Domain name sales scam. Don't get caught out!
Avrotros TV programme Opgelicht?!, highlighted domain name sales scam on 13 October. SIDN cooperated with the Avrotros for this feature.
Broadcast Opgelicht?! about domain name sales scam
You recently started your own business and immediately set up a website. You chose a domain name and had it registered, so that potential clients would be able to see at a glance who you are and what you do. You sell mainly to the Dutch market, so you only registered a .nl domain name and didn't bother with any other extensions. After all, you said to yourself, you can always register the matching .com domain name later, if the need arises. It's nice to dream of running an international business, but one step at a time is the best approach.
Then, out of the blue, you are called by someone from a firm that apparently checks for duplicate domain name registrations, or something similar. And your caller has picked up an issue. Believe it or not, another company is looking to set up a website with almost the same domain name as yours – only using the .com extension instead of .nl. There could be serious implications for your trade. 'Fortunately', your caller can save the day, because, according to him, you have first claim on domain names like your own. If you act very quickly, you can claim the .com version of your domain name for five or ten years. Just give him the word, and he'll sort it out right away. It'll cost you 39 euros a year (plus VAT, of course), payable in advance. Opgelicht?! receives a steady flow of reports about such sales tactics. Most of the reports come from people who have decided not to go along with the proposal and later discovered that no one had wanted to register the .com versions of their domain names anyway. Sometimes, however, Opgelicht?! hears from businesses that have gone along with the sales pitch and immediately registered the .com-version of their name... only to realise afterwards that they have fallen for a scam and have paid several times over the odds for a domain name that they didn't really need. They have been panicked into buying by their caller, who kept stressing the urgency in a very misleading way.
Source: Avrotros Opgelicht?!
SIDN helps with Opgelicht?! broadcast
SIDN often hears about similar selling techniques being used. Although we have issued a number of warnings in the past, the problem continues to resurface every so often. We were therefore pleased to cooperate with a feature on the Avrotros TV programme Opgelicht?!, which highlighted the issue on 13 October. If you missed the broadcast, you can watch it here.