Trying to Shut Down Fraudsters Operating UK Websites
This week we have been trying to shutdown an allegedly fraudulent company operating in the UK using a collection of .uk website - under the control of Nominet, after all - so they can be shut down for fraud, of course. Let's see how we get on...
Starting off I looked up who owns the site as that is where to start tracing where money has gone..
I used the Nominet WHOIS as they are allegedly administering every domain that ends with a .uk
The WHOIS returned:
Name withheld. This Registrant is using a privacy service.
Address withheld. This Registrant is using a privacy service.
Domains By Proxy, LLC
Privacy service's address:
14747 N Northsight Blvd Suite 111, PMB 309, Scottsdale, AZ 85260, USA
Nominet was able to match the registrant's name and address against a 3rd party data source on 22-Feb-2017
GoDaddy.com, LLP. [Tag = GODADDY]
Registered on: 20-Apr-2016
Expiry date: 20-Apr-2018
Last updated: 21-Mar-2017
Registered until expiry date.
WHOIS lookup made at 09:33:25 15-Feb-2018
What a surprise - another company 'protecting' domain owners from spam by withholding all of the data that allows people to hold them accountable for their actions.
Many of the domain registrars are pushing this 'privacy' service also 'piracy' is perhaps a more apt term in this case, this leads to far more crime than spamming will ever claim.
I will email the 'Domains by Proxy' consumer concerns email with details of strategymarkets.co.uk and their partner site stayupdated.co.uk which falsely claims absurd press statements are being released regarding strategymarkets.co.uk.
OK so now we move on to contacting someone who can help me directly - what about trading standard, surely they will be interested in blowing this lot out of the water and helping me shut down their website (without the website they will be unable to commit more fraud)
At the bottom of the Nominet website https://www.nominet.uk/resources/complaints/ a link instructs me to try contacting: https://www.tradingstandards.uk/consumers who battle on behalf of consumers against all types of fraud.
I phone them up and after a brief wait tell me
"There's really nothing you can do - anyone can buy a website from anywhere. To give you an example, many IT companies buy .IT Italian websites."
Now this response does really annoy me. A dot .IT website is not fraud in any way - it is just a way of avoiding paying a lot of money to Nominet in a saturated market. I would still expect the Italians to shut me down if I started a fraudulent website with an .IT domain.
I am then referred to Action Fraud - a branch of the Police who operate within working hours to solve issues such as this. I firstly start a web chat to see what can be done.
OK so I will report this as it is obviously a crime that needs to be dealt with, these people are losing at least 10k each.