Domain Name Theives

WARNING! You may be at risk to become a victim of domain name hijackers! They want your registration, and they want your money! Find out how to avoid them here. Take a look at the sample scam letter that came from Domain Registry of America...look familiar? Hope not!

Your domain is a business asset. And, like all assets, it should be protected. There are several registration scams and fraudulent domain providers that would love to obtain your financial information or at least start collecting your domain fees for themselves. Moxa Media has assisted many clients in regaining control of their domain but occasionally it cannot be reclaimed, and the company is forced to register a new domain. Domain name hijacking is a severe offense and should not be taken lightly.

The “Registration Renewal Scam” is the most common domain name scam. In this scam, you will receive either an email or postal letter that looks identical to a bill. When briefly looking over the communication, you will determine that it is a bill for domain registration renewal. It will have big scary headers like “Domain Name Expiration Notice” and may elude that your domain name(s) are about to expire and you need to “act now” to avoid the expiration. There will often be a “total due” printed and may even feature a perforated panel to return with your payment...just like a regular paper bill.

This tricky advertising is an attempt to have you actually “transfer” your domain registration to a new registrar. The scamming company uses this tactic so that you pay them and they begin to collect for your domain registration. Upon careful inspection of the document, you would commonly find small print that states “this is not a bill.” However, many people fall victim to this scam and sometimes lose hundreds of dollars in registration fees if the new company takes registrar ownership before your current provider’s contract is up. These companies also offer you additional domains that you may be interested in as you may want to “add optional” domains. These companies do not typically gain ownership of your domain – they only start collecting your fees. But if you transfer the domain to them and fail to make payments, you could lose your domain!

See an example scam letter here…and no, we did NOT remove the sender's name. Domain Registry of America (DROA) is the number one offender that we deal with most commonly. Their communication does state “this is not a bill” but the rest of the document is very deceiving. The sample here was provided by one of our clients who is paying $7.99 per year for their domain! Check out the rates that DROA would like them to "renew."

This is one of the most common ways clients are scammed into moving their domain registration...and sometimes losing domains.Benji McKinney, Project Manager
How to avoid the Registration Renewal Scam?
If you believe that you've received a registration scam, you can always contact Moxa Media, and we will be happy to help investigate. If you have a monthly service plan with Moxa Media, you should never receive bills in the mail or emails regarding your domain. When in doubt...don't pay and contact Moxa Media immediately.
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