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In Northern Nevada
Scam Alert -- Got a website? Don't be fooled by this domain name con
Businesses beware. Scammers in Asia are trying to trick you into paying a premium for your website domain names. Don't fall for these scare tactics.
February 24, 2014

How the Scam Works:   

You receive an email addressed to the owner of your company. It appears to be from an Asian domain registration service. The email says that a third party company has requested to register your business's brand name as a website domain in China or elsewhere in Asia. 

According to the email, the "domain registrar" realized your company owns that brand name. And they decided to do you a favor and offer to register the domain for you instead of this other company. 

The catch? There is no competing business, and the price to purchase the domain is much higher than you would pay elsewhere. Often, the email sender isn't even an actual domain registration business. He/she simply purchases the domain elsewhere for a few dollars and immediately sells it back to the victim for an inflated price. 

Tips for Avoiding Domain Name Scams

Many businesses take a "buy it and forget it" approach to their webiste domain names, and scammers love to prey on that lack of knowledge. Here's a few tips for better managing this part of your business. 

  • Know your top level domains. Scammers are using these scare tactics as a way to sell unpopular top level domains, such as ".org.cn," at inflated prices. If your company has interests in Asia, you may want to consider purchasing URLs that end in the country codes, such as .jp (Japan), .kr (South Korea) or .sg (Singapore).
  • Check for high prices. Domain registration shouldn't vary wildy between registrars. 
  • Select a single business to register all your domain names. Another popular domain name scam involves fake invoices for domains you never purchased. Avoid falling for this trick by selecting a single provider to register your domains and maintain one account. It's also a good idea to have more than one contact person on your registration. 
  • Watch for poor grammar and spelling. Scam emails often are riddled with typos.
  • Ignore calls for immediate action. Scammers try to get you to act before you think by creating a sense of urgency. Don't fall for it.

For More Information

To find out more about scams, check out BBB Scam Stopper.

 

This Scam Alert has been sponsored by Western Union, a BBB National Partner.