If you have a domain name that has been live on the web for any time at all, you have most likely received junk mail from one kind domain scammer or another.   Whether it is renewal notices from “registrars” you’ve never heard of, internet “directory listing” services, or the countless email spams, there are a ton of them out there.

domainscameThese predatory companies bank on the fact that in most businesses, the web/marketing arm of the operation is usually a separate department than accounting.  They are hoping that the accounts payable person will just pay the bill as if it were an approved invoice.

The latest one that I received takes a different approach.  I received a fax from Domain Registry Rights stating that the .us extension of a domain that I own the .com on was available and basically if I didn’t secure the other domain, that it could result in conflicting domain names and trademark infringement.


Yeah, exactly.  The site for the company listed also links to the official ICANN site as its forum and quotes the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy in order to sound official.  The fax actually looks like a legal document.

While it may not be technically fraud, it is using scare tactics and misleading information to get people to pay for the domain registration.  These people are bottom feeders.  They profit from the ignorance of others.

If I had wanted that extension, I would have registered it at the same time I registered the .com, so no, I’m not interested.

While doing a quick search on the scammers, I found numerous others who had received similar notices.

Tips for Protecting Your Domain Name

It seems like every few months I’m writing about domain names (All About Domain Names, Domain Kiting Can Cost You, and 5 Mistakes Small Businesses Make with Their Web Site).  This is partly because it is so important for small businesses to keep their domain names active, and also due to the fact that there are a lot of misconceptions out there about domain registrations.

  1. Keep Your Domain Name Current: Every once in a while I will talk to someone that thinks that if you let a domain name expire, that it’s not that big of a deal and that you can reregister it right away.  This is not the case.  When a domain expires, it goes into a redemption period giving the previous owner time to reclaim it (and it will cost you extra.)  After that it goes into another period of time where it is pending deletion.After all of that, it will be available for registration again and there is an entire industry devoted to snapping up expired domain names and selling them at a profit.  Believe me, they have a lot more time than you do to sit and catch domains that have dropped.    If you are running a business on that domain, you can’t afford to let it expire.  Keep it current.
  2. Keep Your Contact Information Current:  Your registrar will send you emails when your domains get close to their expiration date.  Make sure that your contact information is current so that you receive them.
  3. Keep Your Domain Name Safe: Also, keep your domain names locked so that unauthorized changes can’t be made to your domains.

  4. Your Domain Name Registrations are Valuable: Treat your domain registrations the same as you would the documentation for any other valuable asset like the title to your house or car.  Print out copies of your registration.  Keep a hard copy of the information for your registrar account, including the user name and password.  If you didn’t keep your contact information with the registrar current and you forget your log in information, it can be a real hassle to get back into your account.
  5. Manage Your Domains Well: If you are reading all of this and are thinking that you don’t want to mess with it, assign someone to manage it for you.  Godaddy and other large registrars offer the option to assign account managers to all of your domains or only those in certain groups.  Have one person in your company be the point person for the domain registrations.  If there is no one in your company to handle it, develop a relationship with your web maintenance or development company to keep your domains up-to-date.