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Jun 12 2020

Beware of this domain scam

Category: GeneralMyles Calvert @ 8:48 am

Some scams go on for years when they’re successful enough to sustain themselves. It’s up to the people who recognize them to speak up so more people are aware and there are less victims to prey on. A popular domain name scam that I’ve seen pop up over the last 10 years has recently seemed to make a comeback.

After myself and several clients received the same scam in the mail (pictured above), I felt I should put this article together to hopefully save someone the risk and hassle. If you’ve ever had to register a domain name for any reason you may recognize this one.

Here’s how it works:

– You receive a letter in the mail from “Domain Registry” (or “Domain Registry of Canada” or “Internet Registry of Canada” or “iDNS Canada” as they have gone by many names over the years).

– This letter looks like an official Canadian Government document due to the light brown windowed envelope, prepaid postage and red maple leaf in the logo.

– Inside the letter you’re told your domain name is expiring and to send them money to get it renewed.

– Knowing you do in fact have a domain name registered (which is likely even referenced in the letter) combined with thinking this is an official entity asking to renew it, you mail them back your credit card number.

Here is the truth:

– This is not an official government organization. It’s a private “company” purposely trying to trick people into making them think they’re official.

– They DO NOT have any authority over or access to your domain name.

– Real domain registration providers do not send paper mail about upcoming renewals (most of the time they don’t even send paper invoices).

– Most domain renewal costs anywhere between $10 – $25, they’re charging $50 (they need to cover all the overhead of the scam).

Sadly so many people have fallen for this. The loss of $50-$100 and the confusion of where / how the domain name is actually registered is bad enough, but the scariest part is that whoever runs this scam now has your credit card information.

If you’re ever in any doubt whatsoever about anything to do with your domain name or website always contact your trusted provider for more information. You don’t want to be another one of the many victims like the one below:

Jon R. “They sent a letter to our church and we sent them a cheque to renew our domain that was not even registered with them. They registered two domains under our name that we don’t need. Sad that they would do that to a church and not even have a conversation with us when we called about it.”

If you’re looking for more information or proof about this being a scam, here is a collection of others calling it out for what it is, and I’m sure you can find a lot more:

Rest assured, if your domain name is registered with us at Tenpine, it will never expire.

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