It’s that time of year again. Year-end sales in home mailboxes. Last-minute bids for charitable donations. And domain name scams — notifications from companies you’ve never heard of, trying to convince you that they do business with you.
You may have seen this before — an official-looking letter shows up at your office, from a company you don’t remember. They thank you for your business while telling you that you must renew your domain name lest it expire and be lost to you forever. This is pretty ironic, considering that they’re really trying to get you to transfer your domain to them.
What’s Happening Here?
This is a practice known as “domain slamming”, a type of domain name scam. Registrars send letters to businesses that look like important notices. But they’re really a sales pitch. The goal is to intimidate you into switching your registrar services to this other company, so that you don’t lose your website. The fact of the matter is that switching to a different registry may itself disconnect you from your website. You may also find yourself severely overpaying for registrar services, and even being billed extra undisclosed fees. If you’ve received letters from iDNS or the Domain Registry of America, you have been targeted by domain slammers.
What Can I Do?
If you’ve already fallen victim to domain slamming, you may be able to recover your domain name and the money you paid. We strongly advise you to seek legal counsel for this. In order to prevent domain slamming, you can register your domain name privately through your current registrar. Even if you’ve had your domain name for years, you can always make your registration information private. This means that would-be scammers would not be able to contact you. And of course, be sure you know who your registrar is! Scammers take advantage of the fact that domain name renewal is something that only happens once a year, or even less frequently if you’ve purchased multi-year registration.
If you find yourself on the receiving end of a domain name expiration notice and you’re not sure if it’s legit, give us a call. Whether you’re a client of ours or not, we’ll help you solve the mystery.