Canadian Internet Agency? Or Elaborate Scam?

By Adam Rutter
February 04, 2002
In the past few days, a Toronto based company which sells Internet Domain Names, was sending mail to customers of competitors , offering to re-new and take over the magement of domains for the people and companies. The appeared to come from a government department. Internet Registry of Canada (IROC), no government affiliations, was sending these letters. The evelopes and letters showed a red Canadian flag and the words "Internet Registry of Canada" in english and french. The letter itself was labelled an 'important notice'.

How easy it would all be for us if we could just mail our competitors and have a form letter that looks like we are from the government of Canada and ask them to move their services to us... well why stop there, lets email people with bank accounts, get them to move their services to us.

This kind of 'scam' has been going on for some time with IROC, who has just recently changed their form letters and envelopes to look nothing like any government material. Well a lot of us would know the government does not run any Domain Registration sites directly themselves, hundreds, maybe even thousands of Canadians unknowingly transfered their domains to this company.

Barry Freeman, a manager at IROC, has since said "It was done in good taste, but some people didn't think it was good taste, so it has been changed." Good taste?? Having a form letter and envelope that mirror the government of Canada? Is this not a federal offense? Can anyone send letters like this? Maybe I will legally change my name to the Government of Canada then it is still in good taste. But whos good taste? One or two marketting advisors? Are things like this not taken for public opinion in their 'group tests'?

Since this news has come forward, IROC's company website has been experiencing technical difficulties for much of yesterday afternoon, and on and off this morning.

As competition heats up for the lucrative business of registering and managing domain names, especially now that .biz domains are available and more companies move their businesses online, People have to be careful. If in doubt check CIRA's website to affirm that the registrar who you want to register your domain with is infact an accredited registrar!