Web Design & Local SEO for Small Businesses

Scam

Domain Service Notice – SCAM

Search engine registration e-mail scam

This mornings scam offering in my inbox was a new one to me. A notifcation of “Domain name search engine registration” expiration.
As you might imagine I have quite a few domain names under my control, so to find this email got me a bit confused.

Basically it starts out making out the domain name is up for renewal (it wasn’t), but then you read on and it says

“Failure to complete your Domain name search engine registration by the expiration date may result in cancellation of this offer making it difficult for your customers to locate you on the web. ”

So they’re claiming that if you don’t pay your ranking and ability to be found in search engine will be effected. DO NOT believe them.

So some pointers that should let you know you it’s a scam .

It’s sent from a hotmail email account – ok so not all hotmail email is dodgy but it’s temporary, easy to get hold of and not something I would expect a reputable company to use. This is something to consider when setting up your new business/ site most domains come with emails addresses use them, it will at least give your potential clients a little more confidence that you are who you say you are.

The facts were wrong. The domain expiry date was wrong, although adding tomorrow’s date does encourage the reader to make hasty / rash decisions.

There are no actual company details given only a fax number!!!!!! Alarm bells.

There is no company that charges for you to be registered for search engines, or at least non that can remove their services and you suddenly not be found. After all you can submit your new site to Google and bing for free.

When searching through Google, you can see that this scam has been going for years (they’ve not even updated the template for the email ha-ha.) it also looks like they take it in turns to focus on specific domain endings, so for now it looks like .com is under fire. So spread the word and don’t let anyone else parted with their cash.

 

Attention: Important Notice

DOMAIN SERVICE NOTICE

Complete and return by fax to:
1-212-913-9858

ATT: ADMINISTRATIVE CONTACT– – – – – – – – WWW.DOMAIN.COM Please ensure that your contact information is correct or make the necessary changes above  

Domain Name: DOMAIN.COMSearch Engine Submission

 

Requested Reply FEBRUARY 5,2013

 

 

 

PART I: REVIEW SOLICITATION

Attn: – As a courtesy to domain name holders, we are sending you this notification for your business Domain name search engine registration. This letter is to inform you that it’s time to send in your registration and save.
Failure to complete your Domain name search engine registration by the expiration date may result in cancellation of this offer making it difficult for your customers to locate you on the web.
Privatization allows the consumer a choice when registering. Search engine subscription includes domain name search engine submission. You are under no obligation to pay the amounts stated below unless you accept this offer. Do not discard, this notice is not an invoice it is a courtesy reminder to register your domain name search engine listing so your customers can locate you on the web.
This Notice for: WWW.DOMAIN.COM will expire on February 5,2013 Act today!

——————————————————————————————–

DETAIL OF SERVICE: ANNUAL WEBSITE SEARCH ENGINE SUBMISSION FOR DOMAIN NAME WWW.DOMAIN.COM

Detail of Service: SEARCH SUBMISSIONS
Reply by Date: 02/05/2013
For Domain Name: DOMAIN.COM
Select Term Your Existing Domain Period Covered Price
DOMAIN.COM
[ ] 1 year 02/05/2013 – 02/05/2014 $75.00
[ ] 2 year 02/05/2013 – 02/05/2015 $119.00
[ ] 5 year 02/05/2013 – 02/05/2018 $199.00
[ ] 10 year -Most Recommended- 02/05/2013 – 02/05/2023 $295.00
[ ] Lifetime (NEW!) Limited time offer – Best value! Lifetime $499.00
Full Name: Email:
Email 2: ____________________
Phone: _____________________
Want to receive this notification for other domains you own? simply list them below: _____________________ _____________________
_____________________ _____________________
Today’s Date: _____________________ Signature: _____________________

Payment Select the term and complete the form above, then return by fax: 1-212-913-9858 (do not include your credit card details on this form, just fill the information above and fax it to us, once we receive your fax we will send you instructions on how to make a payment by credit card, also make sure you provide us with your contact phone number above)

The Tax Refund that could COST a lot!

Today I got an email in my junk folder (I always keep an eye as occasionally some good emails do find their way into no-where land) the subject was “Automated Tax Refund”.

The email was set up to look like it had come from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) including official headers, logos and the senders name had been set to look like it came from HMRC.

Tax Refund Notification
After the last annual calculations of your
fiscal activity, we have determined that you are eligible to receive tax refund
of 348.50 GBP.
You are require to submit the tax refund request using the tax
refund reference below and allow up 6-9 working days in order to process
it

LINK REMOVED

Note : A refund can be delayed for different reasons, for example
submitting invalid records or applying after deadline.we apologise for any
inconveniences and thank you for your co-operation.
Yours Sincerely
HM
Revenue & Customs

However alarm bells started to ring.
1) How would they have my email address? HMRC usually send letters out in the post, even for a tax refund, to say a cheque is on it’s way.
2) Although it had come to my main email account no-where on the email does it in fact state my name or any kind of identifying ref number.
3) The email asked me to use the link on the email to visit their site, to claim my refund.
A quick search on Google confirmed for me that this was in fact a phishing scam. Basically someone is trying to Phish / fish for your details; be they password and username to sites or in this case bank details. This kind of email happens a lot under different guises. In the past I’ve had ebay and paypal – there’s a problem with you account please log in here and confirm it’s ok…. Or banks saying you need to activate your online banking by loggin in via this link.
If you receive and email along these lines or are unsure of how legit it is, then DO NOT USE THE LINK on the email.
Things you could do
  • Google part of the email to see if anyone else has had this scam.
  • Go to the site in question, i.e. eBay, paypal, your bank as you would normally and check your account if a message has been sent from them (Highly unlikely) there will be a record on the site.
I have Norton 360 which automatically put up a block saying this site had been reported as being fraudulent, not everyone uses Norton so…
For the benefit of this blog and to save you from having to I clicked on the link and rather than taking me into the HMRC site which you would expect if this had been real, I got a list of different bank logos to select from.

I picked on randomly just to see what happens, you are then taken to what I presume is a mock up of your banks log-on screen and asked to log in.

If I had actually logged in, the sender of the mail would now have my log on details to my bank account and the ability to make payments to whoever they want (not that they would have got a lot from me haha).

No legit company would be offering a refund into your bank account like this without actually checking you are who you say you are (No details on the email or on the link).

Please read emails carefully, if you think it’s too good to be true, it probably is. Check if other people have had similar emails by searching the net. NEVER EVER give out bank details, passwords, or personal info unless you are certain you are on the official site and not a very clever mock-up or you could be stung.

PS. Apparently there is an identical mail being sent to Americans as though it’s from the IRS rather than HM Revenue & Customs. Beware the global Internet means we have Global phishing too.

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