We have been receiving a high number of calls from customers who claim they have been scammed by Domain Registration companies. We absolutely hate to hear when this happens and highly recommend that you read this article. We originally published this back in September of 2011 but we think it’s time to bring it out again due to the high amount of incoming registry inquiries.
Remember these 3 simple tactics before you pay your domain registration fees:
1. Never pay a registration fee to a company who looks unfamiliar to you.
2. When in doubt, always call the domain registry first (or hosting service) and verify that they do in fact host your domain.
3. Look up who registers your domain by going to the following link: www.domaintools.com
Always Look Twice Before Crossing The Streets of Domain Registry:
So, you reach into your mailbox and mixed in with all of your bills, magazines and assorted junk mail you notice a pretty authentic looking envelope from “Domain Registry of America”. Upon opening the piece of mail, you notice in the upper right hand side in bold letters that your website domain name is about to expire. You may panic, sweat or scold yourself for forgetting to remember to renew this. Your first impulse may be to pay it and just cross it off the list of things to do. We are here to tell you that you should ALWAYS read the fine print and do your research before paying anything, as spam has a way of infiltrating essentially any means of mail these days.
Here is the rundown of how scammers like the above mentioned companies work:
- They will send you a notification that your domain is about to expire and will advise you to take immediate action and PAY them.
- They will warn you that you must renew your domain name in order to retain the exclusive rights to it.
- They will all of a sudden “suggest that you switch to them” because they are the best, cheapest and most prestigious domain registry available. Be advised that they are non of the above. This is called a scam within Intellectual property known as Domain Slamming.
- Domain slamming is a form of scam in which an internet service provider (ISP) or domain name registrar attempts to trick customers of different companies into switching from their existing ISP/registrar to the scamming ISP/registrar, under the pretense that the customer is simply renewing their subscription to their old ISP/registrar.*
What to do:
They are trying to trick you into involuntarily switching over to them, if you have received a letter in the mail from any of the companies that are “offering” these types of services to you, and you were wondering what you need to do; well here you go:
- First, make sure you check who is your domain registrar. You should be able to find this easy enough by simply checking an old bill, looking within your websites files or pick up the phone and call.
- I strongly encourage anyone who gets a letter from the Domain Registry of America to report the company to your country’s consumer advocacy agency. Most Western and industrialized countries have an arm of the government dedicated to consumer advocacy. Report them and don’t do business with Domain Registry of America.
- Most likely, your domain name is hosted with another company, it will not expire in the near future, and there is nothing you need to do. Throw that piece of paper in the recycling bin.