auDA orders 1025 bogus .au domains be deleted

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auDA orders 1025 bogus .au domains be deleted

Audit uncovers sites with fake business details.

The authority responsible for the administration of the .au domain name registrations has uncovered over 1000 domains registered with unauthorised Australian business details following complaints from the public.

auDA said last week that its investigation into the complaints had found a reseller of an accredited registrar that permitted what the policy authority terms unauthorised business use for registering .au domain names.

The reseller allowed registrants from China, Eastern Europe, North America and Asian countries to use fake Australian business details for their domain names, setting up sites selling goods.

After a manual vetting process that included obtaining detailed information on the domain names and taking screenshots of the sites they referred to, auDA identified 1025 registrations with bogus Australian details.

auDA has now told the accredited registrar to delete the domains in question.

The authority did not identify the registrar or the reseller, nor did it list the domains to be deleted.

auDA's present investigation started in September with an audit of .au domain names.

Overseas scammers have over the years managed to register websites with Australian details, so as to appear like local businesses.

In 2013, .au wholesaler AusRegistry warned users of scam websites purporting to be registered by Australian business entities which saw customers lose thousands of dollars on purchased goods that were not delivered.

At the time, AusRegistry said "current policies which require registrants to match domain names to a company or business entity are sufficient" to prevent bogus domain registrations. 

Weeding out fraudsters with a 100-point identification system would significantly burden the administrative process to manage registrations and make them substantially more expensive, AusRegistry's George Pongas wrote. 

auDA accepts complaints about incorrect .au registrations on its website.

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