Don’t fall for the Domain Name Scam! A Public Service Announcement

If you own a domain name (you know, like a www. something . com website address) for yourself or your business, you may have noticed you get renewal requests more often then you should and the amounts seem to increase.  That is because many of these requests are from scammers.

Every few months, I get mail from a company called iDNS.  It looks exactly like a bill to renew my domain name registration BUT I have not registered my domain names through them.  If you read the fine print, it is actually a request to transfer your domain name from wherever you currently have it registered to iDNS.  This makes me really mad because I know some people don’t remember who their domain name is registered with and when they see what they think is a bill, they pay it. 

Scam Email from iDNS
Scam Email from iDNS

Check out this picture of my latest “bill.”  Notice how it starts out with a warning that my domain name is expiring “soon.”  “Soon” to them means 4 months.

iDNS (and others like them) charge quite a bit more for domain registrations than the legitimate domain registrars do.  For example, I have many of my domain names registered with HostMonster.com and I pay $15.99/year.  GoDaddy.com, another extremely popular and well known service, charges about the same rate.

iDNS offers me the generous rate of $45/year per domain.  Since I haven’t fallen for their scam to trick me into switching to their more expensive service, I don’t know if they also might want to bill me more frequently than annually but I’m not going to try it to find out.

So be careful if you get something like this in the mail.  There are quite a few more companies out there besides iDNS playing this game.

To avoid getting scammed, write down somewhere where you registered your domain name and be sure you are paying the right company for your registration.  Usually these renewals come over the internet and auto-renew with the credit card you have on file.

If you really can’t remember where you registered your domain name, go to whois.icann.org and type in your URL (the www thing). But please don’t pay the scammers.