US domain name been hosted for illegal activities - whats best advice


Please could I ask for a little advice over an issue one of clients has reported today as follows:

A domain name has been registered in the USA, and hosted in the USA, however, the information on the website is not correct, ie. address claimed is wrong (I the business centre address used), with a telephone number which is approx 200 miles away, and showing a UK Limited company name, which does not know the domain, or authorised it, and the website is pretending to sell printing machinary, with values between 10,000 and possibly upto 500,000 above, which have been taken from another company (so that’s 3 different companies details used to make this webiste).

The website scam works by keeping the deposits of potential buyers (usually 20%) and then dissapearing.

I have been in contact with the host provider, but they state there is nothing they can do as providers, as they are not in control of the website content, so I have advised all 3 companies to report to host provider using there TOS etc.

Please could I ask for any advice which may help our client, or have the domain redacted.

Thanking you all in advance

Many thanks


They could contact the local police UK or USA depending on where the site is hosted.

Hi Michael

Many thanks, much appreciated for your help and I’ve forwarded it to our client, thank you.

Our client did state yesterday they had reported it to the police, but the police were not too interested, because funds would have already been moved out, butane always, I think we only get part of the information from clients, but I can see the 3 different companies involved, and I know 2 of them, so I am confident this website is up to no good.

It’s just a shame there’s no definitive law where there is a high risk of illegal activities taking place, that the site cannot be taken down by the host. I think in uk, there is legal implications once notified of illegal use.

Many thanks and I hope no one minded me asking the question.


First, I think it’s outrageous that the hosting company refuses to do anything about this. Any host that knowingly serves illegal content and does nothing is obviously not a very reputable company.

Outside of the local police, there are a couple places to turn to:

  1. Report the issue to IC3: Give the dollar amounts apparently being scammed, this should get their attention
  2. Talk to the domain registrar or possibly ICANN itself: – Since the domain seem to be impersonating legitimate companies, there might be a way to revoke their domain ownership.
  3. Civil Legal Action: If you can’t get any traction for criminal prosecution, you may wish to advise your client to sue the people running the site or even the hosting company for refusing to take it down.

Best of luck with this – sounds like a terrible situation!

Hi Brett

Many thanks for your help and advice, I have forwarded to our clients to action.

Your advice on some I should have known ie iccann but this is the first time I have had to deal with anything like this, and I know Nominet rules but not iccann.

I hope this helps others who may have a similar situation in the future and it’s heartening to know most do take a serious view on this.

Once again, many thanks, you guys rock


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How to Report a Fraudulent Website to a Registrar - Namecheap Blog[/h]

advice and threads here helps a lot hope you can visit it

This “Hot to” can be useful to somebody else in the future