Domain Renewal Scam - Updated for 2016
by Jo Shaer, on January 22, 2016
Wow, it's two years since I last wrote about domain renewal scams! But there are still fraudsters jumping on the bandwagon in 2016 as evidenced by this email in my inbox today entitled lollipoplocal.info expiration.
If you have a website, then you will also have a domain name - it's the www.NameOfBusiness.co.uk bit. These are rented from registrars for a fee of around £10-15/year depending whether you have a dot com, dot co dot uk, etc, suffix. In this case, the email is referring to my domain lollipoplocal.info
When domain registration is actually a domain renewal scam
It is of course bullshit. Read it carefully and you realise that they are asking you to renew your domain registration for lollipoplocal.info search engine optimization submission
What's that then?
Well, it's a scam. These guys Domain SEO Service Registration Corp are trying to trick you into paying them $64 for... a traffic generator software tool. They specifically state that they do not directly register or renew domain names. Their email is just cleverly disguised to catch the unwary to think that they might.
At first glance, it looks as if my domain is about to expire and I need to renew it with them pronto.
This important expiration notification offer notifies you about the expiration offer notice of your domain registration for lollipoplocal.info search engine optimization submission. The information in this expiration notification offer may contain confidential and/or legally privileged information from the notification processing department of the Domain SEO Service Registration to purchase our search engine traffic generator. We do not register or renew domain names. We are selling traffic generator software tools. This information is intended only for the use of the individual(s) named above.
If you fail to complete your domain name registration lollipoplocal.info search engine optimization service by the expiration date, may result in the cancellation of this search engine optimization domain name notification offer notice.
Failure to complete your seo domain name registration lollipoplocal.info search engine optimization service process may make it difficult for customers to find you on the web.
So how can you tell if a domain renewal is a scam or a genuine notification?
Go here and type in the name of your domain. Scroll down the listing that is produced to the WHO IS RECORD.
This will tell you who your domain is registered with AND when it expires. You will receive a domain renewal notification notice about a month before that expiry date to the admin email address listed in the entry from the domain registrar listed in the entry.
LollipopLocal.info does not actually expire until April but these scammers want to get in early so that I pay them some money by mistake!
If in doubt, ALWAYS Google the name of the company asking for money FIRST. Google is your friend and, by sharing reports of this type of scam, we help her to protect us.
Scams in 20132013 UPDATE ON DOMAIN RENEWAL SCAM - This lot are still at it but, more often, via an email. Click on the image and press CTRL and + to enlarge
I was a bit taken aback when the first client asked me about this because, as part of my Webmistress Hosting duties, I had renewed their domain a couple of weeks before but, as soon as she told me the name of the company sending the invoice and the prices involved, I knew it was a scam. Domain Services is not the current registrar of her url and these figures are considerably more expensive than anyone should be paying just to buy a domain name.
1 year $75
2 year $119
5 year $199
We had actually paid £26 for three years with her current registrar. Considerably less than the price these charlatans were trying to charge her for just one year.
And then I received one from a different domain renewal service for one of my own websites. This one wanted £25 for one year but recommended that I opt for two years at a cost of £40, which would save me £10. Well, actually, I think I will renew with my current registrar who only wants £7.11 for one year and £14.45 for two.
They are dressed up to look like official documents and if the client does not know who they have paid for their domain, it can be very easy to get sucked into paying considerably more than is necessary.
Googling the subject, I found that David Risley was talking about the problem two years ago so guerrilla tactics mentioned on the eukforum like using the return envelope to send them sand or other less desirable contents has not worked in terms of protecting others. It may have made them refrain from targeting certain domain names but now they just don't include a return envelope.
Some have said that the only way to deter them is to make your registration private but at £6 extra per year per domain for the pleasure, it's an expensive do and one of the renewal requests that I have received is for a company that was privately registered prior to receipt so it does not protect you unless you take the privacy out from the start.
I shall be emailing all my clients to warn them about this scam.