Do you own a domain name?
If you have a small business and a website, chances are you do! But, if you don’t, check out this helpful article on The Importance of Registering Your Own Domain Name.
Your domain name is the heart and soul of your website. We always recommend registering your own domain name, rather than going through a third party. This will ensure you avoid any conflicts or issues regarding ownership or rights to your website.
In most cases, this won’t be an issue, but it’s always better to err on the side of caution.
Be Aware of Scams
What you may have run into over the course of owning your domain name are so-called “invoices” or notices via email or mail asking you to renew your domain registration.
These notices are often accompanied by URGENT or TIME SENSITIVE warnings, in attempt to scare you and get you to take immediate action.
Don’t fall for it! These are typically scams. Yet when you know what to look for, they can be easily spotted.
Four Ways to Tell If It’s a Scam
If you suspect you’ve received a domain name scam, look for these possible giveaways:
An honest domain registrar typically charges around $30 or less for a two year subscription. If you notice a price higher than this — be wary!
For example, a client of ours was sent a domain scam that asked for over $200 for just one year!
False Expiration Claims
Another sneaky trick is telling you that your registration is about to expire. This is a quick fix that you can actually verify on your own.
Whois.icann.org is a public record (unless you’ve opted to keep yours private) that will show your domain registrar information, including important dates — such as the date of expiration.
Fake Listing Services
An enticing, yet wholly false scam favorite looks similar to an invoice, but promises users that their domain will be submitted to “leading search engines and social media sites.”
This is a useless service that will do nothing more than collect your money. In some cases, it can even lead to your website being down or worse — loss of your domain name.
False Multiple Domain Registration Claims
You might receive an email warning you that someone is attempting to register multiple domain names which include your company name, logo or trademark.
The message might also provide false claims that they, as a third party, have been able to temporarily block this mysterious other person’s attempts, but can only rectify the matter completely if you register multiple similar names immediately.
Their hope is that you will be scared into purchasing more domain names at their inflated rates.
What to Do to Avoid Being Scammed
- Keep a record of when your domain name will expire and which company is your registrar.
- Provide multiple contacts on your registrar, so more than one person will be alerted of when your domain is really set to expire.
- ONLY renew via the company in which you’ve registered.
- Most registrars offer a locking feature that disallows your domain from being registered with any other provider.
- Keep all sensitive domain information safe and secure!
- Educate your team or relevant parties of the warning signs of domain scams.
When in doubt, we’re here to help! If you think you’ve been scammed, ask us, and we’ll help you decide if the claims are false or genuine.
We Can Help
Have you been scammed before? Let us know in the comments below!