I recently registered a .fr domain, and the next day I already received a spam mail by an “independent web designer”, mentioning the fact that I bought that domain.

There are several questions that I’m puzzled about:

  1. Could this party really access the Owner Contact data of the domain somewhere, even though it is protected? Or did they contact me on my Tech contact, which unfortunately is the same email address
  2. How can they react that fast, does afnic offer a list of recently registered domains?
  3. Is that really a smart web and talented web designer, or rather a big company behind that has the means to put up such trackers?

How about other registrars? Is that something common?

3 Answers 3


How can they react that fast, does afnic offer a list of recently registered domains?

Yes, here (daily) and here (delayed, consolidated). They used to publish the lists in image (GIF) format for some time, but it seems they have stopped the practice now.

Since this is spam, you could report it.

  • Thanks, that’s a great answer to my second question. Would you have an answer to the first question as well, whether they can access Owner data?
    – Andy
    Commented Jul 31, 2023 at 7:23
  • Once the daily list of new registrations has been built, contact details can be scraped possibly from whois, or by crawling the website if any (the 'contact us' section), Or by performing a general and manual search on your name. Not everything is automated.
    – Kate
    Commented Jul 31, 2023 at 19:25
  • There is no website yet, and at least in the public web whois the contact details of the owner are not accessible. I guess they used the mail from the tech contact. Maybe I should conduct another experiment (:
    – Andy
    Commented Aug 1, 2023 at 8:03

After a domain is registered people can find your domain. It is always possible

  • that afnic pass on newly registered domains to their web designer
  • that afnic sells a list of newly registered domains
  • that the person that authorised it at afnic is passing it on to his friend.
  • its pure dumb luck
  • someone has a bot, continuously checking if a a huge list of domains respond.

But its normal to expect that admin, webmaster, support, sales etc may be monitored. So expect to receive spam on those email addresses.

  • 2
    All your 5 points are false and basically make no sense (specially 1 and 3rd point). See Kate's reply for the facts. Commented Jul 31, 2023 at 2:01
  • Thanks for the answer. But I’m aware of the possibilities, I’m looking for help figuring out what is the most likely.
    – Andy
    Commented Jul 31, 2023 at 7:47

If the Tech contact for the DNS has an email, it is one of the likely ways to have received it. Worse yet those who harvest the emails sell them to foolish web designers as leads. So the “independent web designer”, may have purchased the harvested emails thinking they were actual leads.

The harvesting of DNS emails is a violation of the Terms of Service and qualifies as fraud that can be reported. However, proving who committed the fraud is difficult and likely the report will not be investigated unless a pattern emerges.

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