About once every other month, we get this question from a client: “I got this thing in the mail saying I need to renew my domain name. Is it real?” The answer is almost always: “No. It’s a scam. We’ve already renewed your domain.”
These scamming companies often send letters asking for 5 times what the domain actually costs (or more). They have the correct date on when the domain renews (it’s public information) and they look totally legit. The problem is: It’s not the company that holds your domain name. So, paying them does not guarantee the renewal of your domain.
Here’s how to spot a scam:
- The price. Yearly domain renewals do not typically cost much more than $20. Also, if you do not have an agency, and pay for your domain direct, it usually requires you to secure it with a card, so they wouldn’t be sending you a bill, anyway.
- The company. You can verify it with your credit card statements to see if that’s the name that appears yearly.
- Your agency. If you have a domain through an agency, the bill will not come directly from the domain company, it will come from your agency.
- The web. Search the company to see if they have a legit website. Most of those scams do not. (However, also know that some get elaborate enough to have a website.)
- whois.net. Search your domain name on this site (or similar sites) and look for the “Registrar”. This will tell you who the domain is through. 3 sub-points for this final tip:
- Keep in mind that if you have an agency, they will have purchased your domain through a third party.
- If your domain was registered as private, the information will not be available.
- This is the same way these scam artists get their information. So, if your domain is private, they probably aren’t sending you a letter, anyway.
When in doubt, don’t forget that you can always call us at Transformation Marketing! We know what to look for and how to find out if it is an actual bill. We are happy to help keep our customer’s information safe and secure.