I received a “solicitation that was cleverly disguised as a domain name renewal that gave the impression that my renewal was due. They added other time of the essence language such as,” Failure to complete your Domain name search engine registration by the expiration date may result in cancellation of this offer making it difficult for your customers to locate you on the web.”
They did have my name and address that is on public records and used it to craft an official looking notice. Since they were asking for a faxed renewal it was easy to raise a red flag o this type of scam. Since I was aware that there was 6 month left on my domain name it added more to the ‘not right’ feeling.
Their renewal fee was $75 for a year. That is nearly five times a typical renewal cost.
Maybe my eyes are getting older, but I had to cut, copy paste their disclaimer at the bottom of the email where it states, “By accepting this offer, you agree not to hold DS liable for any part.” And “You are under no obligation to pay the amounts stated unless you accept this offer.”
Normally, I delete these types of emails. But this one got me riled when they gave an opt out address to a website URL that hid their identity and was obviously not who they are. With a little digging and some complaint letters filed, we were able to determine the registrar.
Did they break a law? Probably not. Are what they are doing unethical? I’ll leave it up to you and ICANN to judge.
My larger concern is that someone who does not relize that there are companies out there would fall prey to them.
Always make sure your renewal is coming from the company you registered with. You can often times check with your web delevloper for confirmation. I would always invite and of my clients to question these things and check with me first to confirm.
Do not let these companies make you a victim.