Canadian Web site owners targeted by new scam

The Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) today is warning dot-ca owners of a new online scan involving fake renewal notices sent via e-mail.

The e-mails come from a sender calling itself, which is not a CIRA certified registrar, CIRA warns. The sender is fraudulently posing as the dot-ca owner’s current domain registrar in an attempt to receive payment.

This type of scam is not new to CIRA. The fraudulent practice is known as “domain slamming” or “domain name slamming,” where companies send domain name holders misleading advertisements or solicitations, claiming they must make a payment to retain ownership of their domain name or similar variants.  

In February 2011, CIRA won a court battle against Markham, Ont.-based registrar Brandon Gray to revoke its licence as a CIRA certified registrar. One of the resellers of Brandon Gray was the Domain Registry of Canada (DROC), which CIRA said in court documents had been sending out “misleading ‘renewal’ notices to dot-ca domain holders.”

The e-mails identify dot-ca owner’s Web site domain name and claim it is about to expire. Recipients are then urged to click on a link that leads to a PayPal page.

The URL does not currently resolve to a Web site and there is now whois information associated with the domain. CIRA says it has shut down the Web site and is working with PayPal to shut down the fraudulent payment page.

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