An internet domain was fraudulently registered in my name -- what should I do about it?
November 19, 2007 9:54 AM   Subscribe

An internet domain was fraudulently registered in my name -- what should I do about it?

I noticed a strange charge from a web hosting firm on my credit card statement, called the company to find out what it was for, and learned that it was for a domain and hosting package. They reversed the charge when I told them that it was fraudulent. There's still a domain under somebody else's control with all of my contact information in the WHOIS records, though (except for what presumably is his/her e-mail address). What should I do? I don't want somebody flooding the internet with spam or doing something else sleazy with a domain registered in my name...
posted by Ø to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
This question from a different perspective seems to indicate that fraudulent contact information is a valid reason for your domain to be taken away. You should use This InterNIC form to report it.
posted by Plutor at 10:00 AM on November 19, 2007

(If you haven't already, cancel the card!)

You could, in theory, just take control of the domain. After all, you paid for it and it's in your name. You may have to fax a copy of your driver's license to prove that it's really you. And then, confuse the hell out of the scammers. ;)
posted by fogster at 11:19 AM on November 19, 2007

I agree with fogster, start taking it over. A couple phone calls and the right form faxed in should take care of this problem.
posted by maxpower at 1:20 PM on November 19, 2007

How can you take over a domain that someone else has the email address for? Isn't this basically the most important part of registering a domain name?
posted by shownomercy at 1:51 PM on November 19, 2007

If you did somehow try to take control of the domain, when law enforcement turns up you may have a harder time of explaining that the dodgy stuff is not yours. Of course, there may not be any dodgy stuff. Are you prepared to take that risk?
posted by Lebannen at 3:33 PM on November 19, 2007

Is the site up yet? If so you may want to wait a bit and then take control of it. Let them build up some traffic. I guess you should make sure the site is not going to be used for fraudulent type activity. On the whois info for the admin/tech- did they use your phone number?
posted by bkeene12 at 7:28 PM on November 19, 2007

A lot of misdeeds can be done with a domain name without ever pitching a site on it. The presence, or lack, of a site indicates nothing.

Report now to InterNIC, and to the registrar. You can also point out to the registrar that the payment on it has been reversed due to credit card fraud. They should already know, but sometimes the billing dept is slow to pass the word on to the registration dept.
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 7:37 PM on November 19, 2007

This is the tip of an iceberg. They have your identity. Whoever used your credit card will likely try it on other purchases too. I would report it to the credit agencies and to the police.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 7:59 PM on November 19, 2007

Actually - if you try to take over the name the hosting company/registrar/reseller you (didn't) buy it from can reverse the chargeback. If you have no interest in the name then I would inform the company that you would greatly appreciate it if they would update the contact information to something other than yours.

Chances are I know the company - feel free to email me and I can tell you exactly what to say to get their attention.
posted by FlamingBore at 8:35 PM on November 19, 2007

Who was the domain registered through?

Most major registrars have a fraud department.

Do whatever you can to get word to them that this transaction was fraudulent.

More than likely they'll cancel the domain registration immediately. Depending on how old the domain is, it may even be released back to the registry, which means you can then grab it and register it yourself.
posted by phredgreen at 8:25 AM on November 20, 2007

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