Mar 3, 2016

Warning! Domain SCAM - "Fake" Domain Renewal Notices Arriving in Mail

Although this type of "domain jacking" scam has been active for years, we've seen a significant increase recently of our clients contacting us about what appears to be a ''domain name registration renewal notice'' arriving via USPS mail.

Although the mailing does include words/phrases such as: "when you switch", "transfer", "not a bill", etc. - it's very reasonable to conclude that many people getting this in the mail will assume it's an invoice and simply pay it...completely unaware that they just GAVE UP CONTROL & MANAGEMENT of their domain name AND will have to pay fees much higher than the industry standard rate (currently $15-25 per domain per year) for annual domain registration renewals.

We had a client of ours fall for this evil trick a few years back. In addition to paying the very expensive renewal fee up front, in order to get their domain transferred back to their control & management, they had to pay a $300 "ransom" to do so!

Below is the most recent example from iDNS (Internet Domain Name Services) of this type of devious scam, forwarded to us by a client who received it in the mail.  Note the "must renew" and "failure to do so" and similar scare tactic wording they use.


As stated above, this type of scam isn't new. Back in 2009, the Advertising Standards Authority issued an Adjudication on a company called Domain Registry of America.  The ASA noted the mailing was headed "Domain Name Expiration Notice" and closely resembled a bill, including a credit card payment slip, and considered recipients were likely to infer that their domain name had been transferred to DRA and a renewal payment was now required.   

If you own a website domain, and you get anything like what you see above via email or snail mail, please READ THE FINE PRINT carefully to ensure it's legitimate.


Cole WebMarketing is a Charlotte, NC based website design/development and internet marketing consulting firm.  For more information, please visit and then call us at 704-456-WEB1 (9321).