SILICON.COM — July 7, 2003

SILICON.COM — July 7, 2003 –Fake domain name renewal spam warning — Firms told to be wary of unsolicited requests for .biz and .info registration fees

Businesses are being warned about a spate of rogue firms spamming domain name holders with fake renewal notices asking for money.

The spammers are targeting owners of .biz and .info names with emails warning that their domain name is about to expire and asking for a fee to renew it.

Cambridgeshire Trading Standards and Cambridgeshire Police are now investigating a company calling itself Dot Biz Domain Renewal that was spamming thousands of .biz registrants asking for renewal fees.

Ken Sorrie, director of domain name reseller Internetters, is calling for a crackdown on the spammers and said they are taking advantage of the first .biz and .info renewal dates in October and November to try and cash in on people’s uncertainty about the process.

He said: “This kind of foul play is bringing the industry into disrepute. Because some companies are unable to get business through respected methods, they resort to spamming. There is now enormous pressure for ICANN to introduce a code of practice and enforce registrar contracts.”

Internetters is also warning that some domain name registrars are withholding or making it difficult for people to get hold of authorisation codes needed to move the registration of their web address to another company.

He said: “What also concerns us is that some registrants are not aware that if they want to move away from their registration company they need to obtain their authorisation code from that company to pass onto to the new registration company. Many unscrupulous resellers are either not giving the authorisation codes to their customers, or are imposing ‘release fees’ to move away.”

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