Having received these scam letters myself as well as being contacted by clients who have received these letters, I thought it would be useful to gives some information on these letters and what to look out for.
Managing 100’s of domains for clients means that I’m constantly renewing domains as they become due. The information about a domains expiry is easily and freely obtainable by performing a whois lookup, this also give the domains ownership details.
This unfortunately creates an opportunity for dodgy providers to try and scam you when the time comes for your renewal! Please see the following information of the way one of the more common operators works to help avoid you being scammed in the future.
Using your domain name and address details from the whois lookup, they will send you letter similar to this, often well before your domain is actually due for renewal:
This one is from “Domain Renewal Group” who appear to be the same company as Domain Registrar of America and Domain Registrar of Europe.
It appears to be a helpful warning to avoid your domain name from expiring but in actual fact by signing it you are agreeing to transfer the domain from your current provider to the “Domain Renewal Group”. This causes some or all of the following issues:
- Often higher renewal costs
- Your details can often be altered
- Your current provider will no longer have access to manage the domain
- In some cases your website and/or email system may stop working
If you receive a letter like this, then the best thing to do is to contact your current domain name provider. They will be able to check through the details with you and ensure that your domain remains in your possession.
If you have responded to the letter then contact your current provider immediately as they should be able to prevent the transfer taking place.
Currently I’m aware of the following companies that operate in this and similar ways:
- Domain Renewal Group
- Domain Registrar of America
- Domain Registrar of Europe
- Domain Registry of Europe
- EU Registry Services