If you received a letter that looks like this, Please be warned. THIS IS NOT bill DO NOT PAY IT, it’s a scam
Several of my Hawaii clients have reported receiving “invoices” from “DNS Services” for $65 to renew their domain names.
To read more about these types of scams, check out this WIKIPEDIA article.
There is fine print indicated by the red arrow, containing a disclaimer that it is a solicitation and not actually a bill of invoice. This is the same tactic that Domain Registry of America uses, it is a trick to lure you away from your registrar and switch to them. By paying you inadvertently switch your domain names to them.
What makes these scam appear genuine is the clever way they are designed to look like real bills and how they conceal the fine print. It also contains valid information extracted from DNS records, including your company’s domain and the ISP records and expiration date. Often the person who received the mail, like business managers, secretaries or accountants assume its valid and pay it, not knowing that its not who currently holds their domain names.
What should I do if I get a letter like this?
Don’t do anything, Not unless you want to pay $65 for your domain which is usually no more than $12. If you want to do your part in stopping scams like this, REPORT it to the FTC.
How to prevent from being scammed
To avoid scams like these, make sure you are clear WHO your domains were purchased under. Usually these are companies like GoDaddy, Network Solutions, etc. Be sure to let everyone in your company know that any bills related to the website must go through the IT person, or designate someone to be responsible for monitoring the website bills and that they know who is being paid for what. This way anything else coming in can be ignored.
image courtesy of: mhttp://www.ltnow.com