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Commission Warns Firms About Domain Name Scam

An Australian-based company has been trying to dupe New Zealand businesses into paying for domain names they don't need, warned the Commerce Commission today.

A number of businesses have contacted the commission and the Domain Name Commissioner after receiving what look like invoices for registering the version of their websites. These businesses already operate domain names, registered through the Domain Name Commissioner.

Deborah Battell, Director of Fair Trading said the operation is similar to one they uncovered in 2003.

"People receive what resembles an invoice for registering a domain name at a cost of $225 for two years. The commission is concerned that people may be misled into believing that the invoice is from their authorised registrar and is for re-registering their current domain name," she said.

"We strongly urge people to carefully look at the detail before sending any money. Any correspondence mentioning your domain name should only come from the registrar you have had previous dealings with."

Domain names in New Zealand are registered on a first come, first served basis. Authorised registrars cannot advertise specific names. They must register the name with the Domain Name Commission first and then invoice the business once the domain name has been secured.