I. The Duplicate Domain Name Registration Scam
As it is your tradition, you start your day in the office by scanning through your emails. Then there is this email that gets you interested. It is from an unfamiliar address, but interestingly it is about the domain name of your business.
You curiously open the email, only to find an Asian domain name Registration Company has sent it. They want to let you know that another company, typically in China or Taiwan requested for a domain name that is similar to the one held by your company except that they want a different extension. According to the email, you need to make contact within 7 to 10 working days to verify your registration details.
What will be your next move?
You may not be knowledgeable about domain names, but you know that online presence and success of your business depends on it. Already, it is expensive to acquire a domain name if your last payment is anything to go by, so the thought of losing it and acquiring another is unsettling for you.
The risk of losing the domain is really stressing you up, so you decide to reply the email. And like you would guess, they are asking for a ridiculous figure before they can let you continue using that domain.
However, with this payment, you can comfortably use it for five years without any disruption.
Since you are a diligent person, you decide to carry out some research as you figure out your next move. You find it is a scam! Luckily, you have saved yourself a loss of a tidy sum of money.
Sadly, so many businesses have fallen into this domain name trap.
What are the red lights?
If you suspect a domain name email sent to you could be a scam, here are some tip-offs that can lay off your suspicions without having to go through rigorous research:
- Domain names can have the same body, but if the extension is different, they can’t be utilized interchangeably
Whenever a correspondence from company X (in the name of a domain host) informs you that there is a company requesting to have the domain name pat.com.ku (Kuwait extension) while that of your business is pat.com, you are safe. This shouldn’t get you scared.
- The phrase “domain name registration company”
Such thing does not exist. Your web hosting provider should be the one to register your domain.
- The sense of urgency giving ultimatum on the days to respond before your domain name is issued out
There is no agency charged with the function of approving domain name registrations. The registration process does not work that way. You’re granted a domain name on the first come, first serve basis. It is not possible for another company to gain use to your domain when you have not authorized it or if your domain expires and you don’t renew it.
II. The Domain Name Registration Scam
Domain name registration is yet another popular scam.
Here, an imaginary company sends out a formal-looking renewal notice giving out expiration date and renewal fee. It will also provide a link to a “secure payment” for filling out payment details.
Experts advise that domain name expiration or emails on domain renewal can be disregarded.
- Measures to Take So You’re Safer Online
Scammers can steal your domain name and move it to another server when you give them access to information. Avoid paying them and follow these cautionary measures.
- Match the email contacts of the sender to your “whois” records to ascertain the domain name registrations
The system only lists current personnel that are familiar with the domain name. Scammers tap contacts from the “whois directory” to target their victims. You can find out from other people in the list whether they have received a similar email and their opinion.
- Avoid clicking on any suspicious email directing you to an expiration or renewal.
These links provided in these emails carry tracking codes that can allow scammers see when you have clicked on it. Once opened, you become a target of regular and risky spams of domain names.
- Countercheck your domain name’s expiration period in the “whois records and compare with dates in the email”
If there’s a match of dates, then you should have genuine concerns of domain expiry. Check if your web hosting company has provided an auto-renew option, and if your payment details are up-to-date.
Experts recommend renewing your domain for long periods such as 10 years.
- Ask your web hosting provider to lock your domain name.
A locked domain wards off fraudsters from carrying out unauthorized transfers. To be sure about the lock status of your domain, check in the “whois” registrar.
For instance, it should have something like “ClientTransferProhibited.”
To ensure online success for your business, acquire a quality and premium domain name. The quality of your website and availability of the business online depends on this website.
Whether you are searching for a domain name for a new business, or waiting for your current one to expire to get a replacement, there are many easily available, brandable, and first-rate web hosting companies to suit your needs.