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jeanettemarie
07-03-2008, 8:37 AM
I received an email today from Ian Hartas at UKBMD.org.uk
warning of scam BMD sites they are as follows

Bogus Sites
freebmd.com
cheshire.bmd.org.uk
wiltshire.bmd.org.uk

True sites
freebmd.org.uk
cheshirebmd.org.uk
wiltshirebmd.org.uk

subtle differences are where the . is placed and he is urging people to be aware and to use the proper sites

Alan Welsford
07-03-2008, 11:36 AM
Does he say what the scam is ?

What happens if someone uses one of these by mistake, please ?

Alan

MarkJ
07-03-2008, 11:48 AM
I had a quick look at a couple of those sites (on a computer used specifically for such purposes, rather than a normal everyday PC) and they appear to be what is termed "domain squatting". Lots of links to similar sites, "sponsored links" etc. I didn't spot anything "dodgy", but they certainly are not the proper BMD sites.
Domain squatting is basically getting hold of a domain name which is similar enough to the original that people may either mistype or incorrectly guess the proper address.
The basic idea is that they will get paid by the "sponsors" for each click on the ads - in a similar way to the commonly found "Google AdSense" links found on some pages. The difference is that the websites displaying the Google ads are not trying to con people into visiting them (in the main) whereas the BMD fake sites are doing exactly that - catching out the less computer savvy.

Disclaimer: I have not examined the dodgy sites thoroughly, so I would suggest not following the links unless you are familiar with the techniques used and use an operating system which is immune to web based exploits.

Mark

Alan Welsford
07-03-2008, 12:17 PM
- catching out the less computer savvy.

Hmm

Thanks Mark,

I consider myself reasonably computer savvy, but must admit if I don't have a site stored as a favourite, I am liable to go to Google and type in "FreeBMD", or whatever, (bad example, because I do have it as a favourite!...)

As long as what Google pops up first is the real thing, I'm probably fine, but if it actually managed to give a higher ranking to one of the "copy" sites, I could end up using it unknowingly.

I assume that under the covers it all looks like "FreeBMD" (or whatever), and is actually exploiting their data, but just that you have gone in through a front end that isn't their's ?

Correct, or not ?

Alan

ChrisKelly
07-03-2008, 12:26 PM
According to Whois (http://whois.domaintools.com/bmd.org.uk) (it's safe to click it, honest) the domain registrant for 'bmd.org.uk' is TagNames Ltd who apparently own another 1430 domain names. The thumbnail piccie shows what the supposed bmd websites look like. As Mark suggests, nothing particularly dodgy but lots of links and advertising to other sites that will, for example get you a certificate for 16.95 etc. Whether they really do is another matter....

Registered office for TagNames is 7 The Willows, Great Chesterford, Essex if anyone wants to pop in and remonstrate.
:D

MarkJ
07-03-2008, 12:29 PM
Nope, it looks nothing like the real BMD sites. I know what you mean - some sites do offer a "portal" type thing, but this seems to be just adverts. Strangely free of flashing banners and other gaudy effects of the sort you often see on these type of iffy sites, it is fairly plain, with clicky links to advertisers pages. No BMD info whatsoever as you may imagine. I guess they assume the visitor will click a link, not find the BMD stuff and click another link....
Like you, I have the real BMD sites bookmarked, but if you poke "freebmd" into Google, all the links on the first page at least are genuine (although some are to A******) - the first few are directly to the FreeBMD.org.uk website itself :)

If someone is unsure if a site is genuine, it pays to ask around before visiting the site. Many popular sites and even those for security tools such as AV programs or anti-spyware tools are victims of dodgy hoax sites - some of these "anti-spyware" programs available from these iffy sites are actually malware themselves! So that is why I urge everyone to check before they click :)

Mark

MarkJ
07-03-2008, 12:31 PM
According to Whois (http://whois.domaintools.com/bmd.org.uk) (it's safe to click it, honest) the domain registrant for 'bmd.org.uk' is TagNames Ltd who apparently own another 1430 domain names. The thumbnail piccie shows what the supposed bmd websites look like. As Mark suggests, nothing particularly dodgy but lots of links and advertising to other sites that will, for example get you a certificate for 16.95 etc. Whether they really do is another matter....

Registered office for TagNames is 7 The Willows, Great Chesterford, Essex if anyone wants to pop in and remonstrate.
:D

Indeed - I have already checked out the registrant ;) A long walk to pop in to visit the registrant of the "freebmd.com" site - that is registered in one of the major centres for UK BMD information - China ;)

Mark

suedent
07-03-2008, 12:33 PM
Domain Squatters are the bane of the internet. A year or so ago #1 son wanted a particular name which was due to be released. Claiming the site proved to be problematic as he couldn't get in to claim it. By the time he did get in the name had been snapped up by domain squatters. They were prepared to sell it to him but at an exorbitant rate way beyond the means of a student, or most reasonable people for that matter.

MarkJ
07-03-2008, 12:38 PM
Domain Squatters are the bane of the internet. A year or so ago #1 son wanted a particular name which was due to be released. Claiming the site proved to be problematic as he couldn't get in to claim it. By the time he did get in the name had been snapped up by domain squatters. They were prepared to sell it to him but at an exorbitant rate way beyond the means of a student, or most reasonable people for that matter.

Scum - thats all you can describe the squatters as.
Worth noting for those who have their own domain names, that you need to make sure the renewal is paid - before it runs out - or you will find your website address pinched by these leeches who will either fill your old address with ads or try to sell it back to you for an arm and a leg :(

Mark (adding domain and typo squatters to the list of those to eradicate come the Revolution!)

suedent
07-03-2008, 12:41 PM
Scum - thats all you can describe the squatters as.
Worth noting for those who have their own domain names, that you need to make sure the renewal is paid - before it runs out - or you will find your website address pinched by these leeches who will either fill your old address with ads or try to sell it back to you for an arm and a leg :(

Mark (adding domain and typo squatters to the list of those to eradicate come the Revolution!)

I remember this happening to one of my favourite sites for Cornish Genealogy a few years ago :(

Peter Goodey
07-03-2008, 1:18 PM
If you want to know what someone did about TagNames Ltd, you can read about it here...

http://www.nominet.org.uk/digitalAssets/27271_wiseinsurance.pdf