Domain Name Competitor Scam: How It Works
If you have a website and own a domain name, you may become a victim of a new scam related to this topic, the Domain Name Competition Email aka the Fake Domain Registrar.
One day you receive a phone call or an email from a domain name registrar company. They say that somebody is trying to register and purchase a domain that is exactly like yours, but just with a little, tiny difference. For example, instead of ending in "com" (like yours) it would end in ".org". How does the scam work?
Watch the video below to see the Fake Domain Registrar scam exposed:
Alternatively, the domain name referenced could be similar to yours, but have a slight difference in the content. For example, if you own www.johnsmith.com they would say the "new client" wants to buy www.john.smith.com or www.john-smith.com.
You get the idea. Imagine the same thing using your business' name.
The caller says it is a courtesy call to inform you about the intention of their new clients. Naturally, he asks if you would like to purchase the new domains before they sell them to the other party. Several people fall for this scam, although the callers are just inventing the competition.
The company calling you may as well be a real registrar, but using fraudulent practices. Or, indeed, could be scammers who could charge your credit card without having anything to do with the industry.
Below is an actual email message that we received in our Scam Detector inbox:
"Dear CEO (if you are not in charge of this, please forward this to your CEO, because this is urgent. Thanks),
We are a Network Service Company which is the domain name registration center in Shanghai, China. On July 12, 2012, we received an application from Henghua company requested "scam-detector" as their internet keyword from China (CN) domain names. But after checking it, we find this name conflict with your company name or trademark. In order to deal with this matter better, it's necessary to send email to you and confirm whether this company is your distributor or business partner in China?
How To Avoid The Fake Registrar Scam:
Ignore the approacher. If you are really interested in the new domains that the caller is referencing, just log into your domain registrar and expand your plan. There a few other variations of this scam, feel free to submit your experience below, under comments.
How To Report The Domain Name Competitor Scam:
Make your family and friends aware of this domain name related scam by sharing it on social media using the buttons provided. You can also officially report the scammers to the Federal Trade Commission using the link below:
How To Protect Yourself More:
If you want to be the first to find out the most notorious scams every week, feel free to subscribe to the Scam Detector newsletter here. You'll receive periodical emails and we promise not to spam. Last but not least, use the Comments section below to expose other scammers.
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