Feeds

Scammers target domain name owners

Warning over domain appraisal spam

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Fraudsters are targeting domain owners in a new spam-based scam.

Typically the sophisticated fraud, which is still under investigation, starts with an email message to domain owners offering to purchase a domain. Prospective marks are directed to a forum ostensibly set-up to discuss domain appraisal services.

These discussions are bogus and held on a "static HTML page that is meant to look like a forum discussion", the SANS Institute's Internet Storm Centre warns.

The ruse directs users to a particular service, securenamesale.com, which sells "domain appraisal software" for $99. Even if the victim pays for an appraisal certificate from securenamesale.com the spammers renege on their promises and the domain goes unsold.

The objective of the scam is geared towards racking up affiliate revenues from securenamesale.com by tricking victims into using the designated domain appraisal service in the hopes of scoring a lucrative sale that never materialises.

A representative of Arizona-registered securenamesale.com said it is not involved in the scam, which it blamed on rogue affiliates. "Our security department is checking the situation. Looks like one of our affiliates is using illegal marketing methods. His affiliate account will be cancelled," Andrew Gordon, site manager of securenamesale.com, told El Reg.

Fraud targeting domain name holders are far from new. In February 2001, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) went to court to stop a scam that attempted to trick potential marks into registering variations of their existing domain names. At least 27,000 website owners were victims of that scam, the US consumer watchdog estimated.

More recently, jailed UK spammer Peter Francis-Macrae (AKA Weaselboy) used data from Nominet's Whois database to mount a bogus domain re-registration scam. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Rupert Murdoch says Google is worse than the NSA
Mr Burns vs. The Chocolate Factory, round three!
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
Know what Ferguson city needs right now? It's not Anonymous doxing random people
U-turn on vow to identify killer cop after fingering wrong bloke
Germany 'accidentally' snooped on John Kerry and Hillary Clinton
Dragnet surveillance picks up EVERYTHING, USA, m'kay?
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors
GPU-powered pen test yields more bad news about defences and passwords
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.