Category Archives: Anti-Spam

Antispam education, Software and How to.

The Domain Name Scam Explained

Domain Name

Protect your Domain Name?

If you are a Domain Name owner and make business on Internet you know that your Domain Name is one of your biggest assets.

You wouldn’t give away any traffic resulted in misspelling of your domain name or traffic generated by similar domain names.
There are actually people on Internet who specialize in stealing traffic from other companies. They do this by using domain names similar to successful companies. However this is less feasible these days because domain name doesn’t carry too much weight in SEO.
If someone would try to register your domain name, what would be your reaction? Your first reaction, of course, would be to protect your domain name. You want to buy that domain so nobody else could use it and steal your traffic. This is a natural reaction; you are trying to protect your asset.
This weakness is exploited by a large number of companies, (mostly Chinese), specialized in this type of scam.
There is nothing wrong to secure that domain name, if you think it makes sense for your business, many companies do this, just don’t buy the domain name from the spammers. Buy that domain from a reputable registrar instead.

How does the Domain Name Scam work?

The spammer collects information from the Domain Name registration which is, in most of the cases, public. This information contains the owner name, the email address, and of course the Domain Name. This information is enough to devise an email which will be sent to the CEO. The email informs the owner that another company is trying to register the domain name in cause but for another TLD or ccTLD.
As the owner of the domain you “get the benefit of being announced of this purchase” and are being offered to buy it yourself.

For instance you own and someone is trying to register and, etc… Other country-specific flavors (.asia, .biz, .cc, .cn, .com. cn., .hk, etc.) can be mentioned. You are informed about this and offered to buy the domain or the domains.

Scenarios when Contacted by a Domain Name Scammer

At this point there are a few possible scenarios:

First scenario: You don’t really need the domain names but you fall for the scam and say “yes, please register all of these domains for me”.
This is the worst case. These types of companies are ghost companies that charge you three to ten times the regular price of the domain. Sometimes, if you don’t pay attention to all the registration details the scammers will register themselves as registrant and administrative contacts and they will keep themselves in the loop trying to reap you off more down the road.
Second scenario: You look at the domain names list they sent you, you pick the ones you are interested to protect and register them at a serious registrar for a fair price. See this post about Protecting the Trademark by Registering Domain Names. You might have a Web Marketing strategy that involves buying those domain names. In this case the scammers made you a favor reminding you to buy some domains that you missed.
Third scenario: You simply ignore the email; you don’t care if someone registers the domain, these days a domain name doesn’t count that much for the traffic as it used to. The content is king and traffic leaking is almost impossible only using a domain name. Protecting your Trademark is your lawyer’s job and there is no need to buy everything on the market to protect your Trademark. See this article about the defensive domain buying: Protecting your Trademark by buying as many as possible domain names.

The decision is not always simple and it depends on your business needs. You could go with either the second or the third scenario.
You can Buy International Domain Names at fair prices at: Go Daddy Bulk Domain Registration

Regardless of your business needs you will probably want to avoid buying these domains from the scammers.

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How to Test Your SPAM Filter

Does my Email Filtering Solution Work?

Sometimes as email administrators we need to test if the SPAM filter works and is filtering messages. In order to do this we need to send a test message with content that we are sure is rated as SPAM.

GTUBE – Generic Test for Unsolicited Bulk Email

The GTUBE the “Generic Test for Unsolicited Bulk Email” is a test that can verify if your antispam filter is installed correctly and is detecting incoming spam.
GTUBE works in a similar fashion to the EICAR anti-virus test file.
Insert the following string in any email message and your antispam filter should detect it and filter it accordingly.
Note that this string should be written in one line, without whitespace or line breaks.
Note that this string and can be reproduced freely, without attribution; they are hereby placed in the public domain.

SPF – Sender Policy Framework an Antispam solution

The Email Administrator has to implement SPF filtering on the mail servers and create SPF records for your mail server. SPF is the acronym for Sender Policy Framework and is an open standard specifying a technical method to prevent sender address forgery. SPF protects the envelope sender address giving the opportunity for a mail server to check if an email message is originating from a valid source and not from a forged source.
The technology requires two sides configuration:
(1) The domain owner publishes an SPF record in the domain’s DNS zone.
(2) The receiving server checks the message against the SPF record policy in the DNS zone.
The receiving mail server then can accept or reject the message based on the compliance with the domain’s stated policy. If the message comes from an unknown server, it can be considered a fake.
The SPF will help tremendously against spoofing. Email Spoofing means faking the source of an email message so that it appears as coming from a different source. This will avoid a lot of messages that appear to come from your address but you never sent. More about spoofing on this Wikipedia article: