Domain Name Scams

Domain name renewal scam

Watch Out for Domain Name Scams!

Since I host over 50 websites, I get a lot of questions from my clients about domain name renewal e-mails or letters. They usually say “Domain Expiration Notice”. A lot of these are Domain Name Scams trying to make money off your business. Please read on for advice on how to avoid these scams.

What is a Domain Name Scam?

A domain name scam is when a different domain name registrar company attempts to generate revenue by tricking businesses into buying, selling, listing or converting a domain name to their business.

The Biggest Domain Name Scam

Domain slamming – is a scam in which the offending domain name registrar attempts to trick domain owners into switching from their existing registrar to theirs.

Domain name scam letter from Domain Registry of America
Domain name scam letter from Domain Registry of America

One of the Biggest Offenders is Domain Registry of America

They will use public information to find your domain name and business address. Then they send you a letter that looks all too official about your domain name expiration. See picture.

The Hook: Domain Name Expiration Notice

At the top of their letters the heading reads “Domain Name Expiration Notice”. They trick you into thinking they are the official company that controls your domain name and that is not the case. (If you don’t know who is ask your website designer or IT person.)

The Domain Registry of America informs their targets that their domain name is about to expire, and this is probably true. They make sure to sneak it in before your actual domain name registrar contacts you about renewal.

Go Daddy domain name email phishing scam
Go Daddy domain name email phishing scam

Beware of Email Phishing Attempts About Your Domain Name

You might also get e-mails that state: “Domain Notification: This is your Final Notice of Domain Listing” or “Don’t lose your domain name”.

I’ve even seen what looks like e-mails from Go Daddy or Network Solutions, your real domain name registrars asking for your login or account details.

How to Avoid Domain Name Email Phishing Scams

  1. Never click on any links in your e-mail or reply with your account details.
  2. Always look at the e-mail address, not the subject line or e-mail content. A dead giveaway it’s a scam is a strange or funny looking e-mail from address.
  3. Example: GoDaddy12@gmail.com. When GoDaddy or other real companies send you an e-mail notice it will say “From: GoDaddy – donotreply@godaddy.com“.
  4. If in question call your domain name registrars support number, login to your account and review your domain name status or use their live chat to ask questions.

Final Thoughts & Suggestions to Avoid Being Scammed

  • Know who your hosting provider is (i.e. GoDaddy, HostGator, BluHost). Keep this in your computer files or documents along with the login information.
  • Domain names cost on average $10-15 a year, so they are relatively cheap, but losing them can be very costly. Hence, I tell all my clients to buy or registrars their main business domain name in chucks of 5-10 years.
  • In Addition, most of the time you’ll get a volume discount on the per-year cost by renewing your domain name for multiple years.
  • In conclusion, recognize renewal messages from your real registrar only, never reply directly via e-mail, letter or click on a link of a unknown company.
  • Most importantly never click on a link in your e-mail if your not 100% sure it’s ok.

I hope this helps you avoid any scam related to your domain name or hosting company.

You can contact me if you ever have question about these domain name scams.