Impending renewal dates for .biz and .info domain names are being used by online scammers to fraudulently obtain money.

Spam emails warning domain holders that their addresses are about to expire have been circulating for sometime. Last year's targets were .uk registrants as hundreds of fraudulent emails circulated ordering them to pay £225 or lose their domain name.

But both .biz and .info domain names carry authorisation codes, which were put in place to protect against such scammers. Some registration companies are not automatically providing applicants with these numbers in a bid to retain the domain holder as their customer.

"What concerns us is that some companies are not aware that if they want to move away from their registration company they need to obtain their authorisation code to pass on to the new registration company," said Ken Sorrie, co-founder and director of domain registrar Internetters.co.uk.

"Our advice to all registrants is to start getting your authorisation codes now, so come the time of renewal when the domain can be transferred they are not caught out," added Sorrie.

Authorisation codes should be given out free of charge. Sorrie advises domain holders to ignore all unsolicited email relating to their domain names. If owners are in doubt, they should contact their own registrar.

Registrations for .info and .biz domain names started in October and November 01 respectively. The first renewals will therefore be due this October and November.