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Domain Tasting Down 99.7% – But It’s Coming Back

December 17, 2009domain tasting, Domaining, Domainnamewire, phishing, Policy & LawComments Off on Domain Tasting Down 99.7% – But It’s Coming Back

Domain tasting is down, but the registration game is merely changing.

ICANN is reporting that domain name tasting is down 99.7% since it implemented new policies to thwart it. Tasting is registering a domain name to test for traffic, and returning it within five days for a full refund if it doesn’t get enough traffic.

The new policies limited the number of domains a registrar could return for a refund. This changed the domain tasting model on its head and eliminated most tasting overnight.

But that’s about to change. It won’t exactly be tasting per se, but the days of seeing decent domain names drop and not be snapped up right away by large portfolio holders are about to end. Remember, domain tasting is a statistical game, and it used to be easy: register everything and see what made money. Now registrars are limited to how many domains they can return, so they need higher accuracy with their initial registrations. And they’re getting there, thanks to data provided by a number of sources. Domain Name Wire is aware of at least one highly reliable data source being offered to domain name registrars that will enable them to register domain names with a good understanding of exactly how much traffic they get. So hold on.

In another interesting note, ICANN’s latest report shows exception requests filed by registrars. These exception requests are filed with the registrar in an attempt to get full refunds for batches of domain names due to extraordinary circumstances. Most of the exception requests were due to fraud, but .com registry VeriSign rejected them, saying fraud is not an “extraordinary event”. One example: in July Moniker requested a refund on 6,992 domain names citing PayPal fraud and phishing. It was denied.


© DomainNameWire.com 2009.

Review and rate domain name parking companies at Parking Judge.

Related posts:

  1. 3/31/09: Death of Domain Tasting (Or is it?)
  2. Domain Tasting in the Spotlight
  3. Domain Tasting 2.0

Beware the Google Adsense “Account Disabled” Phishing Scam

October 15, 2009Domain Services, Domaining, Domainnamewire, google adsense, phishingComments Off on Beware the Google Adsense “Account Disabled” Phishing Scam

Phishing attempt hits Google Adsense account holders.

With all of the talk about Adsense users finding their accounts disabled lately, users should be aware of a phishing scam playing on Adsense clients’ greatest fear: losing their account.

Today I received an email purporting to be from Google telling me my account was disabled. And frankly, it’s the closest I’ve ever come to falling for a phishing attempt. That’s partly do to circumstance and partly because the scam is fairly well done.

On the circumstance side, I had an unusually high number of clicks on one of my sites yesterday. It seemed to good to be true, so I was afraid something was amiss.

On the scam side, the phishers appear to have copied an actual email Google uses to inform users their accounts have been disabled. Or at least something very close. There’s no broken English. Here’s what it says:

Hello,

While going through our records recently, we found that your AdSense
account has posed a significant risk to our AdWords advertisers. Since
keeping your account in our publisher network may financially damage our
advertisers in the future, we’ve decided to disable your account.

Please understand that we consider this a necessary step to protect the
interests of both our advertisers and our other AdSense publishers. We
realize the inconvenience this may cause you, and we thank you in advance
for your understanding and cooperation.

If you have any questions about your account or the actions we’ve taken,
please do not reply to this email. You can find more information by
visiting
https://www.google.com/adsense/support/bin/answer.py?answer=57153.

Sincerely,

The Google AdSense Team

The email came from adsense-adclicks-noreply@google.com, which apparently is a real Google email address that it uses to contact customers, at least according to a couple blog posts. (Surprisingly, Gmail didn’t warn me that the email was actually sent from someone other than the return address like it usually does. But it did put the message in my spam folder.)

But there are a few problems with the email. First, there’s no email address in the ‘to’ line. Second, it just addresses me as “hello”, rather than a name.

And finally — here’s where the phishing takes place — there’s an attachment to the email called Invalid Clicks Appeal.html. Well, that file actually opens up a URL at 110MB.com instead of Google’s web site.

It makes me think that some people who have been reporting that their Adsense accounts were shut down are actually falling victim to a phishing attempt.

Be alert!


© DomainNameWire.com 2009.

Review and rate domain name parking companies at Parking Judge.

Related posts:

  1. ICANN Hit With Phishing Attack
  2. Publisher Who Sued Google Adsense Loses Appeal
  3. eNom Phishing Attacks Continue and Morph