What are the implications of someone else registering my domain ("slamming")?
August 13, 2006 6:22 PM   Subscribe

Why does a WHOIS/LOOKUP search show that my website domain is registered to (1) my name at (2) not my address under either (3) namejuice.com or droa.com and say that my website is "locked"? My web designer can make changes to the site. Does this mean that I am going to have to pay some sort of extortionary premium to get my site back when it expires next year? P.S. -- It's pretty easy to find plenty of complaints about droa.com's "slamming" of domain names via Google. I assume that the term "slamming" is either what I am talking about or related to it.
posted by Mr. Justice to Computers & Internet (13 answers total)
Unless I'm misreading what you're asking: "Locked" means that the domain name is locked from changes without the owner of it unlocking it.

This means that someone cannot usurp your registration of it through a forged "domain transfer", or at least attempts to provide such protection.
posted by twiggy at 6:25 PM on August 13, 2006

Upon further review: Holy crap, you are already paying an extraordinary premium to have your domain registered via droa.com .. what a ripoff.

There are cheaper, better domain name registrars out there.
posted by twiggy at 6:28 PM on August 13, 2006

You can transfer your domain name to another registrar if you want to pay less for the renewal next year - just make sure your current registrar unlocks it. That's what I did with my site (my domain was a gift from a friend who registered it through some weird australian site and i just had my host switch it over for me).
posted by echo0720 at 6:36 PM on August 13, 2006

The WHOIS just states whatever information is set by the person who registered it. At any rate, you should transfer your domain to a less chintzy registrar. Sounds like your web designer doesn't really know how to hunt for good deals or gets a pretty good bulk deal from them. Or works for them.

Beyond that, calm down and quit assuming things.
posted by cellphone at 6:40 PM on August 13, 2006

droa probably sent one of their looks-like-a-renewal-bill's to someone who believed it, and filled out what was actually a transfer authorization.
posted by baylink at 6:49 PM on August 13, 2006

Wait, did you register your domain name or did your web designer? If it was your web designer, have them give you the login info to your registrar, go in there, and change your details to your correct information, and transfer it to a more reputable registrar.

Isn't DROA the company that sends fake warning notices to everyone with registered domain names trying to con them into signing up for their ridiculous services? The name & logo look familiar, like junk mail I used to get.
posted by tastybrains at 6:52 PM on August 13, 2006

that my website is "locked"? My web designer can make changes to the site

"Locked" means it can't be transferred without you asking your registrar to unlock it. It's normal practice to enable this by default, since it stops another person transferring your domain to another registrar, thereby taking control of it. Nothing suspicious, as long as they make it easy to unlock it.

(It doesn't mean you can't change the settings or modify your website)
posted by cillit bang at 6:56 PM on August 13, 2006

It makes perfect sense to not have your registration email address be on your registered domain - after all, if the domain is de-registered/stolen/lapses, you still want to be contactable by the registrar, or to be able to contact the registrar from an address they know is from you (and not the domain hijacker/squatter who's just stolen your domain).

Which ties in with the "locked" status - in theory, registration changes can only be made by request from the registration email address, or by some other even-more-difficult-to-forge method.

Note I said "theory", not "practice" ;-)

And n-ing the advice to get away from DROA. The only domain-related physical junk mail I get is the "fake bills" from DROA, similar fake bills from the (now expired?) DROAust, and exhortations from MelbourneIT to move to them and pay 4 times as much as I'm currently paying...
posted by Pinback at 8:54 PM on August 13, 2006

To clarify, my website used to be registered under both my name and my address. I am not sure when this changed.
posted by Mr. Justice at 5:10 AM on August 14, 2006

Mr. Justice: this probably changed when you signed a bogus "renewal" form from this DROA company. Did you originally register it with DROA?
posted by twiggy at 8:39 AM on August 14, 2006

Thanks, that is an excellent question.

I *think* I must have signed the bogus renewal form some years ago. I don't recall doing this and am embarrassed to have fallen for (in retrospect) this obvious scam. The reason I think I did it is that I found a scan of the bogus renewal form online and it looks vaguely familiar.

No, I was not originally registered with DROA. How do I get registered somewhere else.
posted by Mr. Justice at 8:58 AM on August 14, 2006

I fend off several phone calls a month from those bastards at DROA. They are nothing but pure scum. (Obvious VoIP calls from India, and they're very pushy and very rude. I am not pleasant back to them at all, and they still keep calling.)

Get someone to help you get your domain away from them. quickly. Even if it costs you a few bucks, stay the hell away from DROA.

We register our domains (at my day job) with markmonitor.com and have never had problems. Whatever registrar you move stuff to, have them lock the domains so stuff like the DROA scam (hopefully) won't happen again.

You need to read the fine print at DROA and see if they'll even let you transfer the domain away. I've heard stories about people having a hell of a time getting their domains back from those slimeballs.
Do that first. Then report back to us.
posted by drstein at 12:22 PM on August 14, 2006

I get 3-4 bogus "renewal" letters from these jerks (droa.com) a year. I would recommend moving to a reputable registrar ASAP (I use both Dotster and GoDaddy).
posted by mrbill at 1:17 PM on August 14, 2006

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