Customers are often contacted by different companies trying to sell them domain names that they already have, though under another top-level domain. They usually pressure the customer for time and offer a price that is often higher than what is otherwise customary. They will often be told that someone else is interested in that particular domain name and if they do not register it, the other person will.
As an owner of a .se or .nu domain name, this can mean you may be contacted by phone or through email by companies using questionable methods offering to sell you domain names under the generic top-level domains such as .com, .net and .org.
The sales person may claim that they have “another customer” interested in the domain name but are obligated to first offer you the domain name because you own the .se or .nu domain.
Register a .se domain when you register a new company name
For many years, we have noted the registration of .se domains where the domain name is identical to a new company name, which was registered and published just a few days earlier. Therefore, it is important to remember to also register your domain name in conjunction with the registration of your new company name. Here are some tips that may be helpful when choosing a domain name.
We are currently aware of the following activities
It is The Swedish Internet Foundation's recommendation to all our accredited registrars (retailers), not to cooperate with the companies listed below on this site, in accordance to the registrar agreement (section 2.5). You can read the registrar agreement here.
This recommendation is also made by representatives of The Swedish Internet Foundation's accredited registrars association; registrars.se, referring to the association’s ethical rules.
The company and business names that are currently known to us, and which use improper methods are (bold means the businesses are active):
|Company||Domain / Webaddress|
Checklist – This is how to protect your company from domain scammers
- Be on your guard if you feel a domain sales person might be using questionable methods. Check if the seller is an acredited retailer for the Swedish Internet Foundation.
- Find out what current prices are in the domain name market
- Keep track of your organization’s needs for further domain names, for example for a particular trademark or product name
- Reduce the risk of “scam registrations” by buying domains with incorrect spellings of your trademark
- Be clear about the markets you target and register domains accordingly
- Learn from others’ experiences of domain scammers at the Swedish Internet Foundation, the Swedish Trade Federation and the Swedish Consumer Agency
- If a dispute arises – use the alternative dispute resolution procedure Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
If you have been deceived
If you have accepted the meaning of an agreement, however crazy the content is, you as a business owner usually have little chance of escaping the consequences of the agreement. If you signed the order or the contract, it is particularly difficult to get it canceled.
Telephone scammers will also often record pieces of the conversation where you as a customer accept the agreement, but they always omit the extortion-like threat that preceded the contractual connection. These audio files are usually send by the scammers with a request for payment.
Note: Although the scammers often have a legally binding agreement and registration assignment, it is very common for them to invoice the customer without performing the service/registering of the actual domain names. You can check for yourself whether the invoiced domain names have been registered and/or been registered with you as the holder. If not, you are advised to register the relevant domain yourself through a partner of your choice.
However, if you have never consented to what you are requested to pay for or if it has not been executed under the contract, you should resolutely reject the transaction. Private individuals enjoy somewhat stronger protection and there are registrars who offer their private customers a period of cancellation.
There are, however, some measures and steps that you can take if you have been deceived, especially if there are reasons to suspect that what happened to you regards fraud, a violation of the copyright law or if any other criminal act exists. However, it is not illegal to request too much money by their customers.
Dispute the invoice
If you receive an incorrect invoice from a domain scam artist, you can dispute it, i.e. refuse to pay it. However, you must be sure that you have not accepted the offer. Approaches and rules differ a lot between entrepreneurs and private individuals, so the best thing is that you turn to The Swedish Trade Federation (company) or the Swedish Consumer Agency's (private individuals) websites for complete information on how to proceed.
Even so, there are some key rules to be taken into account. Never call the domain scammer and try to cancel an agreement or dispute an invoice. This is because the domain scam artists record the call and then manipulate the recordings. Then a "no" can become a "yes" and you will have much more difficulty in the end. Words then stand against words, while the scam artists have acquired "evidence" because you ordered something from them. Therefore, send all communications through fax or postal letter. Send copies of the incorrect invoice and not the original.
If you receive a claim on the invoice, you do not need to do anything because you have already disputed the invoice. However, if the case is sent to debt collection, you must dispute the invoice again. You can then do it directly to the collection company that runs the case. The police, together with the Kronofogen Enforcement Agency and the Swedish Trade Federation, among others, have produced a .pdf document that will help you through the various steps. You can find this at: bestrid.nu.
If you belong to an industry or professional organization, you can in some cases receive legal assistance from them to pursue a case regarding the objection of an invoice.
If you receive an invoice for a service or item that you have not ordered, after checking the facts, report the sender for fraud. Never call the person concerned, but send all communication through regular mail or fax (see above). Compile and archive each document regarding the fraud attempt so that your evidence position should be as good as possible during a potential trial. If you belong to an industry or professional organization, in some cases you can get legal assistance from them if your police report results in a trial.
Report questionable business practices
If you have been a victim of questionable business practices in relation to domain names, please contact The Swedish Internet Foundation, the Swedish Trade Federation, Förenade Bolag, or as a private individual, you can contact the Swedish Consumer Agency and alert them about companies or indivduals who use questionable business practices in the domain name market.
In addition, you should contact your trade organization or economic association if you belong to such. Experiences show that the domain name scams perform epidemically and sectorally. One season, private healthcare providers may be vulnerable, while in the next period, small companies in the manufacturing industry will be the focus of the scam artists' activities.
Verification of incorrect or inadequate holder information
If the Swedish Internet Foundation is alerted or suspects false holder information, the holder will be contacted with a request for rectification according to The Swedish Internet Foundation's Registration Terms.
You find more information here. To report suspicious holder information or for tips, see the contact information to the right.