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Punters warned about UK Internet Registry Ltd

Domain sales that "resemble invoices"

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Nominet UK - the national Registry for all domain names ending .uk - is calling for people to get in touch if they have received what resembles an invoice from a company called UK Internet Registry Ltd.

The company has been sending letters which "resemble invoices" to owners of .co.uk names.

In the correspondence from UK Internet Registry it claims that the .com version of the .co.uk name is unregistered and offers to sell it for £175 a throw.

Apart from the fact that this price is a bit steep, Nominet wants to make it absolutely clear that it has nothing to do with UK Internet Registry Ltd.

It's currently investigating whether this company has a listing of .uk domain names and, if so, where it got it from.

In a statement Nominet said: "We would like to clarify that there is absolutely no association between Nominet UK - the official Registry for .uk domain names - and the above company. We would like to point out that Nominet UK does not proactively sell .uk domain names and we have no involvement with the registration of .com domain names.

"We advise companies never to be bounced into registering a domain name by the pressure selling tactics of an unknown third party. If you are unsure about the registration of a domain name, contact your usual provider who can advise you on the best course of action," it said.

Domain registering outfit, Internetters, has a copy of the letter available on its Web site here. It reports that the domain name ukinternetregistry.com was only registered on February 6 2003 and ukinternetregistry.co.uk - which points to the same Web site - was registered four days later.

Ken Sorrie of Internetters told The Register: "There are over three million UK domain names registered. Even if only a very small percentage of recipients of this mailshot respond and pay £175 each, then clearly this is a highly profitable exercise."

"More importantly the question to be asked is - how did UK Internet Registry Ltd obtain the list of UK domains?"

No one at UK Internet Registry Ltd was available for comment at the time of writing.

Last month Nominet UK was forced to suspend its WHOIS service after spammers were thought to be behind a rogue attempt to copy the entire registry of .uk domains. ®

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