Domain Registry Support

Got the strangest call today. The number that appeared on my phone’s display was bizarre: 001-416. The voice on the other end launched directly into a polite, quasi-legalistic rant about how “my intellectual property was in danger” regarding one of the domains I manage (for a customer). I kept pressing him for details, but all I got was piles of scripted fluff. But pretty good fluff. Things like “We need to verify your address for the domain notification processor.” But all attempts to get them to explain what a “notification processor” were met with another line of nonsense.

It was pretty clear to me that this was the phone equivalent of those increasingly popular quasi-legalistic letters sent to domain owners attempting to buffalo users into either changing registrars or into registering every possible associated TLD on the base name. The latter is the key to understanding the jive about how your intellectual property may be in danger — the pitch is that if someone else registers yourname.us, you may never have complete control over yourname!

The guy (who was calling from India, BTW) didn’t succeed in getting any information or confirmation out of me, but I was impressed by the fact that he seemed to have a plausible-sounding nonsense answer to every question I threw at him. And though my questions about what company he worked for were answered with things like “We represent all domain registrars,” he was happy to send me to Domain Registry Support — a site which boldly attempts to lend itself phony cred by linking to the IETF and the W3C. Sycophants.

Quick search on their name pulled up dozens of pages like this one, filled with comments from people who had just gotten off the phone with DRS.

Shields up; predators everywhere.

11 Replies to “Domain Registry Support”

  1. Use SilentRegister and you won’t get these calls.

    SilentRegister keeps your name and contact info out of DNS records. And Richard (the proprietor) is a really nice guy who has never failed to respond within 24 hours to any question or issue I have had, and with a solution.

    SilentRegister rocks.

  2. How did you come to find out that the call was from India? 001-416 begins most phone numbers for Ontario, Canada (when calling international).

  3. Most registrars offer the ability to hide contact info in whois records. Silent Register makes it the default, but godaddy, dotster, etc. all let you enable that option with a checkbox. I choose not to do it because I don’t like it when others do it. If I need to contact a domain owner and their whois info is hidden, I have no recourse. I’m opposed to the concept of anonymity on the internet in general (the same reason I hate that people on IRC use handles rather than real names, or handles that don’t even resemble their real names). I make exception for political dissidents etc. of course. But granted, this is the downside of having your contact info be available.

    As for giving them Google cred, they’re already at the top of the heap for a search on their name, and since it’s a post about them, it would be weird not to link to them.

    I don’t know for a fact that the call came from India – the caller had a thick Indian accent and I”m so used to large call centers being based in India that I just assumed that – possibly a wrong assumption, but probably not :)

    I heard on TWiT last week about how easy it is to spoof the caller ID if you know what you’re doing. Not sure what the Canada connection is, or whether that might be coincidence.

  4. Silent Register does nto make it impossible to contact you. The contact info they provide is for Silent Register itself. You can contact them.

    I’m sure any truly important correspondence (e.g. “You’re sending spam!”) would be forwarded by SR to you.

  5. “buffalo”?

    Never heard this before, and I’m interested in etymology. If you don’t know it, do you remember the context in which you first heard it? Just curious…

  6. Clearly an American colloquialism. Dictionary.app says:

    verb ( -loes, -loed) [ trans. ] (often be buffaloed) informal overawe or intimidate (someone) : she didn’t like being buffaloed. • baffle (someone) : the problem has buffaloed the advertising staff.

    ORIGIN mid 16th cent.: probably from Spanish or Portuguese búfalo, from late Latin bufalus, from earlier bubalus, from Greek boubalos ‘antelope, wild ox.’

  7. speaking of a WhoIs lookup… Here’s the one for domainsupportregistry.com. Looks like their from Panama.

    Registrant:
    Diversified Group, SA
    Suite 11521
    APDO 0832-1236
    World Trade Centre, Panama Centro 0832
    PA

    Registrar: ADDRCREAT
    Domain Name: DOMAINREGISTRYSUPPORT.COM
    Created on: 30-JUL-04
    Expires on: 30-JUL-07
    Last Updated on: 22-FEB-06

    Administrative, Technical Contact:
    Sussman, M. collectcallsecret@maktoob.com
    Diversified Group, SA
    Suite 11521
    APDO 0832-1236
    World Trade Centre, Panama Centro 0832
    PA
    (011)(48)22-389-6930

  8. Thanks for your blog post, it made my life a little easier.

    Just got a call from them…

    FYI their web site is down.

    These guys are definately calling from India but say they are calling from New York, NY alas no caller id. I reported them to the FTC for a ‘do not call’ violation. They gave me a phone number of 1-800-591-7398

    Good luck to all,
    Larry

  9. Thanks for the post. I got the same call today. “Domain Registry Support.” Come on, how bogus! I tried to get info out of the guy, and as in your case, I got nowhere.

    I didn’t know it, but my whois privacy expired just a couple of weeks ago. They got a hold of my wife, who then gave them my cell phone number. Argh! God love her, but this is why I find myself constantly giving lecture to family and friends about internet (and phone/mail) scams. Never, never, never give out or confirm your info to anyone! Tell them you’ll call back. If they’re legit, then fine, you’ll be much better off in the end.

  10. I’ve been getting similar calls every few months for a year or two…

    The very first one I got may not have been exactly the same people or scam, but they were asking to verify line by line about the info in my registration… address, phone number, etc.. All that info is public, and I was only annoyed at that point, seeing as they had no business calling me if they were not from Network Solutions, or someone with a problem. But then they asked me for some password, I couldn’t understand the person as to *what* password they wanted, but told them I wasn’t going to give them any information and hung up! Social Engineering?

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