If you are maintaining a company website, you may have received a notification from an agency named something like “The Domain Registry of America.” If it’s warning you that your domain has expired, don’t worry – these letters are, quite frankly, only spam letters trying to scam you.
What to Look Out For
The Domain Registry of America is particularly insidious because they send out these notifications to people who are not, in fact, their customers. Consider where it is that you have registered your domain. It is probably a much more reputable service, such as GoDaddy or Register.com.
Another thing to look for is the domain name extension. If your domain is registered as a .com site, but the letter refers to a .net, .org, or something else entirely, watch out – if this is the case, it is almost definitely not a legitimate notification.
Many of these scam artists have gotten ahold of enough information about your site that they actually are able to provide the exact date your domain is due to expire. If you’re not careful, you may very well find yourself transferring over your domain registration to their service – and paying a much higher fee to re-register your domain in the process.
What to Do if You Receive A Domain Registry Notification
If you have any doubts, even vague ones, the first—and best—action you should take is to contact your domain registry service. They will be glad to tell you if your registered domain name is due to expire and address any concerns or questions you have. If they tell you to disregard the notice, send it through the shredder.
Don’t give out any financial information, such as bank account information or credit card numbers, unless you have confirmed that you are sending it to the correct company. Not only might you find yourself paying a higher price for the service, but you may also end up a victim of something even worse, such as identity theft, by giving out personal information.
Once you have established that you have, in fact, received a scam notice, you should notify the Federal Trade Commission or your local Trading Standards office. By doing so, you will not only help yourself stay protected from domain registry scams, but you will also be able to keep other, more unassuming people who may not be able to spot the fraud, safe from harm.