Domain Scams

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We all know the Emails about online bank accounts "running out", Paypal requiring a "security update" or about that African prince who died and left you a fortune. Oh, and don't forget all the phone calls from "Microsoft" where they tell you your computer is infected ... Yeah, right...

But if you own one or more domains you'll occasionally find those gems in your inbox, sometimes they even come by snail mail (domain name redacted):

 

Attention: Important Notice , DOMAIN SERVICE NOTICE
Domain Name:  Simon Laburda

ATT: Simon Laburda
example.com
Response Requested By
28 - Aug. - 2017

PART I: REVIEW NOTICE

Attn: Simon Laburda
As a courtesy to domain name holders, we are sending you this notification for your business Domain name search engine registration. This letter is to inform you that it's time to send in your registration.

Failure to complete your Domain name search engine registration by the expiration date may result in cancellation of this offer making it difficult for your customers to locate you on the web.

Privatization allows the consumer a choice when registering. Search engine registration includes domain name search engine submission. Do not discard, this notice is not an invoice it is a courtesy reminder to register your domain name search engine listing so your customers can locate you on the web.

This Notice for: example.com will expire at 11:59PM EST, 28 - Aug. - 2017 Act now!

Select Package:
http://tiamatiletisim.com/domain/?domain=example.com

Select the term using the link above by 28 - Aug. - 2017
http://example.com

 

The first though is: Oh no! My domain is running out! I need to pay! My clients won't be able to find me - PANIC!! ... Of course it's just a scam. I've even got complaints from customers of our web hosting business, asking me why we haven't paid their domain fees! I have to tell them, no, ignore it, it's just a scam.

And this scam is run by a company called "Exalt's Design". What I find weird is that they have been doing this for years now and they still seem to be using the same Paypal Account (exaltka@gmail.com) and Paypal doesn't seem to give a shit about this.

I can't give any legal advice, but here's what you can do if you get crap like this in your mail:

  • Contact them! Not just by E-Mail, try any other means of communication. Try calling if you see a phone number. You could even send snail mail or faxes. That won't stop them of course, but it will annoy them, waste their time. That's the best way to fight scamming, make it less profitable. If they get thousands of complaints, they have less time to work on their "business". This goes for any kind of scam
  • Report them to Paypal (or other payment processors). I don't know if this will really work, because they clearly don't seem to care, but if enough people do it, it might just work.
  • Spread the word! Tell your friends, family, coworkers and business partners about those scams. Make sure they know not to fall for this
  • (Fight back! This is more a tactic for phishing mails, but, poke around on the webserver they've taken over. In some cases they store all their victims data on the webserver they're piggybacking on. I've found a data dump with online banking login informations and phone numbers a while back -and I tried calling everyone on the list to warn them and tell them to contact their bank immediately!)

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