If you’re like most of us with more than one business website domain, you’ve no doubt received emails and or mailed letters with urgent wording that your domain name is about to expire. They look official, exactly like a bill or invoice you might see for something like this. The price is usually quite high, and there’s lot’s of scary wording about potentially losing that domain name if you don’t act right away.
These could all be legitimate, of it weren’t for the fact that the notices do not come from your actual domain name registrar, but from a predatory registrar who is trying to trick you into paying this bill, which if you do, will transfer your domain name to that company, which, depending on the company, may result in you losing control of your domain, and your website.
You may find some typos, or some grammar mistakes in the letters, but if you miss those, it’s not always easy to tell that they are fake. The scammers are hoping that you, the legitimate domain name owner, may not remember who your actual domain name registrar is (ie. Network Solutions, GoDaddy, HostGator), and that since this looks like a legitimate notice, and you certainly don’t want to lose your domain name, you may very well think it’s the real thing, and send them payment.
If you stop to read the whole notice – especially the fine print – you’ll see something to the effect that this is a solicitation, not a bill, and that you will be transferring your domain name registration to them if you send payment. That said, not all of the notices we’ve seen are completely clear on this, given that their goal is to convince you to pay the bill quickly without taking the time to read everything.
If you can’t remember who your registrar is, you can always do a “who is” lookup on your domain name to find that information. The official ICANN website has that feature easily available on their home page: ICANN – WHOIS, and there are plenty of other websites that do the same thing. So if you receive one of these notices, and you aren’t sure if it’s on the up and up, take a minute to check your domain, so you don’t fall victim to one of these scammers. And if you still aren’t sure, or just have general business website questions, fee free to contact us any time, we’re happy to help.
Thanks for reading!