I was recently reading an article about a phishing site which was uncovered recently. The site in question – "Bank of Switzerland" – bankofswissltd[DOT]com was undone by some suspicious discrepancies in their site’s WHOIS record.
If you’re uncertain what a WHOIS record is, a decent analogy might be to compare it to a listing in a phonebook. It contains select information about the ownership and delegation of a specific domain name. For example: microsoft.com
What I found interesting is that part of the “tell” that the registration was bogus was that the registrar named in the WHOIS result was a “Jolis Intercom”. Now, according to the list of accredited registrars, there is not such registrar.
The take away here is that you should be aware of businesses who are accredited registrars when purchasing/registering a domain name. Some sellers are resellers of a larger accredited registrar, so this is not a comprehensive list – but worth noting these two sites: