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Step 4: Send a takedown request

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If someone has sent an email pretending to be you, check whether the email came from your exact email address. You might find there are slight differences in the spelling or the name of the business in the domain name (the bit after the @ sign in an email address). The use of a fraudulent domain name that looks similar to your own is known as domain spoofing.

If someone is using a domain name for malicious purposes or to target your business through impersonation, there are several options for you.

What do I do?

  • The .au Domain Authority (auDA) is the official Australian authority for domain names ending in .au, such as com.au, .net.au, and .org.au. If someone is using an Australian domain name, contact auDA at auda.org.au to alert them of the malicious domain name.
  • Contact the registrar of the malicious domain name and request they take the domain down.
    • To find out who the registrar is, you can perform a whois lookup for .au domains at whois.auda.org.au and for international domains at lookup.icann.org.
    • If the lookup results also include a Registrar Abuse Contact Email, you can send your takedown request directly to that email address.
    • If there is no abuse contact email listed, internet search to find the registrar’s website and look for an abuse form or contact email there.
    • Also take note of the Registrant, Registrant ID (typically an Australian Business Number (ABN) or an Australian Company number (ACN) for domains ending in .au), and Registrant Name. (If someone is impersonating you, they will sometimes use your details for these fields to make the domain appear more legitimate.
    • Once you have the registrar’s contact details, send a takedown request. For a templated email response, please see text below:

To the abuse team at <registrar company name>,

<Your organisation’s name> would like to lodge an official abuse complaint against the following domain name which operates in your jurisdiction:

<Lookalike domain name>

We believe this domain name was registered in bad faith. It is confusingly similar to our domain name (<your organisation’s domain name>) and has been used to impersonate our business and scam our <clients/customers/contacts>.

<Description of scam or fraudulent activity, including screenshots where possible>

Open source information shows that <registrar company name> is the current registrar of <lookalike domain name>. We request you take down the offending domain name as soon as possible.

<Delete this paragraph, unless the lookalike domain name used your details for the Registrant, Registrant ID (ABN), and/or Registrant Name>. We have also noticed that the offending domain name uses our organisation’s details for the

<Registrant/Registrant ID/Registrant Name> field(s). Please advise what identification or details we can provide in order to claim this domain name and have it taken down or transferred.

Thank you for your assistance. Should you require additional information, please feel free to contact us.

<Insert your organisation’s name>

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