perform the payment, there’s even a stub that you can use to fill in your credit card details – how easy – and to send them the request of service in a pre-stamped envelope. Very kind of them.

Dear Domain Renewal Group, I’m looking forward to the day when users will start typing your name in Google, having the term “fraud” suggested.

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About Roberto Aloi

Software Engineer and Erlanger. Author of www.tryerlang.org.

Discussion

One thought on “Domain Renewal Group Fraud

  1. My web hosting provider posted something similar to this on their blog as well (http://zorveo.com/blog/2011/01/Domain-Registry-of-America-Letters.html). I can’t believe that these companies can sound so fraudulent and get away with it.

    Posted by Mark | April 26, 2011, 4:50 pm

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