These days, pretty much everyone seems to receive too many spam phone calls. It seems like I receive many more than my wife, and I always assumed it was related to my domain name registrations. I receive quite a few spam text messages, too, and those are almost always related to web development, SEO, or logo design, which I assume is the result of harvesting phone number information from the Whois records on my domain names.
The vast majority of my domain names are registered at GoDaddy, and although I do not use Whois privacy, GoDaddy redacts Whois data so my email and phone number do not show up on Whois lookups for my domain names. I speculated that the reason for the spam calls could be my domain name wins on DropCatch.com, which would appear as newly registered domain names at NameBright, where I do not use Whois privacy either:
Tempted to answer one of these spam calls to try and see where they’re coming from. My guess is the uptick in DropCatch wins looks like newly registered names and callers are selling web dev, logo, or search engine services. Should turn on privacy on those names.
— Elliot Silver (@DInvesting) October 7, 2020
Abdu Tarabichi responded to my tweet and recommended getting a Google Voice phone number for Whois records since I have more control over the calls sent to my phone from my Google Voice account. Since I already have a Google Voice phone number for business, I decided to change the phone number on my contact information for domain names registered at NameBright to see if that number starts receiving spam calls.
I just checked that account, and I have 13 missed calls since Friday and one text message. It seems pretty clear that spammers are harvesting phone number details from my public Whois records and as soon as they see what appears to be a new domain name registration, they are attempting to sell me various services they think I might want to use.
One alternative to using a Google Voice phone number for Whois settings is to simply add free Whois privacy to my domain names at NameBright. The downside to this is prospective buyers who use Whois records for contact information may have a more challenging time reaching me to buy a domain name. However, nearly all of my names registered at NameBright are listed for sale via DAN.com, so that should not be an issue.
Notably, I have seen people comment that the spam calls are being made by the domain registrars themselves. I have no reason to believe this is true. I suspect some spam callers may suggest they are somehow affiliated or related to the domain registrar to drop the guard of the domain registrant or make them more willing to
It’s long been assumed that an uptick in spam calls is likely related to Whois data harvesting, but I proved that to be true by changing the phone number on the domain names that have public Whois information.
Selling our data is a big big billion$$$ industry. What pisses us off is that we don’t have control of our own data, we are giving away FREE to those companies and they make money from our own data.
Wait till they get our health data!!
Magna cum laude
Graduate of Domain King Academy
MBA-My Big Ass(all of you have one)
PHD-people having dickheads
I have gotten spam text messages continuously for almost two years since I changed my phone number.
Every single one can be traced to a domain name registered at NameCheap. It is nearly impossible to contact them.
It makes me very angry, since some of those text messages occur before 7:00am and some in the middle of the night.
Not one message, not one, is registered to any other domain registrar except NameCheap! I will never use their services again, ever! Thank you for sharing about Google voice, I appreciate this post. 🙂
Most of the spammers are from India-the Mumbai area, and the phone # they use are from the New Jersey area code but thanks to VOIP, they work from home in Mumbai, New Delhi…
I get to chat with a couple of these folks and they are nice—they are just paid to do the job of calling and spamming emails –it is just a business.
Most of their business domains end with”soft” to sound like they are associated with Microsoft.
And the funniest thing is they always have a western last name –Miller,Jonhnson, or Laurie,Williams…
I Started Getting SPAM Calls After REG Names On GoDaddy Lately..
No Where Else Did I Reg And Buy…
Better Solution: Buy New # For GoDaddy And Other Internet S.Shows.
i just changed my whois phone number to the ftc complaint number….i wonder how that will shake out.