ICANN is warning registrants to steer clear of certificates being delivered to “protect” domains registered in new gTLDs. “Note that ICANN does not issue certificates to registrants and does not collect fees from registrants directly,” says the organisation in a advisory published today.
In this scam, domain registrants have been targeted by fraudsters claiming protection is required for new gTLDs and asking for money for issuing certificates. Some of these fraudulent certificates appear to be from China.
China has a history of domain name related scams, including a scheme where registrants of a domain in an existing TLD are contacted by a so-called Chinese IP professional claiming to be fielding a “request” from a “client” to register the same name as a .CN. The scammer then offers to register the name in the victim’s name instead of his “client’s” as a “courtesy”, for a high price.
Although ICANN has not investigated these scams before, it is looking into the fake certificate scheme as this makes an unauthorised use of its logo.