Using Whois To Detect Fraud & Counterfeit

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Last month, a friend of mine emailed me a link to a website proporting to sell Christian Louboutin shoes. She wanted to know if there was a way to tell if the site was fraudulent since it looked a bit fishy, and the prices were almost too good to be true. The website did look pretty poorly constructed, but there are plenty of places that sell close-outs, so that wasn’t 100% convincing.

I did a Whois check on the name, and lo and behold, the domain name was registered a couple of weeks prior. A new domain registration, coupled with all of these other signals led me to believe it was a site selling counterfeit products.

If you are ever in doubt about whether a website is legit, check the Whois. You can see who owns and operates the website (if it’s not private), and you can see how long it’s been operating. If you use the DomainTools Whois tool, you can also see historic thumbnails as well. Since many large brands monitor their presence on the Internet, fraudulent websites are generally shut down quickly.

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