Domain Name Renewal Scams Jump

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Domain BuyerTop Member
Cons rev up as .biz and .info domains approach first renewal.

Wendy Brewer, PC Advisor, Tuesday, July 08, 2003

Impending renewal dates for the first .biz and .info domain names are becoming an opportunity for online scammers.

Spam e-mail messages warning domain holders that their addresses are about to expire have been reported to be circulating. The messages to registrants urge immediate payment of the domain registration, and threaten loss of the domain name. But the money doesn't necessarily make its way to a legitimate domain registrar.

Safeguard Offered
Both .biz and .info domain names carry authorization codes, which were put in place to protect against such scammers. Some registration businesses, however, are not automatically providing applicants with these numbers, in a bid to retain the domain holders as their customers.

"What concerns us is that some companies are not aware that if they want to move away from their registration company they need to obtain their authorization code to pass on to the new registration company," says Ken Sorrie, cofounder and director of domain registrar Internetters.co.uk.

"Our advice to all registrants is to start getting your authorization codes now, so come the time of renewal when the domain can be transferred they are not caught out," Sorrie adds.

First Renewals
Authorization codes should be given out free of charge to domain name holders, according to legitimate registrars' standard policy.

Sorrie advises domain holders to ignore all unsolicited e-mail relating to their domain names. If owners are in doubt, they should contact their own registrar.

Registrations for .biz and .info domain names started almost two years ago. The .info domain extension became available in October 2001 and the .biz domain name became available in November 2001. The first renewals will consequently come due this fall.
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