Domain slamming is the fraudulent registration of a domain. It occurs when unscrupulous con artists send out emails to unsuspecting webmasters containing false advertising and misrepresented information.
It’s important to understand how the scheme works in order to protect yourself from losing your domain.
Follow the recommendations below to protect your digital assets. This is how to protect your website and your wallet from domain slamming:
- Learn more about fake renewal and trademark offers
- Find out who sent the email
- Protect your account access
- Lock your domain to stop transfers
- Check your administrative details
- Use extensible provisioning protocol
- Use a privacy service
- Register as a trademark
- Monitor the expiration dates of your domains
- Purchase domain names that are similar
- File a dispute
Knowledge is a powerful tool and finding out more about these fraudulent emails is key when it comes to protecting your site.
Learn More about Fake Renewal and Trademark Offers
A scam email may arrive in your inbox with an offer to purchase a domain name that belongs to somebody else. The unwary owner of the domain does not know anything about the scam.
This is not a genuine offer and the intention of sending the email is to provide you with a false sense of legitimacy. These emails mimic the look of a legitimate offer that would be sent out by a domain name company.
Individuals are sending out these emails and getting paid to lure people in.
You may also receive an email that looks like it’s coming from a registrar saying that it’s time for you to renew your domain name or offering to provide a trademark for it. Any time that you receive an email regarding your domain name, treat it as suspicious and then investigate.
Find out Who Sent the Email
It’s easy to determine whether an email has been sent by an individual or by a company. Simply open the email and then click on the sender information to find out where it is coming from.
Individual spammers often create email addresses quickly so watch out for email addresses such as email@example.com, which contains a lot of gibberish or something like firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also dig a little deeper when you see an email that looks suspicious but you aren’t quite sure whether it is legitimate or not. You can conduct a search on the WHOIS website if the email address seems to be attached to a domain name.
Here you’ll be able to find out who owns the domain and whether this email is actually linked to your registrar. In most cases, it won’t be. You should continue to consider the email as suspicious until you learn more.
Protect Your Account Access
Make sure that access to your account is protected with your domain registrar by choosing a strong password. This password should not be one that you regularly use on other sites.
You should also ensure that legitimate emails that would normally be sent out by your provider won’t be blocked and sent to your spam folder.
Lock Your Domain to Stop Transfers
Make sure that you have locked your domain name to prevent illegitimate transfers or modifications. When you lock your domain you’ll need to provide explicit permission before it can be transferred. This is how to protect your website and your wallet from domain slamming.
Check Your Administrative Details
Take a look at the registration of your domain name to make sure that you are the person listed as the legal owner and registrant of the name. You should also be listed as the administrative contact so that only you have the ability to make any alterations to the domain record.
Your name must also be listed as the technical contact. If there are any technical issues that arise you will be the one that is contacted. You should never allow any other third-party to have access to the account.
Even your employees should not be listed as any form of contact. Your domain name defines your company and you must keep it protected at all costs.
Make sure that you have locked your domain name to prevent illegitimate transfers or modifications. When you lock your name you’ll need to provide explicit permission before it can be transferred.
Use Extensible Provisioning Protocol
When you implement EPP you are adding an extra security layer to your domain name.
There is less risk of the name being transferred improperly since you’ll need to provide a certain code to the registrar and this code is known only by you. You’ll be asked to supply this code before any type of transfer can be made.
Use a Privacy Service
It’s always a good idea to use a domain privacy service that provides you with a private registration. This will help weed out spam telemarketers and emailers and provide another layer of protection against domain and identity theft.
You would only receive email correspondence from your domain name registrar since other companies would be blocked out.
Register As a Trademark
If you have a domain name that specifically identifies your brand, services or goods and you live in the United States, you may be able to register your domain name as a service mark or as a trademark.
This is done through the United States Patent and Trademark Office. This can help prevent third parties from using domain names that are similar to yours.
Monitor the Expiration Dates of Your Domains
You should keep a running spreadsheet of the domain names you own and when they are all set to expire.
When you monitor the expiration dates you’ll be able to keep up with the renewal dates and won’t unintentionally forget that it’s time to renew. You can also choose to renew the name of your domain for a number of years instead of doing it annually.
Purchase Domain Names That Are Similar
If you haven’t already, you should consider purchasing domain names that are similar to the ones you have now. For example, if you own the domain name xyz.com, it would be highly recommended to purchase other similar domains such as:
If you live in another country and there is a specific domain name registration country code available, you should consider buying that as well. For example, if you live in Canada, you should also purchase the domain name xyz.ca.
Many webmasters also invest in domain names that are common misspellings of the original domain name or purchase a plural vision of the name. Examples of this would be:
When you have ownership over all of these different sites, you have more control over your domain name and company trademark.
File a Dispute
If you ever find out that somebody has infringed on your trademark, a domain dispute can be lodged. This dispute would be submitted according to the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy through ICANN.
Never open a domain renewal email and assume that it is authentic until you have investigated it further. Make sure that you can verify the sender of the email before renewing your domain name.
The best practice is to contact your domain name provider to make sure that the email was legitimate. You should also check your domain name expiration sheet to make sure that it is really time to renew your domain.
This is a brand-new digital world that we are living in and when you are in business, your domain name may possibly be the most important and valuable asset that you own.
Keep that in mind when you are considering the costs involved in keeping it safe and secure. Many of the precautions listed above offer extreme value for the money in terms of protection.
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