I bought a domain. Now I'm getting scam phone calls. How do I stop them?
January 26, 2017 10:24 AM   Subscribe

I signed up for a domain name and Web hosting for the first time ever. I haven't set up the Web site yet, but my name, e-mail and phone number must have been added to some database that scammers scrape. Almost every day I get a new robocall from a new number based in a different state. Also shortly after signing up I got some e-mails from strangers offering help with setting up my new Web site. I don't care about the e-mails, but how can I stop the robocalls?

The company I signed up the domain and hosting through was WebHostFace: https://www.webhostface.com/

I didn't get these scam phone calls before signing up, but I'm getting them now.

I've ignored most of the calls, but the one or two I listened to said things like "This is THE BANK. You need to verify your numbers with us. Please call this number."
posted by Sleeper to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Your details are probably in the "whois" record.
Try looking up your domain here: https://who.is

For what it's worth, I registered a few domains through namecheap.com and they offer a service called "whoisguard", which overwrites the whois info with anonymizing info.
posted by jozxyqk at 10:28 AM on January 26, 2017

Turn on domain privacy immediately, even if you have to pay extra for it. It'll remove your actual contact details from WHOIS. But it may be too late: there are bots that look for new domain registrations and add them to all kinds of marketing lists, and once that information is out there, it's impossible to unring that bell.

A little over a year ago I made the mistake of registering a domain without domain privacy. I turned it on a couple days later after realizing I didn't, but we still get letters in the mail addressed with a business name of the domain name I registered, for all kinds of things from legit stuff like Comcast Business to shadier stuff like sham SEO listing services. Around the same time I started getting an increase in robocalls, which until your question I never considered were part of the domain registration. Those have never let up, but call blocking apps on my phone have helped that immensely.
posted by zsazsa at 10:33 AM on January 26, 2017 [2 favorites]

Yeah, it's basically too late for the robocalls. I'd still turn it on whoisguard, though to prevent visitors to your site from having access your phone number and address... it's like $2/ a year or something.
posted by Huck500 at 10:43 AM on January 26, 2017 [1 favorite]

I use NoMoRobo.com on my home phone number. Works pretty darn well.
posted by AugustWest at 10:50 AM on January 26, 2017 [2 favorites]

Check out Nomorobo. It's free for digital landlines (doesn't work on analog copper lines), and has a free trial and is then $1.99/month for iphones. (Android version in the works, according to the website.)

I haven't tried it on mobile yet, but I have it on a landline and it's fabulous. One robocall ring gets through, and then poof, gone.
posted by current resident at 10:50 AM on January 26, 2017

ATT just started a anti robot system that is working great with my phone. I used to get 1-2 a day, now it is one a week or so. AT&T Call Protect

And then there is the delightful Jolly Roger!

posted by silsurf at 11:12 AM on January 26, 2017 [1 favorite]

I would recommend that you get a google voice number (or some other number that goes nowhere), change your contact number to THAT, then enable privacy on your domain, and then change it back. Hopefully that way some people will grab the new number.

FWIW, I found that the calls drop off very quickly a few days after you update the info.
posted by Phredward at 12:06 PM on January 26, 2017

On a cellphone, truecaller works well.
posted by idb at 2:02 PM on January 26, 2017

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