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Thread: Identity Theft

  1. #1
    SitePoint Zealot LucidSurf's Avatar
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    Identity Theft

    I've been running a legitimate web design business for almost 5 years now and was shocked to recently discover that a "friend" of a friend has been using my details as the contact name for a number of really dodgy porn sites. I met the guy once and he shared an interest in web design and asked for my address and other details (I did not know what kind of web sites he built at the time) so that we could stay in touch. He is based in France and I am based in Australia.

    Anyway, two days ago our mutual friend alerted me to the fact that my name and business address has been used in multiple instances as the WHOIS contact for his sites and I fear he may have used it in other ways too as a couple of years ago he asked me if I would help him set up a bank account in the UK (where I was temporarily based). I obviously declined.

    Firstly, I can't believe a so-called friend would do this to someone (I even took time out to give him a surfing lesson when he visited Australia). He is obviously scared of using his own name as he steals images from other web sites and is afraid of copyright issues.

    Should I report him to the French authorities, complain to Internic (or someone) and get the domains shut down, try to get compensation out of him...? Any ideas much appreciated. I really don't want my or my business name tarnished by this shady character!

  2. #2
    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
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    To get the domains shut down, I would think that the first step would be to complain to his host(s) and domain registrar. About the other issues, I would definitely seek professional legal advice. That's pretty scary.
    Linda Jenkinson
    "Say what you mean. Mean what you say. But don't say it mean." ~Unknown

  3. #3
    am I a Guru? guk6kk's Avatar
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    that is pretty scary...and what a friend...

  4. #4
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    but ... is the domain in your name too?

    I am afarid it isn't, but if it were you could get in touch with the registrar and triy to "hijack" (read "claim") the domain, and later shut it down.

  5. #5
    SitePoint Wizard gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy dc dalton's Avatar
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    You need to contact both the hosting companies for these sites AND the domain registrars for them .... these companies dont take this sort of thing lightly any more so Im pretty sure your problem could be solved this way.

    Once you get that done you might actually have a case for ownership of these domains .. but that might require a lawyer.

    Plain and simple this is bordering on fraud and Im 99% sure these companies will act quickly to stop it... and yes, what a freaking friend!


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