Spammers and scammers will often make use of a proxy: someone that is hired to act on their behalf.
In the case of domain name registration this can be for several reasons notably:
- Need of a physical country-specific location: This is because some ccTLDS (ex. .eu, .fr) require a valid physical address and telephone number in the particular geographical region.
- Need of real contact information: The CAN-SPAM act stipulates that commercial email must "... include your valid physical postal address.". ICANN regulations also require that domain name contacts must be able to be contacted.
In such cases, hiring a proxy will enable the spammer/scammer to be technically compliant. The downside is that in such cases, the person who may be held liable is the proxy himself or herself.
While proxies (they perfer to be referred to as 'agents') may allow their personal information to be used by spammers/scammers, they are often unaware of the ramifications of such an act. Notably, that they are subsequently liable for the use of domains registered in their name, and activities thereof.
Alerting/educating the proxies as to their liability in such matters will result in their withdrawing of support of such operations, as they are often unaware of the extent to which they are accepting the legal risk for someone else's actions. Registrars may be useful in such an action, as they have an interest in obtaining the information of the person who 'hired' the proxy.
Consequently, registrars can cooperate with the proxies to both obtain their approval (since the proxy is the legal owner of the domains) to suspend/delete the domains, as well as locate the person or persons who are behind the operation. There is evidence of such an operation (in French) having occurred:
Bonjour, Je suis Francois Panassac gérant de la société Creascripts. Des noms de domaine litigieux ont été enregistrés sous mon nom sans que je' sois informé. Gandi m'a contacté dès la connaissance de ce problème, je me suis rendu dans leurs locaux et nous avons suivi les procédures nécessaires pour régler les problèmes. Tout est rentré l'ordre, Gandi a été rapide honnête et professionnel. Francois
From a spammer/scammer's perspective, a proxy therefore has the major disadvantage that it is ultimately the proxy who owns the domains, and who may be influenced to delete them.