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Domain Slamming: What it is, How to Protect Yourself
By: Terri Wells
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    2006-08-23

    Table of Contents:
  • Domain Slamming: What it is, How to Protect Yourself
  • Eye-Opening Information
  • Definitions and Explanations
  • How You Can Protect Yourself

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    Domain Slamming: What it is, How to Protect Yourself


    (Page 1 of 4 )

    Sometimes an old scam shows up in a new technological guise. So it is with domain slamming, where one registrar tricks you into switching from the company with which you currently have your domains registered, to his. In this article, I’ll explain what it is, where it came from, how to spot it, and what steps to take to make sure you don’t become a victim.

    You may have heard about a practice that telephone companies engaged in several years ago. They would have “customer service agents” call customers from other phone companies, pretending to be from the customer’s own phone company. If you provided your account information to these agents, they could switch your phone account from your current company to theirs, without your knowledge or consent. Or sometimes they would send out checks that you could cash…but by cashing the check, you were “giving consent” to switch your phone company (as it sometimes said in very small print).

    This was known as “phone slamming.” Phone customers could protect themselves against it in a number of ways – by reading all the fine print, or getting phone slamming protection on their phone lines. It seems we hardly ever see phone slamming scams anymore, but that doesn’t mean the scam itself is dead. It has been reborn as domain slamming.

    Domain slamming is a form of domain hijacking. I’ve written about domain hijacking before. A registrar engaging in domain slamming sends “renewals” or “expiration notices,” either by email or snail mail. These notices make it appear that you are registered with this registrar, explain that your domain registration is about to expire, and urge you to “renew.”

    Of course, if you respond to the notice, you’re not simply renewing your domain; you’re now registered with that company instead of your regular registrar. Increased fees for registering your domain name could end up being the least of your worries. Think about it: what kind of company relies on this sort of fraud to attract customers? You could find yourself locked into a long-term registration contract, or even pushed into buying unnecessary services. Worse, you might find that your own website and email no longer work, or that your domain name now points to an entirely different site with content you’d never want to see on your domain. The worst thing that could happen – and it’s rare, but it can happen – is that you could end up losing your domain permanently to the scammers.

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