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New domain scam - beware

6:43 pm on Jan 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

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One of our customers just received a call from a Company in Leicester UK, who advised him that a Company within a 50 mile radius had submitted an application and made a creditcard payment for registration of a .com and .co.uk similar to his company name.

The caller claimed they can block the application in return for them registering these names for 5 years (30/annum/per name) or 10 years (25/annum/per name).

I checked and the names did not show on whois as registered. It could be genuine, but I think its a new scam because:
- Registras don't check this kind of thing in my experience, they will take the money from the first person to pay.
- They didn't contact me (the admin contact).

7:15 pm on Jan 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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That's pretty clever. Now if they didn't lie and just sent a notice saying you should reg these names, they might actually get some sales.
12:31 pm on Jan 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

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This has been going on for several years.

It's a blatant lie, but enough people fall for it to make it profitable.

If you can get their company name + phone number, report them to trading standards.

Alternatively, put them on hold and leave them there.

5:01 pm on Jan 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

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This is a very old scam. I've had hundreds of these calls.

You can either ignore it - or if the client now wants the domain just go and register it yourselve with your preferred registrar. You should explain the scam to the client to give these people less potential business the next time they target the client.

Ukwebmaster's suggestion about reporting them to trading standards is very good - but only if the client does it ;) - don't waste time on it.

Putting them on hold is much more fun - but again I wouldn't waste time on it.

These people pray on the fears of inexperienced website owners and - even if they are "just doing their job" deserve no respect from you.

Staying on this subject, I had a call at home from an annoying sales person the other day who wouldn't take no for an answer. When I said good bye and hung up on him he immediately called back - so again I said "no thanks" and hung up. The third time I said "I'm listening" then promptly put handset down on the table. I could still hear him talking a minute later :)

7:26 pm on Feb 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Damn, that's as bad as getting rid of fleas.
3:53 pm on Feb 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

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If they call put them on hold and every two minutes pick up the phone and say "putting you through - please hold"


Tell them that you read about this very thing in the business pages of a newspaper and know precisely what to do next - then hang up.

12:26 pm on Feb 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I'm starting to enjoy this thread now :)
It made me remember the following script I found on WebmasterWorld on 2002. Its for the U.S. but I guess the gist of it is fine for the UK too. The original poster on WebmasterWorld said the following was Modified from [junkbusters.com...]
Here's a script YOU can use next time you get a cold call. They have their script, now you have yours.

Any question they refuse to answer that has a "$" Dollar Sign next to, you can sue them for $500 - $1,500.

-I am recording this call. Is this ok with you?
-Are you calling to sell something?
-$ What is your first and last name. Spell that please.
-$ What is your phone number? Area code first, please. (They will often refuse or say it's outgoing only. I would
reply, you can be sued for that. You are required by law to give me your phone number and I am logging this call, by the way.)
-$ What's the name of the organization you're calling for?
-$ Does that organization keep a list of numbers it's been asked not to call?
-$ I would like my number(s) put on that list. Can you add me to the list?
-Does the company you work for also make telemarketing calls for any other organizations? (If they answer no, skip the next question.)
-$ (If yes) Can you make sure your company won't call me for any other organization?
-$ Will your company keep my number on its do-not-call list for at least ten years?
-$ And does your company have a written policy that says that on paper?
-$ Can you send me a copy of it?
-What's your supervisor's first and last name?
-What's your employer's business name, address and main telephone number?
-Are you calling for a tax-exempt nonprofit organization?
-Is this call based on a previously established business relationship?

Keep this script near all telephones, and keep a call log of the answers to these questions.

Use your discretion in how many questions you want to ask. The primary goal is to reduce the calls. Make sure you don't hang up the phone without having them put you on the Do Not Call List. And try to pump them for info and get out of them if they are calling for a telemarketing organization. By doing so, you can be placed on that entire organization's do not call list, potentially saving you from many calls.

Another goal is to get them to stop their sales pitch. What I personally find so annoying is that they'll pretend they aren't cold calling, or you'll tell them you're not interested and they'll keep pushing you and forcing their sales pitch on you. From testing this script, I've noticed that from your first question, I'm taping this call, is that alright with you, they are on the defensive. Much less interested in giving the sales pitch. And you can start to view the call as a game instead of an annoyance."

Other things to say to a cold caller:
- "What are you wearing?"
- "I am a budhist monk, I have no interest in material things".

12:36 pm on Feb 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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This happened to me a few weeks ago. A company phoned my company (my real day job) to tell us that the .co.uk version of our domain name was to be bought by another party and that we could buy it immediately for 150 for 2 years registration.

I kept them on the line and at the same time logged into my host CP and registered the domain myself in my companies name for 7.50 for 2 years. At the end of the call I asked them why the name was already registered and they told me it wasn't. I asked them to check the whois in a couple of days, laughed and said my goodbyes.

Heh heh


8:44 pm on Feb 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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"logged into my host CP and registered the domain myself in my companies name for 7.50 for 2 years"

nice one ska! i think that i would do the same. you should have pointed it to your existing site and then told them to browse to it! lol


2:46 pm on Feb 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I had a call at home from an annoying sales person

I usually just say, "Sorry, speak in English." They panic and hang up.

This may not work for you if you live in a country where most people can speak English. :)

re: OP, I never had that domain scam pulled on me, but I recently had the "I'll buy your domain" followed by the "Get it appraised first" scam. The kind "Dr." pointed me to a thread on a fake discussion forum in which he asked for recommendations on domain appraisal companies.