Fraudulent Domain Registration Emails

(Classified under: Security)

Posted on 10 April 2019

There's always some scam or other doing the rounds of the Internet - this month, we're taking a look at one of the types of domain registration scams that have been sent to a number of our customers recently.

This particular type of domain registration scam I've called the "Statutory Obligation" Scam. As the target of the scam, you receive an email which notifies you that someone has applied to register a domain name that is similar to a domain name you already own. The sender of the email then informs you that they are under a "statutory obligation" to check with you before proceeding with the registration, just to make sure that you don't have any objections to someone else registering a domain similar to your own...

A Statutory Obligation to check with you before registering a new domain? I don't think so!

While the more charitable among us might consider this to be a kind and helpful act, here's why you should always ignore and delete such emails:

Domain names are registered on a "First-Come, First Served" basis. Within this, some countries do have certain requirements for you to be able to register a domain within that country, but there are absolutely no laws or statutes in any jurisdiction that we're aware of that require the owners of similar domains to be consulted prior to a domain registry completing the registration of a new domain name for someone else.

Knowing this, it makes no sense for a legitimate business to delay the sale of a new domain to check with other businesses first. The "kind and helpful" email is simply a scam to try to solicit the purchase of the similar domain name from you!

Variants of this scam (often from a mainland Chinese or Hong Kong-based company) use the registration of "Internet Keywords" as the pretext for contacting you. Knowing that there is no such process as registering an "Internet Keyword" helps in realising that these emails are completely bogus also.

If you have any questions about domain registration or renewal emails that you may have received, please give us a call or send us an email - we're always happy to expose fraudulent emails for what they truly are.

If you would like to register a new domain, please visit your CWS Domain Management Portal by logging in at, or send us an email with the details of the domain name you want to register and we'll do it for you.

NB: Information presented here is general in nature, does not take into account your particular situation and should not be used in place of professional IT consultation.