New UK Domain Name Spammer SwitchAds.com (SwitchConcepts.co.uk and SwitchConcepts.com)

I got a spam email from SwitchAds.com yesterday for the 20th time so I decided to reply and ask them to unsubscribe me as they seemed like a real United Kingdom company. And they actually replied even though I didn’t like what they said.

The spam has an email called “Enquiry” and that is because it targets domain name owners after harvesting domain name whois records for email addresses.

Here is the body of the email I got from sarah.webb@switchads.com:

Hi,

I’m looking to get in touch with the person responsible for display advertising on ******.com, are you able to help?

We have created a really simple platform that works in partnership with your existing advertising solution (e.g. Google AdSense) to help websites like yours generate more revenue and we’ve got strong advertising demand in your sector right now. 

I’d love to discuss setting up a test with you to prove how good SwitchAds really is. Who’s the best person to talk to?

Kind regards,

Sarah Webb
Sales Manager

Switch Concepts Limited
Hounsdown House,
Hounsdown Business Park,
Southampton SO40 9LX
United Kingdom

M: +44 (0) 7585 118336
T: +44 (0) 333 200 1230
switchads.com

As there is no unsubscribe link on the email, I replied to them and I asked them to remove me from their mailing list and got this reply: Continue reading

“Domain Registry of America” Registrar Suspended By ICANN For 90 Days

The registrar BRANDON GRAY INTERNET SERVICES INC. (dba NameJuice.com) that has been behind the ”Domain Registry of America”  (DRoA) or “Domain Renewal Group” scam was suspended by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (“ICANN”) on the 19th of July 2014.

Brandon Gray’s ability to create new Registered Names or initiate inbound transfers of Registered Names is suspended for 90 days pursuant to Section 5.7 of the RAA. The suspension is effective 19 July 2014 at 00:00 UTC and will conclude on 17 October 2014 at 00:00 UTC, or longer if Brandon Gray has not demonstrated compliance on or before 10 October 2014.

The registrar scam sends domain name expiration letters all over the world asking for Continue reading

Warning: Fraudulent ICANN Domain Name Certificates

ICANN issued a warning today regarding some people trying to sell generic top-level domain (gTLD) centificates. These fraudulent certificates claim to protect registrants from something that I don’t quite understand. If you have received such an email please post it on the comments below.

The “certificates” look official and include an unauthorized use of the ICANN logo and the people making them are trying to extort money from registrants.

“ICANN is currently investigating these cases and advises registrants who encounter similar incidents to report to ICANN immediately via an email to Contractual Compliance at compliance@icann.org.”

ICANN recommends that anyone wishing to register a domain name under a generic top-level domain name to do so using an ICANN-accredited registrar. And if you want to buy an already registered domain in the secondary market then you should always use a secure escrow service such as escrow.com or eCop.com. Continue reading

New Spam/Scam Email Targeting Snapnames and An Auction Ending Today

I got an email today that looked a bit suspicious at first glance. The email was send by a Gmail address (snapnamez@gmail.com) and the name was listed as “Domain Auction”. The subject was “LLLL Premium Domains and more…” and the email listed several 4 letter domains as well as other domains that being auctioned at Snapnames.

All domains had direct links to the snapnames auctions. I believe this is a spam email with the senders snapnames affiliate codes embedded in the links. All domains are part of the 2014 Summer Premium Auction that ends today.

But the most serious matter is that the email is trying to pass off as it was send by Snapnames. The scam email is signed off by “John Morozova” that is supposed to be
“VP Sales – Brokerage, Premium Auction and Escrow Services” of Snapnamez.

Do you notice the “z” at the end? I don’t believe that John Morozova is the name of a real person, yet alone someone working at the real Snapnames. Continue reading

Domain Name Scam Alert from BBB (about an Asian domain registration service)

Businesses beware. Scammers in Asia are trying to trick you into paying a premium for your website domain names. Don’t fall for these scare tactics.

How the Scam Works:

You receive an email addressed to the owner of your company. It appears to be from an Asian domain registration service. The email says that a third party company has requested to register your business’s brand name as a website domain in China or elsewhere in Asia.

According to the email, the “domain registrar” realized your company owns that brand name. And they decided to do you a favor and offer to register the domain for you instead of this other company.

The catch? There is no competing business, and the price to purchase the domain is much higher than you would pay elsewhere. Often, the email sender isn’t even an actual domain registration business. He/she simply purchases the domain elsewhere for a few dollars and immediately sells it back to the victim for an inflated price.

Tips for Avoiding Domain Name Scams: Continue reading

Mystery Domain Name for Sale at Ebay.com

I have to admit it. People’s creativity in scams never seizes to amaze me. I was browsing the domain names for sale at Ebay.com when I found this for sale: “Mystery Domain Name”. I was curious to see what great “mystery” domain the seller had for sale. Was it mystery-now-you.com or myname-is-mystery.com? Well guess what? You don’t get to know what crappy domain you are buying until after you have won the auction! And the opening bid is set at $10. The photo posted with this item says that “This Domain Name Can Fit Any Type You Want”.

Isn’t it great? To get this great premium domain name for only $10. Of course I am only kidding!!! I bet it is something like greatest-domainname-ever-fitsanytype.com that the seller bought for $0.99 at Go Daddy. Oh did I forget it comes with free shipping too! So hurry!

Well don’t because the “domain name” didn’t sell the first time and the seller had to relist it. Too bad that somebody lost out on this great! Bid with confidence! NOT!!!

Here is what the seller says:

IMPORTANT: per eBay rules this is NOT a lottery, raffle, sweepstakes, or any form of gambling

 Up for Your Consideration is the Domain Name:

You Are Bidding To Own The Web Domain Name:

It could be an Adult or a Premium  Website Domain NameFor Sale.

