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Unmask the online fraudster

Unmask the online fraudster

Finding online fraudsters is easier than you think

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Alexandra Maddy

Head of Corporate Intelligence, Forensic

KPMG in the UK

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There is a lot of information hidden behind a website than meets the eye. For example, by using specialised search tools, it is easy to discover who owns a certain website. Not only can you identify associated email addresses and phone numbers but you can get their postal address. This information is crucial to unmasking an online fraudster. 

Searching domain name registries for a company’s website can reveal:

  • Postal addresses belonging to each website.
  • Names of individuals listed as the website’s owners. 
  • The name of the company that sells and hosts the website.
  • The internet protocol (IP) address associated with the website (which is a unique number assigned to every computer online). 

This information can be used during investigations and asset traces not only to track down fraudsters, but to understand how multiple individuals and companies may be secretly linked to each other.

For instance, in competitive bids, fraudulent suppliers sometimes set up numerous companies with different names to pitch for the same contract in order to increase their chances of success. A savvy procurement officer that receives separate quotes from two suspicious bidders might use a domain search tool to find that their websites are linked to the same IP address, despite their claim to be in different locations. 

The below tools can be useful in discovering details behind a website or email address:

  • Domain Tools - Domain Tools offers a variety of domain registry search tools, some of which are free to access. Its free Whois Lookup tool helps you to find the owner of a URL or an IP address while its subscription-based services allows you to complete more sophisticated reverse searches to uncover how many domain names are registered to a particular individual.
  • Robtex - Robtex is a free of charge registry search tool that enables you to search by IP address or website URL. Searching Robtex can reveal the name of the company that hosts a particular website, the IP addresses associated with that website as well as detailed technical information.

KPMG’s Corporate Intelligence team would supplement information obtained from these types of databases with our wider technology-enabled desktop research and our network of third-party human intelligence sources. 

For more information about our corporate intelligence capabilities, please contact our Corporate Intelligence Team

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