Domain Name scams are still worrying business owners

17th October 2018

Every day it seems that there is a new scam doing the rounds and this time the culprits are an outfit called UK Domains Trademarks.

Let’s be clear, what they are doing in NOT illegal. It is, however, scaremongering and preying on busy business owners. And they are lying.

Much like the recent scam we wrote about from WOTRA who try to convince you to part with cash to register your new trademark, it seems that UK Domain Trademarks are using the same publicly available records to pull a similar stunt.

As some of you may know from previous posts, we recently registered our logo as a Trademark and since it has gone onto the register we have started to receive emails from a range of sources, mostly trying to convince us to part with cash for nothing.

This is no exception.

The email we have received tells us that some unnamed ‘third party’ have apparently been in touch with UK Domain Trademarks requesting that they register the domain www.aqueous-digital.net.

What is says is;

Dear Sir/Madam,

We have received a request for the registration of the website www.aqueous-digital.net Our system shows that you are the owner of www.aqueous-digital.co.uk. This can have far-reaching consequences for you in the future. We are therefore under the statutory obligation to contact you, in order to offer you the first right of registration. This means that we will reject the application of the third party and the website:

     www.aqueous-digital.net

After agreement we will link this website to:

     www.aqueous-digital.co.uk

This means that you will have the first option on the domain name, in order to avoid possible future problems.

UK Domains Trademarks Scam

This whole section of the email is riddled with problems.

Firstly, who is this unnamed third party and why on earth would they want an obscure domain extension of our name? If they think they can use it to compete against us they won’t get anywhere are we are covered, legally, by the law of Passing Off.

So, the assertion that this could have ‘far reaching consequences’ is frankly nonsense.

Then, they say they are under statutory obligation to contact us.

No, you’re not.

You’re doing this because you’ve found or email on our website and you think we might be stupid enough to fall for this.

The next section gets even better.

They say;

We are usually under the obligation to register the domain name and to protect it for a period of 10 years. The annual price for the .NET extension is £19.75 per year. This means a one-off payment of £197.50.

Absolute tosh. There is no obligation, legal, moral or otherwise to do such a thing. What’s more, the price of a .net domain, depending on where you want to buy it, can be less than £10 a year.

We know because we’ve bought aqueous-digital.net for £9.99. And there is no need to buy any domain for ten years in the future.

And that’s really all you need to know about this scam.

Don’t fall for it as it’s completely unnecessary. In most cases, there is no need to buy these obscure domain extensions as no one can legally use them against you, especially if you have a trademark on your name.

Who are UK Domain Transfers?

So, what do we actually know about UK Domain Transfers? Who are they?

Well, we can tell that their domain name ownership is hidden but the domain and website only came into existence on 16th July 2018. A brand new website for an old scam.

The domain ownership is hidden but the Whois data points to the registrant being based in the Netherlands. This is further confirmed as a view behind the scenes on the website shows the website is written in Dutch.

They are using a standard WordPress website, hosted with GoDaddy with a Google tracking code of UA-122837599-1 and they are optimising the website using the Yoast SEO plug in.

If you want to get in touch with them then they provide a helpful office address in London where they claim to be based but a cursory check shows this to be no more than A Regus serviced office address. In other words, they won’t be there if you turn up looking for them. And no surprise really because they are in the Netherlands!

CONTACT US

For more information about our privacy practices, if you have questions, or if you would like to make a complaint, please contact us by e-mail at info@ukdt.org or by mail using the details provided below:

22 Long Acre, Covent Garden, LONDON, LND, WC2E 9LY, United Kingdom

The full whois data is shown below;

 

WHOIS Result

Close WHOIS

Domain Name: UKDT.ORG

Registry Domain ID: D402200000006806110-LROR

Registrar WHOIS Server: whois.godaddy.com

Registrar URL: http://www.whois.godaddy.com

Updated Date: 2018-09-15T03:47:52Z

Creation Date: 2018-07-16T18:41:47Z

Registry Expiry Date: 2019-07-16T18:41:47Z

Registrar Registration Expiration Date:

Registrar: GoDaddy.com, LLC

Registrar IANA ID: 146

Registrar Abuse Contact Email:

Registrar Abuse Contact Phone: +1.4806242505

Reseller:

Domain Status: clientDeleteProhibited https://icann.org/epp#clientDeleteProhibited

Domain Status: clientRenewProhibited https://icann.org/epp#clientRenewProhibited

Domain Status: clientTransferProhibited https://icann.org/epp#clientTransferProhibited

Domain Status: clientUpdateProhibited https://icann.org/epp#clientUpdateProhibited

Registrant Organization: Domeinnaam Register

Registrant State/Province: NETHERLANDS

Registrant Country: NL

Name Server: NS66.DOMAINCONTROL.COM

Name Server: NS65.DOMAINCONTROL.COM

DNSSEC: unsigned

URL of the ICANN Whois Inaccuracy Complaint Form https://www.icann.org/wicf/)

>>> Last update of WHOIS database: 2018-10-17T09:33:30Z <<<

Conclusion

It’s another ‘money for nothing’ scam which delivers zero value to your business or organisation.

They will simply buy the domain in their name (so you won’t ever own it) then do what we did in thirty seconds, which is to point that domain at our main website.

It’s not technically difficult and you are paying them almost £200 +VAT for nothing.

In summary. if you get one of these emails in your inbox, just hit delete and block the sender. You’ll sleep easier for it.