Domain Registry and Domain Listing Scams
I have written in the past on postal mail domain name scams and postal mail website backup scams. We get clients asking us if these scam letters are legitimate at least a handful of times a month. My answer is usually the same to customers. What is the name of the company that sent the letter? Answer: "It's Domain Listings and they are charging X price". So I hit Google, then read back to the client on what scam it is from what I found in Google. I don't do this to be condescending, but to educate them on what to look out for. I get it, it's an honest question.
The fact is, these scams have been around for 20 years and people have been falling for it the entire time, so that's why the scammers continue. There are a few different type of scams out there; domain name scams, directory scams, and website backup scams. Let's look at all three.
1. Domain Registry Scam
The domain registry scam is a classic scam that has been around for 20 years. It's actually called Domain Slamming: "Domain slamming (also known as unauthorized transfers or domain name registration scams) is a scam in which the offending domain name registrar attempts to trick domain owners into switching from their existing registrar to theirs, under the pretense that the customer is simply renewing their subscription to their current register."
The scam involves charging 3 times the price for a domain name and get people to bite on it. This company is called Domain Registry and is just another domain name scamming company that exists. Just Google "Domain Registry Scam" and the results will tell you all you need to know.
iDNS is another domain name scam company. Just look at the layout similarity to Domain Registry. It's obvious, but it's only obvious to me because I've been seeing these companies operate for many years.
Read the below scam letter:
THIS IS NOT A BILL. THIS IS A SOLICITATION. YOU ARE UNDER NO OBLIGATION TO PAY THE AMOUNT STATED ABOVE UNLESS YOU ACCEPT THIS OFFER.
2. Business Directory Scam
Here's an article from North Carolina Consumers Council about a directory scam titled "Yellow Pages Business Directory Invoice Scam Still Continues to Claim Unsuspecting Victims". Funny, at 3plains we received a directory scam postal message just last month. Notice how it says: "This is not a bill. This is a solicitation." How fitting. These fake bills are meant to cause confusion and to extort money from business owners. Just look at the invoice and visually inspect it. It looks bogus.
3. Website Backup Scam
Here is an older letter from a few years ago that says a client of ours owes for WebsiteBackup. It's always interesting because typically clients will ask us, "Are you backing up our website?" I answer we most certainly are, and daily. However, these scam companies will make you believe that the sky is falling and you need to use their program to backup your website. Another classic scam.
With any of these scams, I realize that our customers don't know what is going on, but if you have a question if something is legitimate, just hit Google first and 9 times out of 10 that will answer your question. In the rare case you are not quite sure, give us a call.
Posted in: Domains, Consulting, Marketing