Another scam is making its rounds. Stay alert.
I just received an email to my whois address with an official-looking notice from the so-called “US Copyright Registry”. Looks official, sounds official, but it isn’t. It’s just the latest scam to target domain name owners.
The notice reads in part:
Please be advised that the above noted website has not been protected and is now available for copyright registration
IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE UNITED STATES COPYRIGHT LAW
TITLE 92, Sec. 107 to 122, the owner of copyright under this title has the exclusive rights to do and to authorize any of the following: Rights of attribution and integrity: the author shall have the right to claim authorship of that work, and prevent the use of his or her name as the author of any work which he or she did not create.
Be advised: Protecting a website is the responsibility of the owner of the website and must be registered through the United States Patent and Trademark office to legally prevent others from infringing on the owners rights and copying a website. It is the responsibility of the website owner to complete registration to protect their intellectual property and bring suit in federal court for infringement and obtain statutory damages up to $150,000.
And the kicker:
You are required to advise the US Copyright Registry of your intent to license this website if registration is administered through the UCR as this is your final notice.
Note: you may disregard this notice. If you disregard this notice or fail to reply:
UCR and the United States Patent and Trademark office will NOT be liable for infringement of your website, interruption of business activity or business losses.
The notice requests you to call 1-800-634-5760. If you get this notice, just delete it.
I tried to figure out who is behind this latest scam. The whois record for USCopyrightRegistry.com is private, but all of the other versions (.net, .us, .org, etc.) are registered by:
Registrant Name:Domain Notification
Registrant Organization:Domain Notification
Registrant Street1:130 Church Street
Registrant Street2:Suite 280
Registrant City:New York
Registrant Postal Code:10007
Registrant Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I can think of no reason for someone to register the non .com versions unless they are affiliated with the .com site. If you go to NotificationCenter.us, you’ll see another scam:
“Domain Notification Center is a notification processor established to provide domain registrants with updates and information that could potentially affect their online presence.”
Sound familiar? Yes, it sounds a lot like the scammers over at Domain Registry Support.
The mailing address on USCopyrightRegistration.com’s email is the same as posted on DomainSolutionsCentral.com, another domain scam. DomainSolutionsCentral.com uses Enom whois privacy, just like USCopyrightRegistration.com.
According to DomainTools, the domain USCopyrightRegistry.com is listed for sale at Sedo. I can’t find the listing there, so perhaps it has been removed. But if it was listed there, Sedo could find out who the perpetrator is.