Be on the watch for emails and physical mailers that state that you need to pay for your “Domain Listing”, or renew your domain name before it expires!
Using the public WhoIs information associated with your domain name, companies will send fake letters that make it seem that it is urgent to pay your bill.
Don’t comply with random bills asking this – instead, call up your provider directly to verify this, especially if you do not recognize the charge!
With one version of these fake invoices, Domain Listings will leave you high and dry after taking your bill – usually at the tune of 105.00, in exchange for directory listings that you’ll never see. On top of that, you’ll be signed up for an annual renewal.
The more dangerous type of false invoice is those for Domain Renewal. It will say that your domain name is up for renewal soon, and to renew it for another one, two, or three years. Not only do you end up paying a random company, but you often end up transferring your domain name to them. These details are often hidden away in their fine print, with them expecting the victim to not read it and just pay.
The last type of domain renewal scam is a mailed invoice which makes it appear as if you need to renew your domain name – except it’s not quite the same name. For example, if you have www.domain.com, they might put www.domain.com.au instead. The price for the domain most likely will be a number of times higher than that of normal registrars.
Should you happen to indeed want the domain name they offer, make sure to go through your registrar directly to order it!
So, what can you do to protect yourself?
Keep an eye out for unfamiliar company names and logos on invoices, especially if you don’t recognize or expect it. If you’re ever in doubt, call your provider or registrar company directly and ask them about their policy and the invoice in question. More often than not, they’ll confirm if it is fake.
An illustration graduate of Moore College of Art, Elisha is one of the main authors of the blog. She adds the gears to the website to make it function, being adept at front-end development with a specialty in PHP, CSS/HTML, and WordPress.