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Avoid .eu domain scams, firms warned

Pre-registration will not guarantee a new top-level European domain…
Written by Andy McCue, Contributor

Pre-registration will not guarantee a new top-level European domain…

Businesses are being warned to steer clear of firms offering pre-registration for the new .eu domain names. The .eu top-level domains are set to be introduced by the end of this year and the European Commission has appointed a non-profit European Registry for Internet Domains (EURID) to establish registration and dispute resolution processes. It is expected that a phased launch will include a 'sunrise' period to allow trademark holders and public bodies to register their names ahead of the general public. But some domain name resellers are already offering pre-registration to buy a .eu domain, even though they cannot guarantee securing it or whether the customer will even qualify. One Cambridge-registered online firm, .eu Registry Services, is offering two years registration for 60, five years for €140 and ten years for €270. Jonathan Robinson, director of business development at domain registrar NetNames, said there has been a recent increase in firms offering .eu domains and warned businesses and consumers not to hand over any money until the EC has set the qualifying rules. "The main problem with pre-registration offerings is that customers are handing over their credit card details and paying for a domain name, when actually there is no guarantee that they will qualify for that name, let alone actually receive the domain name they are ordering," he said. Firms should always use an ICANN-accredited domain name reseller to minimise their risk of losing money or a domain, said Robinson. "There are a lot of unethical operators in the domain name industry and this is just another example of companies trying to jump the gun and get people to hand over their money," he said. .eu Registry Services was contacted for comment but did not respond.
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