A few days ago I had cause to register a new Internet domain name for a project I’m working on.
On this occasion it was a “.net” domain.
Unfortunately for some reason I wasn’t given the option of taking the “Identity protection” option at the time of purchase, and I’ve not previously had too much in the way of issues by not taking it, so didn’t really think much of it.
This time however, proved to be different.
The WHOIS records for the domain concerned contained full name, address, and telephone number contact details.
Within hours of registration I was starting to receive spam e-mails like this one:
Anyone with a degree of knowledge will know that search engine registration is free, and threats like this one that if you don’t (implied: purchase their service) your website will not be indexed by search engines is misleading at best, and outright deception at worst.
What was slightly more sinister this time was the fact that so far this morning I have received no less than five unsolicited phonecalls from foreign sounding ladies & gentlemen, and in one case a silent call directly to my mobile. The calls I actually answered all wanted to talk to me about website development, or search engine registration.
This takes publicly available personal contact details, and exploits it in an entirely new way. They MUST get enough takers to make this worth doing, but it alarms me to think that people would fall for this.
I’ve subsequently enabled ID protection on the domains I can, and have requests outstanding to complete on others.
I am using a fairly advanced spam filter on e-mails, which is “learning” about these new unsolicited e-mails every time they come in, and I use Truecaller on my mobile, and Sky Talk Shield on the home phone number.
I wonder how many more will bug me?