Domain Name renewal scams have been around for a while, and have been making a resurgence lately. Domain Name ownership details and contact information are publicly available on the internet through something known as the WHOIS Database. And some companies collect that information and send official looking renewal documents and invoices to the mailing address listed. These documents often come many months in advance and contain warnings to renew now at an inflated price, or face losing your domain name. Also, it will often look just like any other invoice. Your accounting department may not know the difference between a legitimate invoice and the fake invoice. If you are duped into falling for one of these scams, the company will bill you for the inflated renewal fee and will transfer your domain name away from your current registrar to theirs.
As a domain name owner, what can you do to protect yourself from these scams? What can you do to make sure that your domain name stays with the same company that you know and trust?
If you get one of these notices in the mail or in your email, always question the authenticity. If you don’t recognize the company, contact your domain name registrar or your hosting company and ask them about it. And if you have an accountant or accounting department that pays your bills, make sure they know about these types of scams ahead of time. You can also renew your domain name early, and renew for multiple years if you know you are going to keep your domain name for a long time.
A domain name feature that has been gaining popularity over the years is WHOIS Privacy. This feature allows you to hide your contact information from the publicly accessible WHOIS Database. This will prevent these companies from seeing your address and sending you unsolicited and unethical renewal notices.
We are aware that this is a feature that more and more domain name owners want to make use of. And we are going to offer free WHOIS privacy for all of our customers who have domain names registered with us through OpenSRS. We are planning to have this ready by March 2008, and we will be sure to let you know once it is available. And if you can’t wait until then, you can contact our Customer Support department and they can activate it for you now.
SoftCom Technology Consulting Inc.