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Domain name fraud

What it is

When someone pretends to offer you – or falsely charges you for – a website address.

Protect yourself

  • Hang up on cold callers offering domain names. Don't be put under pressure to buy.
  • Do your own research with a provider you know and trust. Know how much a domain name is worth by shopping around.
  • Know who supplies your domain name, and be ready to challenge any invoices from suppliers you don’t recognise.

Spot the signs

  • You’re called out of the blue with an offer for a very desirable domain name.
  • You’re told someone else is about to buy the address and you have to decide right now if you want it.
  • You’re invoiced for a domain name you don’t use, or from a supplier you’ve never bought from before.

How it happens

Fraudsters find domain names that sound suitable either for yourself or for the name of your business. They’ll put you under pressure to buy so you don’t have time to check their authenticity or how much the domain name is really worth, or if it’s even for sale at all.

They may take your payment details and break all contact afterwards without giving you the promised domain.

Some fraudsters send bogus invoices for domains you don’t own, or have researched the domains you do own and pose as your supplier to demand a renewal fee.

How to report it

Report it to us online or call 0300 123 2040.