Domain Name Wire

Domain Name Wire

  • Larry Seltzer Struggles with “Whois Identity Theft”

    1. BY - Jan 21, 2009
    2. Policy & Law
    3. 5 Comments

    eWeek writer can’t get copycat whois record changed.

    I’ve heard people complain about “whois identity theft” before. Essentially, this is when someone uses your name on their whois record. You can imagine how this could potentially be troubling for you, depending on the domain name. But in the case of eWeek writer Larry Seltzer, the “identity thief” went several steps further.

    First, the domain that is being spoofed is LarrySeltzer.net. Second, the perpetrator used Seltzer’s phone number and address (although a different email) in whois. The registrant name is “Larry Seltzer Astroturfing LLC”. Then he used his LarrySeltzer.net email address to make posts to a mailing list and to try to get eWeek’s security team to send him login credentials. Ouch.

    Seltzer tried to get it taken care of by filing an inaccurate whois complaint (twice, actually) and complaining to eNom (the domain is registered at an eNom reseller). Then he went directly to ICANN with his press credentials. It is still unresolved.

    As Seltzer points out, the registrar probably contacts the domain owner via e-mail to verify ownership. The e-mail address is correct. The phone and mailing address is not.

    ICANN has recently cracked down on a couple registrars that it felt were not responding to inaccurate whois complaints. But I can understand Seltzer’s frustration. And, from a registrar perspective, I bet that if this domain were at GoDaddy the problem would be resolved already. For all its faults, GoDaddy has stringent whois policies (and it doesn’t just delete domains with inaccurate whois anymore).

5 Comments
  • I hope Larry gets this fixed!

    It is yet another sad case of someone giving the domain industry a bad name!

    I really hate these online scammers!

    Lets hope Larry takes this further it is Fraud trying obtain security details etc that arent yours.

    Regards,

    Robbie

  • Hiya!

    Fantastic post – it was actually just recommended to me via my own personal whois issue. See, someone squatted my name and used false whois data. Now, while I don’t want to let him win by offering pay for the domain, I’m prepared to. So I sent email after email to the email address listed (the only supposedly correct bit of contact info) and to no avail.

    I can’t even get these people to SELL my back my own namesake. Besides registering other TLDs with my full name, got any advice? They are registered with GoDaddy, FYI.

    Here’s the thread I started where someone pointed me to this article –
    http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Webmasters/thread?tid=25428fce1ba061d7&hl=en&fid=25428fce1ba061d70004617c82c64637

  • @ Ashley – didn’t click through to see all of the details, but the key here is if the emails you are sending are bouncing. If they are bouncing, you can file a whois inaccuracy report with ICANN. If they just aren’t responding, there’s not much you can do. Also try calling them.

Leave a Reply