Security & Vulnerabilities Tech Tips

Alert! Domain Search Engine Registration Scam.

Alert! Domain Search Engine Registration Scam.
Written by Okhae Adeleye

Scams are becoming more rampant and search engine registration seems to be another method to get money from people’s ignorance. While going through my mail yesterday, I came across this Domain Search Engine Registration Notice:


Attention: Important Notice , DOMAIN SERVICE NOTICE Domain Name: example.com

ATT: Moniker Privacy REGISTRANT CONTACT: +1… example.com

Response Requested By 29 – November – 2016

PART I: REVIEW NOTICE

Attn: Moniker Privacy 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.

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 registration includes domain name search engine submission. 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: example.com will expire at 11:59PM EST, 29 – November– 2016 Act now!

Select Term and Package Here

Payment by Credit/Debit Card Select the term using the link above by 29 – May – 2015

example.com


The information in this letter contains confidential and/or legally privileged information from the notification processing department of the DomainRegList 1521 Alton Road Suite #464, Miami Beach, FL 33139 USA, This information is intended only for the use of the individual(s) named above. If you do not wish to receive further updates from DomainRegList Unsubscribe here. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that disclosure, copying, distribution or the taking of any action in reliance on the contents for this letter is strictly prohibited.


This is quite scary for anyone who runs a site they earn from. The email says that you need to register your site so that search engines can find it and that failure to do so would make it difficult for customers to find your site.

I run an e-commerce site and I was a bit worried getting this mail but on closer inspection I saw the scam in the mail. A little knowledge of how the internet works will help expose the scam.

When you buy a domain name (this is the name of a site e.g google.com, smartgeek.com.ng) from a web hosting company and set up your site, search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing etc will find your site within 48-72 hours. This is because search engines continually crawl (search) the internet for new sites and automatically index them (stores the links in their database), making it possible for your site to come up on a Google or Yahoo search related to your site’s content. Search engines do not require you to register your site before they find it.

Also, all information pertaining to your website can only be sent to you by your hosting company through their official email address. My hosting company is SiteGround and their official email addresses are [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] etc depending on the content of the mail. These are called custom addresses and are used by professional businesses. The scam email on the other hand, was sent by [email protected], which is a random email address not attached to any professional person or body and further shows that the mail is a scam.

You might ask, “How did they get my email address and details?” Getting such information is very easy. The details of every website on the internet is visible at the whois.com domain search. There you can see the owner, their contact details and all other details. If you would like to try it, go to whois.com and enter your website domain name into the search bar.

If you want your details removed from public view, you can contact your web hosting company. They usually require a fee to hide websites details from showing on the domain search.

So the next time you get messages like this from unknown senders or people you have not interacted with before, be cautious and seek more information from Smart Geeks like us.

Kindly share the information with your friends to avoid anyone getting scammed. Cheers. 

About the author

Okhae Adeleye

Web developer and Proud Geek. I write poetry and debate technology. I'm also an amateur photographer who loves nature and capturing moments.