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Caution: Domain Name Phishing Scams on the Rise

by Tim Attwood on October 31, 2008

Many of us are familiar with phishing scams due to the many banking scams on the internet. For those of you who aren’t aware of what phishing is, it is the process of attempting to steal personal or private information such as usernames, passwords or account details by posing as a trusted company, generally using a fake but authentic-looking email.

We recently learned about some new types of phishing scams that are going on, and we wanted to let you know about them so you can take extra care not to fall victim. This recent attack is targeting domain name owners. Some domain name owners have received emails that look like they are coming from their domain name registrar, and they are asked to click on a link to log in to their account. However the email is a fake, and the link leads to a fake website. The scammers use this fake website to try to collect domain name login information, so that they can then steal the domain name from the legitimate owner.

So far these types of scams have been limited to domain owners who are registered with Network Solutions and a small number of other domain name registrars. Nevertheless, we would like to caution all domain name owners about such emails. If you receive an email from your domain name registrar, please make sure that you inspect it thoroughly to ensure it is legitimate. If there is a link in the email, make sure that it leads to the right website. Check the URL in your browser’s address bar to ensure you are actually on the correct website, and not a fake web site.

Make sure that the URL in your browser address bar matches the website you are trying to visit before you start entering your login information

If you are at all unsure, we recommend that you open a brand new browser window and manually type in the URL of your registrar, rather than following a link from an email.

If you have registered your domain name with myhosting.com or mail2web.com, and you have received an email which you are suspicious of, we ask you to forward the email to our Customer Support Department. If you are ever unsure about a domain name notification email or are concerned about the validity of any domain name related email, please let us know.

Thank you,

Tim Attwood
Product Manager
SoftCom Technology Consulting, Inc.

Related posts:

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  2. Phishing and Malware Warning for myhosting.com Customers
  3. Domain Name Security: Protecting your Brand
  4. IE8 Scammers: Microsoft Teaches An Important Lesson On Online Security
  5. Domain Name Transfers made easy

{ 5 comments }

Stewart Engelman July 24, 2009 at 11:08 PM

Hello,

Thank you for a good lesson to all. Just for completeness, I thought I’d mention another thing that’s going on, sort of a semi-scam. I am a domain reseller, and I own quite a few domains. At the moment I can’t remember the name of the company, but I get alot of emails from them, usually about 60 days before one of my domains is about to expire, warning me that I am in danger of losing my domain if I do not renew. This is of course a true statement, but the company sending the letters is not my registrar. What they are in effect doing is trying to trick you into transferring your domain at best, and at worst are just trying to steal your money. My advice is that anyone who receives one of these letters should look up the “WhoIs” record for their domain, and make sure the letter sender matches the registrar listed at ICANN. These letters look very official, not like sales letters at all, and I bet alot of people could be fooled by them if they don’t take the time to investigate properly.

Randy5 October 15, 2010 at 8:28 AM

Thanks for those tips, Stewart. This sounds like a clever scheme, and one I might have even fallen for myself!

One IT NZ Cloud Hosting January 16, 2011 at 8:52 PM

I have also received scams of this nature from some of my New Zealand customers saying they received emails informing them that they can renew their domain names with some Australian company. They only seem to target .com and .net domains though and not .co.nz ones.

Stoddard April 16, 2011 at 3:58 PM

Yow, reading about all of these scams makes my head hurt. Still, forewarned is forearmed.

Texas2Step September 6, 2011 at 2:34 AM

I’m not surprised the fake domain-renewal letters look official. These crooks put a lot of time and effort into producting quality work.

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