Domain Highlights:

This a Mystery Domain Name, like all domain names they are meaningful, easy to remember and has unlimited potential money maker.

This Domain Name covers everything. It can be an adult or an non-adult.

A Non-Adult is a G – PG.

An  Adult Is PG – R, XXX.

This domain name is registered until: 2014 with GoDaddy.The winner will receive a FREE domain name push to their GoDaddy account.

All we need is your GoDaddy Account Number & Email Address used with that account.

Please send this information after you have won the auction.

DON’T MISS OUT ON A DOMAIN NAME.

Bid With Confidence!

I am the Owner and I have the Domain Name in my Account and will Transfer of Ownership the Domain Name winning Bidder.

This Auction is for the Transfer of Ownership of the Domain Name or Domain Names Listed Only. No Website Hosting or Anything Else is Included There are No Hidden or Extra Fees with this Auction. The Winning Bid is What You Pay, Successful Bidders will have Their Domain Transferred for Free to their Own GoDaddy Account.

Getting a GoDaddy account is FREE and takes about 90 seconds.

It is an extremely easy process.

Expiration Date: 2014

The words Teen, Eureka, Talent. Will Sometimes pop up as a Premium Domain Name.

Once Payment has been Received the Transfer will usually be Initiated within 48 Hours. But, Please Allow up to 72 Hours under extreme circumstances. Payment is Expected within 10 Days of Auctions End.

Yes, Joe you are an a$$hole but the worst thing is that you are bad at being one…

I got this spam email from a “fellow domainer”. I used quotes because catching a domain name using a backorder service and then sending spam does not make you a domainer.

But spam is not what bothered me. I get 10′s of emails every day for useless domains that are for sale.

Yes, Joe is an a$$hole and that is not the worst that has happened to him. The worst thing is that he is bad at it.

I love a good a$$hole. A$$holes are usually smart and good at what they do. He is not. All he cared was to send thousands of emails using a spam email list and he didn’t even read his copy twice.

What ticked me off and wrote this post was that that he didn’t even mention the TLD of the domain name that he is selling:

“Recently we have acquired the top TLD domain “FreeDraft” previously unavailable for over 10 years.”

WTF??? Isn’t it enough that you email me this junk domain name out of the blue, quoting an arbitrary and ridiculous price for this domain ($38,500)???

Do I have to guess what domain you are selling too?

Give me a break…

And he also used one of the stupidest spam techniques I have been seeing lately. Putting “Re:” in the subject, implying he is replying to my email, when in fact we have never exchanged a single email.

And yes he sent the same dumb email to at least 2 of my email addresses(1 of which is only used by a handful of domain name whois details) confirming that he is indeed spamming and not sending a legitimate email.

He also doesn’t provide a link or a domain name to his company website. You have to search his email address to find it.

So my advice is to you, Joseph Mahoney, is to try to be a better a$$hole in 2014.
Good luck. You will need it.

In case you are wondering here is his email. Enjoy:

Continue reading

Keep your whois details current – Especially keep your admin email domain registered!

I was checking my domain deciding what domains to renew. I usually also check the other extensions in order to make a decision. When deciding to renew or not a .info domain I noticed that the .net had an registrant email address that used the .biz version. Te only problem was that the .biz was not registered at that time.

I tried to warn the domain name owner (by sending an email that went, surprise, unanswered) that not only he had let the .biz expire and he was risking losing the .net either by missing a renewal notice or if a thief used the .biz to create the .net registrant email address and steal the domain. A couple of days later I noticed that someone bought the .biz and is now parking it.

In fact ICANN’s GNSO is suggesting as a best practice in the Expired Registration Recovery Policy that registrars should advise registered name holders to provide a secondary email point of contact that is not associated with the domain name itself so that in case of expiration, reminders can be delivered to this secondary email point of contact.

So it is always a good idea to keep your whois details current and especially to keep your admin/owner email address domain name registered and renewed. I renew my admin email domains well in advance, usually for 5-10 years. It is good practice to also renew any nameserver domains you may have as well.

New Go Daddy Phishing Attack

Go Daddy made an announcement that there is a phishing attack underway that may affect some of it’s customers. I suggest as a general rule to not click on links inside of emails.

Here is the announcement:

Phishing Attack Affects Some Customers

In an effort to keep you in the know, and to help prevent you from clicking a malicious link, we want to show you the most recent malware scheme we’re seeing. The email looks like this:

Send any suspicious emails you receive as an attachment to phishing@secureserver.net.

For more information on how to handle external phishing attacks, go here.

Go Daddy coupon code scam – Beware!

I was renewing a few domains at Go Daddy and as the last code I had that gave me 32% off any order had expired I searched the internet to find a similar coupon code.

I found one code here for “32% Off All Orders”. As the code was not visible I clicked on the link so the code would be applied to my account and cart at Go Daddy. I noticed a price drop in my cart but also noticed something else. The currency had been changed from USD to GBP (British Pounds). That effectively had the appearance that I was getting a discount but I was actually paying full price. Here is what the cart looks like before and after clicking the coupon link:

Go Daddy Scam - before

Go Daddy Scam – before

Go Daddy Scam - after

Go Daddy Scam – after

The dollar to GBP currency conversion has a 37% difference so it is pretty close to the 32% promised by the coupon code so anyone can be fooled to think that they are getting a discount. Godaddy doesn’t pay it’s affiliates a commission when clients use a coupon code. Using a coupon code nullifies any commission an affiliate could earn. So Go Daddy affiliates are inclined to trick the customer into paying full price for domains names or other services. Beware of this scam because once you pay full price there is no way to get your money back.

By the way here is a code for 30% off any order at Go Daddy: DEC2012B.