There are plenty of domain name scams out there, ones that pretend they are your registrar, but fool you into transferring your domain to them, others that try to get you to register other extensions (See Chinese Domain Name Scams)

This one is a little difference, in that by using words like: Domain, Register, Renewal, Expire they try to look like a domain name renewal notice, but in fact they are selling “Website Search Engine Submission”

At USD $75 per year or a great deal at $295 for 10 years, it is preying on thos ebuisness owners that see the trigger words and reach for the credit card.

Don’t be fooled.

Here is the transcript received by one of my clients:

Attention: Important Notice

  DOMAIN SERVICE NOTICE
 
   Complete and return by fax to:
 1-646-385-7542

 47-47 36th Street #16452
 Long Island City, NY 11101
 United States of America
  ATT: CUSTOMER NAME
  ADMINISTRATIVE CONTACT
  COMPANY NAME
  COMPANY EMAIL
  Address Details Here
  WWW.COMPANYNAME.COM
  

  Domain Name: COMPANYNAME.COM
 Search Engine Submission
 
  Requested Reply
 August 18,2009
   
PART I: REVIEW SOLICITATION
Attn: CUSTOMER NAME
 As a courtesy to domain name holders, we are sending you this notification for your business Domain name search engine registration. This letter is to inform you that it’s time to send in your registration and save.
 
 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.
 
 Privatization allows the consumer a choice when registering. Search engine subscription includes domain name search engine submission. You are under no obligation to pay the amounts stated below unless you accept this offer. Do not discard, this notice is not an invoice it is a courtesy reminder to register your domain name search engine listing so your customers can locate you on the web.
 
 This Notice for: WWW.COMPANYNAME.COM will expire on August 18,2009 Act today!
  ————————————————————————————————————————–
 
    DETAIL OF SERVICE: ANNUAL WEBSITE SEARCH ENGINE SUBMISSION FOR DOMAIN NAME WWW.COMPANYNAME.COM

  Detail of Service:
 SEARCH SUBMISSIONS
 
  Reply by Date:
 8/18/2009
 
  For Domain Name:
  COMPANYNAME.COM
 
 *100% SATISFACTION IS GUARANTEED OR YOUR MONEY BACK
  
  Select Term Your Existing Domain Period Covered Price
   
   COMPANYNAME.COM
  [ ] 1 year 8/18/2009 – 8/18/2010 $75.00
  [ ] 2 year 8/18/2009 – 8/18/2011 $119.00
  [ ] 5 year 8/18/2009 – 8/18/2014 $199.00
  [ ] 10 year -Most Recommended- 8/18/2009 – 8/18/2019 $295.00
       
   Please ensure that your contact information is correct or make the necessary changes.
   
   
   Full Name: Customer Name Email: Customer@companyname.com
 
  Phone: _____________________
   Today’s Date: _____________________ Signature: _____________________
  

 Option 1:
  Payment by Credit Card
 PLEASE COMPLETE AND RETURN BY FAX: 1-646-385-7542
 
 
 Option 2:
  Payment by Check or Money Order
 Print and mail a copy of this order form along with a check or money order to the address listed below:
  
  Domain Services
  47-47 36th Street #16452
  Long Island City, NY 11101
  United States of America
  
  Please do not forget to include a copy of this order form along with your payment!
  
  ————————————————————————————————————————–
 
  By accepting this offer, you agree not to hold DN liable for any part. Note that THIS IS NOT A BILL. This is a solicitation. You are under no obligation to pay the amounts stated unless you accept this offer. The information in this letter contains confidential and/or legally privileged information from the notification processing department of the DN. This information is intended only for the use of the individual(s) named above. There is no pre-existing relationship between DN and the domain mentioned above. This notice is not in any part associated with a continuation of services for domain registration. Search engine submission is an optional service that you can use as a part of your website optimization and alone may not increase the traffic to your site. If you do not wish to receive further updates from DN send an email to wdsrv7861@operamail.com to unsubscribe. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that disclosure, copying, distribution or the taking of any action in reliance on the contents for this letter is strictly prohibited. * 100% satisfaction guaranteed, you may request a refund within 30 days.

There is plenty of clues in here to ring some alarm bells. Any kind of solicitation like this should be viewed sceptically. Some may be OK, but in my experience, they usually are not.

Let me know if you have received the same letter, or other similar ones.

3 thoughts on “Domain Name Scam Cleverly Disguised

  1. To know a detailed technical and other information about domain names, there are many websites available on the internet. Take for example http://www.aafter.com, a private search engine, in which as you write the domain name in the search box,and press enter, the search result provided are complete Whois record as well as other information about the domain name.

    Richard

  2. I just received an email from these folks. Although I’ve received countless similar postal mailings in the past. It seems I have to renew one of my domains and the cool part of the deal (well at least they think it’s the coolest part) is that I can renew my domain for the lifetime rate of 999.00. Can you believe this crap. How can these folks get away with things like this? And how could folks fall in to this crap?

    Can we turn folks in that do this? Is this legit? Who do we need to forward this to? I replied back to the email that was sent and the email bounced and was undeliverable!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *