Live Business Web Design: a new panic domain registration scamAug 27, 2008
Today, this UK company Live Business Web Design cold-called us at work and told us this guy named Terry Solomon wanted to register a dozen or so variations on the way our company name appears in our Toronto Stock Exchange listing.
Long story short, they informed us they were "holding" the domains, and were about to release them to Mr Solomon, and our only recourse was to register the domains with them to block this. Sounds like extortion to me. Sounds exactly like all those emails we keep getting, usually from registrars in China, who would be only too glad to register these names in order to keep them out of the hands of a potentially devious third-party.
I told them we would be registering the names at another registrar and they politely informed us that such action would not be possible. Even though the domains were still listed as "available", Live Business Web Design was "holding" the names and just had to "push a button" and they would be gone.
Before we hung up, she told us something like: "It only takes minutes to register, I've done my due diligence. We'll have to release the names now."
Anyway, my boss told me to register just the main dot-com they were trying to push, but through Godaddy, our main registrar. Well, the registration went through no problem, and that domain is now forwarding to our website. I guess the guys at Live Business Web Design just did not push that "release" button fast enough
If there was any doubt, I did some further research and found that a WHOIS on their domain (livebwd.com) reveals that their domain was registered on August 4th, 2008 (three weeks ago), and the website itself is a quickie Joomla template which could have been set up in less than an hour. They are likely an ENOM reseller looking to capitalize on the same market the emails have been targetting up to now.
Conclusion: Live Business Web Design is a panic domain registration scam. Don't register any domains with them, or any other company who calls or emails you saying that a shady third party is about to register variations on your domain name. If you must register the domains they mention, use a different registrar and do not be swayed by threats that such action will be impossible.
Stay safe out there.
UPDATE (March 4, 2009) - Apparently the Live Business Web Design site is no longer accessible. I'm sure we haven't seen the end of phone scams like these, but it's a satisfying step in the right direction. For more information on scams like these, visit this site: http://www.domainscams.co.uk/
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