Beware of Domain Scams

Every time one of my domains is up for renewal, I get sent, through “snail mail,” an official-looking “Domain Expiration Notice” from one of several companies I’ve never heard of. The notice looks very much like a bill, in an attempt to persuade people to fill-out the attached form.

The notice says that the domain will be expiring soon, and that it needs to be renewed. If you just scan the paper, it looks like a bill to renew your name. But it’s not. Upon closer inspection, you can tell that it’s a company other than your registrar, and that, by filling out the form, you will transfer your domain to the unscrupulous registrar.

The letter claims that if you don’t renew your domain through them, you will end up paying much “higher renewal prices in the future.” This couldn’t be farther from the truth. For a year of service with them, you will be charged $29.00. What real registrar charges that rate? costs you $7/year, and GoDaddy $10. It may have cost $80/year back in the bad old days when Network Solutions was the only registrar on the block, but today, $29.00 is just plain theft.

In addition to ridiculous rates, if you send the form in, you may not be able to leave the usurping registrar. They could just hang on to your domain. And don’t forget that they would have your credit card number…

Here is a scan of one of the scams I received recently:

Don’t fall for domain scams. If you can’t verify that it’s from your registrar, don’t trust it. Go to your registrar’s website, and make sure auto-renew is activated, and you won’t have to worry about your domain expiring; You will be able to safely ignore any expiration notices.

  • Imar

    Wow, that’s scary. How did they get your Postal address in the first place? Well look at it this way, at least somebody thinks your domain name is worth stealing!