20 Jul Domain Registry of America and Other Domain Scams
Have you ever received a letter from Domain Registry of America scam or a similar company claiming you need to act fast and renew your domain; only you have no recollection of ever dealing with said company?
If you answered yes, you’re not alone. Domain name registration and renewal scams are pretty common and in this post, we’ll explain what they are, share examples of most common domain name scams, and give you tips on what to do.
What Is A Domain Listing Scam?
A domain listing scam involves a company that sends out letters to unsuspecting website owners to try and get them to either switch their domain name registrars or even hosting companies.
Those letters typically look very official, however, they don’t explicitly state that they are your current registrar. To make matters worse, their listed cost for the renewal is typically higher than the average domain registration price.
Examples of Domain Name Scams
When it comes to domain name scams, there are a couple of companies out there that you need to watch out for.
Domain Registry of America Scam
The Domain Registry of America scam is probably the most notorious of them out of the bunch. As you can see from the screenshot below, their letter looks very official with the American flag and the urgent deadline reply so it’s easy to fall prey to their scam.
Domain Listings scam / National Domains scam
This domain scam is not for a domain renewal but rather for registering it in an online directory and “24x7x365 Worldwide Exposure Customer Access”. The second example from National Domains even states that this is a solicitation and you’re not obligated to pay.
Simple Domain Host scam
In this example, the company listed on the invoice is actually trying to get you to transfer the hosting of your website from your current host to them. Similarly to the previous example, the fine print states this is a solicitation for the order of goods and services and not an actual bill.
The letter from iDNS is not only trying to get you to transfer their domain name over to them and pay 3x the normal average price for the domain renewal but also to register additional domain extensions.
Domain World Email
The last example didn’t come through regular mail but through an email. This goes to show that you should always double-check any email that comes in your inbox regarding your domain name renewal. Like the other examples on this list, the email is trying to convince you to click a suspicious link and submit your payment information.
Always Read The Fine Print
The most important piece of advice we can share with you is to read the fine print. Pay attention to details and avoid taking action immediately out of fear of losing your domain name.
Quick Tips to Spot Whether The Notice Is Real or Fake
Now that you know what this scam involves, let’s go over some quick tips to help you spot whether renewal or registration notice is real or fake.
- First, examine all paper invoices thoroughly. Typically speaking, domain name registration notice will come in your email inbox not via regular mail.
- Watch out for a contact number. Fake notices don’t usually have a phone number listed. If they do, it’s usually a fake phone number so try calling it.
- Turn to the Internet and do a web search for the company name that sent you the notice paired with the word scam.
- Go through your records and try to find a confirmation of domain registration or try to remember where and when you purchased the domain name. This is usually one of the reputable companies such as GoDaddy, Network Solutions, Hover, NameCheap, and others.
- As you’re going through your records, be sure to try and track down the date your domain name is supposed to renew. If you’ve identified the company where you registered the domain name, log in to your account and look at the date your domain is supposed to renew.
If you’re still unsure after going through the tips above, the last thing you can do is to contact your webmaster or IT company. They might be able to help you remember when and where you purchased your domain name.
What to Do If You’ve Received A Suspicious Notice About Your Domain
First things first: if you’ve received a letter or an email regarding your domain registration, DO NOT send or pay money.
If your accountant is handling all the payments that are related to your business, let them know that the letter or the email might be a scam and advise them to hold off on paying until you’ve thoroughly investigated it.
You’ll also want to loop in your webmaster or your IT company and let them know about the potential scam threat. They can then take the appropriate steps to add domain privacy to your domain registration. Once added, your contact information won’t appear in the WHOIS database.
Treat the unexpected invoice as suspicious and take the time needed to verify whether it’s a scam or a legit notice, keeping in mind the tips we’ve shared above.
As mentioned earlier, you’ll want to invest in a domain name privacy service. Some domain name registrars will charge you a small additional fee, some will include it for free.
Finally, don’t hesitate to contact the FTC, BBB, and ICANN Complaint department and let them know about the letter or email you’ve received. Be sure to include a copy of the letter or the email so they can have all the necessary information to take legal measures.
Unsure? Contact Us
Did you receive a letter in the mail regarding your domain registration and aren’t sure if it’s legitimate? Contact us through our support desk and we’ll help you identify if the letter or email is real or a scam as well as walk you through the next steps. If you’re looking for a place to register or transfer your domain name, read our domain name registration recommendations.