There are big changes going on right now that will affect how antiscam sites work, including ours. What I’m going to do in this post is explain what they are, and what damage they’ll do. WHOIS is one of the tools we use in investigating fake sites. Go to your WHOIS site of choice, put in the name of the site you’re investigating and you’ll be given a list of such things as the details about who owns the site name, when it was created, how long the site name was paid for, what companies they used to create the site and so on. For antiscam groups like ours, it’s the best way to help get the evidence needed to report and close a fake site as well as information on other sites owned by the same person. The most important parts for us would be the location, phone number and email address of the person. Now here’s where the problem lies. A law has come in that will make viewing that information much harder, if not impossible. Some of the information will still be available to view, but not the essential stuff. Not the stuff that REALLY matters. What it boils down to is that, very soon a scammer can create a fake site safe in the knowledge that getting it shut down will become a whole lot more difficult. While we’re fighting with our hands tied behind our backs due to the new rules coming in, the scammers will continue stealing money from people with their fake sites. If you see #WhyWeNeedWHOIS on Twitter, you know the reason why now. At least you know the basics. If you want to know more, keep an eye on here as Firefly is going to make a much more advanced post about it fairly soon from the point of view of someone who uses WHOIS on a regular basis to report fake sites used by scammers.
I don’t like having to publicly tell off another antiscam site, but sometimes, as the title says, it has to be done. We have always given “free, non-judgmental help and advice” on our site, so to see another site refer to victims as “dumb” boils our blood. Victims are not “dumb”, “stupid”, “greedy” or any of the other insults often hurled at them by members of the public, and we struggle every day to try and shake that perception of them. To see an antiscam site use any of those words makes our blood boil. These are people who should know better, but apparently some don’t. When we it, we’re going to call it out.