Watch out for solicitation emails that look like bills for domain name renewal. Savvy scammers are cashing in on the fact that many businesses and individuals who own domain names don’t keep track of where and when they’ve registered them.
How the Scam Works:
You own domain names for business or personal use. One day, you receive an email that looks like an invoice for the registration or renewal of your domain name. The email looks official, uses your name and/or address and comes from a legitimate sounding business, such as “DNS Services” (see right). It tells you to click on a link and pay $50 or more.
Before you click through to the website, be sure to read the email carefully. It’s likely a sales pitch in disguise. These emails are selling services you probably don’t need, not actually asking you to renew a domain. Typically, these types of spam offers come in the mail stamped clearly with the notice “Not a Bill,” but the email versions are much harder to spot.
Scammers are currently using the business name “DNS Services,” but that is likely to change as the scam evolves. Some fake invoices avoid using a business name all together.
Is my Domain Name Expiration Notice Real?:
- Check the website address carefully. Sometimes the domain name listed in the invoice is very similar to your actual domain name, but has a different ending or spelling. For example, it may end in .net instead of .com.
- Know the names of your providers. Figure out whether the bill actually comes from the business that sold you your domain name.
- Check for other signs, such as high prices (domain registration should be $10-$15 not $70), the use of a personal email address and a link to a third party payment provider, such as PayPal.
- Avoid this issue by selecting a single business to register all your domain names. That way, you can identify this spam immediately.
- For More Information
For more advice, check out BBB’s tips about computer and web issues.
To find out more about scams, check out the new BBB Scam Stopper.