TEMPE, AZ – Recently DomainInvesting.com’s Elliot Silver related a tale of an automated e-mail he received from internet domain registrar and web hosting company GoDaddy, listing several domain names that he owned that are listed for sale on a website called Squadhelp, a website where you can buy and sell domains. Silver had previously listed them on Afternic, but had deleted them in favor of Squadhelp.
Side note: I had never heard of Squadhelp before, I’ll have to check it out.
The email, he noted – entitled “Action required: Authorize your domain listings” – was the Afternic Fast Transfer authorization email. Silver noted that if he had blindly clicked the approval links within, the domains that he had previously had for sale on Afternic would have been placed into the service’s fast transfer network. From there, if they had sold, they would have automatically been removed from Silver’s account and transferred to whoever had bought them.
Silver said that he contacted Afternic to confirm that his previous listings had been removed from the site, and that they informed him they had. However, several days later, he received yet another automated GoDaddy authorization e-mail for another domain that he was selling on Squadhelp. This, he said, begged an obvious question: why was he receiving these emails?
He quickly deduced his domain name listings were being targeted by a malicious third party who was attempting to set up fraudulent listings at his expense, a phenomenon that is on the uptick recently.
E-mail is often used for nefarious purposes such as phishing, in an attempt to fool the recipient into clicking links or divulging information that could ultimately harm them, and often people will click on links from official-looking automated emails without thinking and – in the case of selling domain names – you could find yourself suddenly losing your investment. After all, if you are experienced in buying and selling domain names, you more than likely receive enough of these emails where dealing with them becomes an afterthought, making it very easy to accidentally approve a fraudulent listing.
Phishing has become much more sophisticated and authentic looking so you really need to be careful these days. Even though I write about it often; scammers have fooled me at least once or twice.
- Amazingly Convincing Facebook Phishing Scam Takes Place on Facebook.com Itself
- This AMEX Email Phishing Scam Wants You Homeless & Poor, With A Zero FICO Score
- Email Phishing Campaign Using Legitimate Top-Level Domain to Evade Spam Filters
- FedEx Email Phishing Scam Attempt: Not That Clear What Actual Motive Is
- Phishing: Watch-out for New Dangerous Godaddy Email Phishing Attempt
Ultimately, Silver cautioned individuals who utilize Afternic for listing domain names for sale, and encouraged them to report fraudulent listings as soon as they notice them. In the meantime, a workaround may involve deactivating Afternic listings that you are no longer using, instead of just deleting them; he also requested requiring DTVS authorization for fast transfer sales for an additional layer of security, creating an extra step to make sure domain names aren’t transferred in the event of an accidental listing approval from a fraudulent e-mail.
If been getting several similar emails lately related to Afternic as well emails suggesting that some of my domains have been “requested for sale through the Afternic” Premium Network.
About The Author: John Colascione is Chief Executive Officer of Internet Marketing Services Inc. He specializes in Website Monetization, is a Google AdWords Certified Professional, authored a ‘how to’ book called ”Mastering Your Website‘, and is a key player in several Internet related businesses through his search engine strategy brand Searchen Networks®