How the scam works:
It seems that everyone has a website today, be it for their businesses or personal use. And of course, as is the case with any form of electronic communication, scammers have rapidly set up shop to try and bilk hard-working individuals out of their e-commerce revenue.
The domain name scam involves a faxed invoices being sent to WHOIS members who are website owners, although this scam has also been perpetrated via email as well. In this scam, victims are receiving faxes that look like a billing invoice for their domain name. The invoices are labeled “Final Notice” as well as “Intellectual Property Notification”.
The fax claims that a domain name matching yours – with the exception of .us – is now available for a limited time. The fax indicates that failure to take on the new domain name will result in the loss of your old domain name, as well as putting your intellectual property – i.e. the content on your website – up for grabs. The company then bills $350 for four years or $450 for ten years; of course, paying this bill results in nothing happening except the loss of cash from the victims’ pocket.
How to avoid:
As with any unsolicited billing or communication sent via fax or email, it is always wise to check with your actual website domain provider to verify the accuracy of the bill. Most likely you will find that you have narrowly avoided being scammed.
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