Domain name scams: be very careful!
New cases of (dummy) companies that try to make you transfer your domain name to them with false arguments, or that plainly try to swindle you, have once again been reported! We will examine two of these dishonest practices and give you a few tips to protect your domain.
Scam attempt with false invoices
DNS Belgium published a warning notice against a new form of scam. Companies receive an “invoice” from “.be Domein Host”, regarding the payment of 98.80 euros for the registration of a domain. This invoice is NEITHER from your regular registrar, NOR from DNS Belgium, and you should NOT pay it. Several elements of the “invoice” clearly show that this is nothing but a scam: the phone number is not assigned yet, the bank account number is the number of a Spanish account, and there is no mention whatsoever of the domain name in question! So, here is a good piece of advice: throw this invoice away without further ado!
Smooth talk over the phone
Another dishonest practice, for which we already published a warning notice in October 2014, consists of contacting companies by telephone, allegedly on behalf of a Dutch company. The scammer tells you that one of his customers commissioned him to register a certain domain with the .eu or .com domain extension. And, as it happens, you own that name with the .be extension! The company, however, wants to give you the opportunity to register this variation before anyone else, provided you register the domain for a duration of 10 years...
Do not get fooled! The company behind these phone calls is not a regular registrar, and you have no guarantee whatsoever that they will be able to register your domain name for 10 years...
Best practices: this is how you can protect your domain
Your domain name may face other dangers. Cybersquatters are always watching you. If you forget to renew the registration of your domain, they are ready to do it in no time. Domain theft is also common practice: a thief may request a domain transfer on your behalf using false documents.
Getting your domain back in case of loss of theft involves quite a lot of time and money. And since your domain name is your most precious asset in the digital world, here are some tips to protect your domain:
- Always keep an eye on the expiry date of your domain name. Combell always sends you payment orders in time, via both regular mail and e-mail. In addition, you can very easily manage your domain names via the handy MyCombell control panel.
- Check on DNS Belgium or any Whois service if the contact information for your domain(s) is correct. Make sure that no contact details of external web developers or marketing companies are mentioned as the domain name owner. The domain name owner should be the owner of your company itself or an authorised in-house collaborator working for your company.
- For the contact information, do not use a free e-mail address provided by services like Hotmail. If you have not been using this free account for a while, your address will be cancelled. The cybersquatter will then be able to register your address and steal your domain.
- Never click on links appearing in e-mails about your domain name that have not been sent by your registrar. Only your registrar will send you renewal proposals. In case of doubt, please contact your registrar.
- Add the domain name used by your registrar to your list of “trusted senders” in your spam filter. This way, you will not miss any important e-mail from your registrar!
- Renew your domain in time. Do not wait until the last moment to renew the registration of your domain. By the way, why not register for a longer period so that you can put your mind at ease for say 5 years?
If you follow these tips, you do not have to worry about cybersquatters! Do you have any questions or problems? Or is there anything you find suspicious? Please contact our collaborators, who will be happy to assist you!