Domain Name Renewal Scam

 

Domain Name Renewal Scam: How It Works

If you own a website, you are invited to pay attention to the Domain Name Renewal Name scam going around these days. There are two versions:

Scenario 1: You receive an invoice in the mail (or email), requiring you to renew your domain as it will "expire soon". You think about it for a second and realize that, yes, your domain expires this specific day they mention in the letter! How does the scam work?

Watch the video below to see the Domain Name Renewal Letter Scam exposed – did you receive a similar letter?

Domain Name Renewal Scam Video

The document you received is official and has payment options, along with a self-addressed envelope. However, little do you know that it comes from a different register company!

They found your info on sites that offer domains registration details, such as Whois. By paying their renewal letter, which comes with a small form to fill out, you actually agree to transfer your domain to their registrar. No to mention that the price will be hijacked and filled with a bunch of unnecessary add-ons!

Scenario 2. Some shady companies offer you a very small price for domains during the initial purchase, only to hit you with a crazy high price for the renewal a year later. Their justification might be that "we support you as a new business owner and want to offer you a competitive price in the first year".

Many entrepreneurs fall victim for this, not knowing that they will have to pay significant amounts for the next few years. Many registrars do not say what the price will be next year.

 

Domain Name Renewal Scam: How To Avoid

Always check with the registrar company if the price offered is a promotional price when purchase. Find out what it will cost next year. On the other hand, only renew your domain through your original registrar's website. Check it periodically.

The scammers will also try to pull this scam through a phone call. The letter you receive is not an invoice, but a sneaky transfer procedure.

 

Domain Name Renewal Scam: How To Report

Make your family and friends aware of this scam by sharing it on social media using the buttons provided. You can also officially report the scammers to the Federal Trade Commission using the link below:

Report To The FTC Here

 

How to protect yourself more:

If you want to be the first to find out the most notorious scams every week, feel free to subscribe to the Scam Detector newsletter here. You'll receive periodical emails and we promise not to spam. Last but not least, use the Comments section below to expose other scammers.


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Milena

That’s so true! I owned a domain name through the scammers at GoDaddy that just expired this month…I bought it last May for $15 or so… When the renewal email came in my Inbox recently, I opened it up and I saw that renewal is… $34.99!!!! Whaat? I called them and say ‘How the hell are you guys charging 35 dollars when I paid only half last year?!!" The agents says just like in the article: "well, in the first year everything is half off" Whaaaat? Since when???? I’ve been owning domain names with GoDaddy for over 5 years but… Read more »

Verna

I just received the same letter too! It comes from IDNS (Internet Domain Name Services). I live in Canada and this letter came as well with a self-addressed envelope. They say: "AS A COURTESY to domain name holders, we are sending you this notification of the domain name registration that is due to expire in the next few months." Get it? "As a courtesy", they say…as it is if I was registered with them. However, I am not, and here is how they continue after a little bit of more bullshit: "You MUST RENEW your domain name to retain exclusive… Read more »

Web Dude

Hey Milena – there are hundreds of firms handling registrations and while pricing policy at GoDaddy has certainly some way to go to improve (I manage several dozen domains and GoDaddy seems to pull renewal fees from a hat, they can vary so much, with their only explanation being that the price for a domain renewal "depends on what fee was charged when it was first sold"), I don’t think it’s fair to judge them on your experience alone. With the growth of different domain names one should treat any price as a possible maximum, and seek out fees from… Read more »

Janice Farrow

I had a domain registration with GoDaddy, which was due for payment 9/8/2017, I literally forgot about it and came across the renewal email today 10/2/2017. I immediately logged into my GoDaddy account. After accessing the account, there was a message stating I did not have any domains with GoDaddy. I called support and was told they could retrieve my account and the yearly charge was $14.99 and then he stated since I was past the 19-day deadline I was going to have to pay an $80.00 retrieval fee. So, instead of the $14.99 true domain price, GoDaddy was going… Read more »

Adam

Thank you for the article. Articles like this should have been added to a KnowledgeBase of every hosting provider.
There are also another scams like hosting providers locking you with them for life by adding small print leaving/termination fee like easyspace. I was forced to pay to leave and moved to [website]

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