This is to inform all SHAA members of a possible internet scam that may target SHAA members by using information collected either from this site or by other means. 

This possible scam involves the following:  (Note: details may vary)

You receive a phone call from an employee of an overseas company who informs you that someone has registered your practice/company's domain name (eg. www.yourbusiness.com) either for themselves or on behalf of someone else and that you can buy the domain for R 5 000.  If you get this call either tell them you are not interested or make enquiries about it's legitimacy before you agree to anything!!

I checked one of the domains that the member was informed was in fact registered and found it to still be available.  From this it can deduced that it is a scheme to either get your credit card information or for you to deposit the money for the domain into a fraudulent bank account. 

But take note that there are people and companies that register certain domain names with the sole intention of  reselling it again to make money.  This may be one of those companies.

These people introduce themselves as a company that tries to prevent fraudulent activities on the net.  And from what I could gather they say that they checked to see that you have a company with the name that is registered and you should be informed that someone else is going to use it.  This seems highly unlikely considering the millions of companies out there and the amount of time, effort and money it takes to track down companies with similar names.

Another way they can phrase the call is that you may think someone registered the domain on your behalf and you owe the registrar money.  All the registrars I've dealt with requires payment before registering the domain to protect themselves against fraudulent activities.  And if someone claims to have done it on your behalf, request proof that you gave the order.

The most important thing to do if you get this call:

  • Do not give anyone your credit card or banking information

  • You can check the availability of domain names at www.namecheap.com, www.gandi.net or www.domains.comFor local domain names, go to http://co.za.  You can click on the WHOIS to see who it is registered to.

  • Request proof of validity from the company

Information regarding domain names

  • A domain name is your website's address on the internet.  It can be anything from a .com, .net, .co.za, etc.

  • Unless you have copyright on the name used in the domain, anyone can register that domain.  And even if you have copyright on the name, someone can still register it but you can prohibit them from using it. You can either try the name with another extension or register an alternative.  For example, your company/organisation is called The Society of Hearing Aid Acousticians and you wanted the domain name www.shaa.co.za but it is already taken - the alternative can be www.hearingaidacousticians.co.za for example. 

  • To register an international domain name extension (.com, .net, etc.) through an online international registrar can cost as little as R150.00 depending on the exchange rate.  From a local service provider it may be a bit more expensive but if someone tries to sell you a domain name for R 5 000.00 there must be something else going on.

If you have any questions, please send an e-mail to info [at]123internet.co.za.


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