Domain name scam alert
We got a call this morning from a woman named Amy Jones, claiming to be with Atlas Business Online. A purported U.K.-based internet and e-commerce firm.
She was calling to “alert us” to a “strange request”. A “gentleman” was “attempting to use their firm to register 12 domain names that were very similar” our our website and firm name. And for 10 years! While she had confirmed with him that he had no link to our Company, which she described as the proper owner of the domain name, she couldn’t prevent him from registering these names and conducting whatever business he wanted to. And for just 100 pounds each, we can own these names instead of this “gentleman”…all 12 of them. Before he gets them.
She went on, with phrases such as:
– “the number of names he’ll have will ensure that he’ll get a better Google rank than you, directing your customers to his site”
– “although she doesn’t know what the rules are in Canada, there is nothing she can do under U.K. law to prevent him from registering the names”
– “you need to do this right now, his application is already in our system and might be processed in the next few minutes. I can’t stop it as it is already entered in our systems”
I asked her if she could email me the details of this contract, to which she replied: “I don’t have a computer in front of me, I’m on the help desk. We don’t use contracts, there’s nothing for you to sign. I just need your credit card number….”
After a few additional requests, she finally relented and agreed to send me an email outlining the opportunity along with a credit card form. The headline on the form? “Intervention”. Sounds like she’s trying to stop fraud, not enage in one.
It took my colleague Jason a few minutes to find out about this scam. And scam it is. A blogger named “Swimgeek” came across the same thing a short while ago, although the U.K.-based firm was called Profile Business Services, and not Atlas.
If you look at the two websites, you’ll notice distinct similarities. Best of all, under the “terms and conditions” section, these two firms are a mirror image.
But, a few clicks into DNS Tools, and lo and behold, these two firms share the same IP address 188.8.131.52, as well as the same registration house. Those Tucows guys. Profile started in business in November 2006, while Atlas reared its ugly head on March 22, 2007. Although the firm’s mailing addresses are different, they both are in and around London.
If Interpol gets interested, she’s now calling back, looking for her £1200. She said she can be reached at 011-44-87-00-677703 x2369. Best of luck.
Just to let you know, we received a call this morning. They are now operating under netbusinessonline.com as well. Same company, same scam.
Received the same call this morning,under netbusinessonline.com with phone number 011448700679070. They are very convincing, but yet hard to believe. I am located in Canada – so watch out.
Same here, just got off the phone, I am in Holland. They told me even a name, which person was ordering the domain names. (Mr. T. Hendrikson), whereas in Holland, Hendrikson is generally being written as Hendriksen. But they had a ‘data protection’ policy on other details. I was put through to their ‘legal advisor’ Christine Brooks , because I had so many questions.
Christine Brooks called me here in the USA, with the same story that a Mr. Donaldson was registering 12 similar sounding domain names and also setting up some e-mail addresses with them. We are a US based company.
She was just calling to kindly let us know of the potential for confusion with our customers that might visit the wrong website by mis-typing our domain name. She did not ask for me to buy anything, but perhaps that is because I sounded so skeptical.
A quick Google brought me to this page. She referred to their business as a UK based domain name registrar at http://www.netbusinessonline.com at 011-44-870-067-9070 x 169
We also were targeted, exact same story, right down to “12” Domains. Same Christine Brooks, same phone number, same company (www.netbusinesssolution.com), same request for 1200 Dollars to get the domains first…
We are a US Company, however they targeted us through our Dubai Facility, calling there.
We were also contacted (Candian company). Similar story. Same phone number, doing business under http://www.netbusinessonline.net .
Exactly the same story for us – (global company).
We just received a similar scam call from a “Robert Gray” representing netbusinessonline.com concerning 12 domain name applications from an unassociated “gentleman” for our Belgian subsidiary. He was very credible, but this blog helped us to see through it.
Got this same call from “Samantha Taylor” today. I almost fell for it. We are a Canadian company as well. The number she left was 011448700679070 . She wanted 1200 GBP IIRC.
Just received same call, “netbusinessonline.com”. said a Mr. Hamilton, from the same US state we were in, was trying to register 12 websites with similar names to our own. 1,200 GBP would resolve this issue for 10 years. “We close very shortly, and he [Mr. Hamilton] wants to effect these changes by end of day.” Age-old used car sales man technique, or any sales technique. Do it know, and you are getting a better/ immediate deal. So, I wasted her time a bit, to see how well her canned answers would be to typical questions. Professional, and good looking website. But, under “Contact Us”, it is already asking for your Credit card number. Find another “Contact Us” on any webpage that requires that information!!
Thanks so much for this thread. We got the same call today from the person listed below. We blew her off.
Call From: Lindsay Hamilton
Company: Net Business online.com
Call Back No#: 0044-870-067-9070
Scary – exact same pitch to us today. Woman calling was Kate Mitchell, from Netbusinessonline.com. Buyer was “Mr F. Mason”, in the same state as us. Number of domains in question? 12. Price to “intervene”? 100GBP per domain for 10 years – 1200 GBP total. Called me back, saying “We’re just closing business here and want to know if we can take action on your behalf.” I asked if her company was associated with Atlas Business Online (to which she claimed ignorance), and whether or not she had a legitimate story she was telling, after which she made a mild threat about the fact that we would have to watch these domains, and then hung up.
Thank goodness for these blogs! Otherwise might have been sucked into this!
How about the next person to be harrassed by these creeps asks them to fax some information to the following number:
00 33 472 44 7163
Same thing happened to our company. Lady called Holly King from Net Business Online. We actually gave our credit card, but just found out in time and had to cancle the card!!!
Thanks for this Blog. Just the same thing in our company this morning. Does this lady really think, professionals are unable to use Google? 😉
We were contacted in dubai in a similar manner as describer the telephone numbers are the same and so in the website http://www.netbusinessonline.com the name she used is Alison Furguson.
Its silly to see such a practise
On of my customers gave her creditcardnumber, phoned me after and told me this story. I found this blog in Google and she could stop her payment in the last minute… It was also a guy from http://www.netbusinessonline.com and they phoned from the United Kingdom. The same story: 12 domains for 1200 GBP.
same here, we are a austrian company.
Semanta Tailor called me from netbusinessonline.com
same story; almot belived her!
what can we do about such a thing !?
We’re located in Hibbing, Minnesota.
Our call came from England.
Company was – ISP Global.
Same number of domains in question – 12
We are located in UK and US and were contacted in the same way by ISP Global – phone 0870 716 9930
Yes, we received a phone call today from ISP Global, It all sounded very plausible. We weren’t asked for anything at first, but after I put the phone down, being the suspicious type, I did a search and sure enough, found this page. Thank heavens, and thank you!!
We are located in the UK. A couple of months ago some friends of mine parted with nearly £800 for 3 or 4 domains, for one year only. They received a phone call from ISP Global with a story similar to those mentioned above.
ISP Global act as a third party and purchase the domains from providers like namecheap.com. I worked out it probably cost ISP about $40 to purchase the domains for my friends. They have registered the sites to my friend’s name and address but the email contact is ISP Global. I suspect they will go back to my friends when the renewal comes in and try and con them out of more money.
They seem to operate under a number of different website names, including all those mentioned above. All very similar style sites, adorning fake awards. There are no company registration numbers or address on any of the sites. The sites are only there to make the phone calls more credible. I hope these people are stopped soon.
The web address of ISP Global is http://www.ispglobal.org
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