Letters regarding your domain renewal are a red flag. Be extremely careful about these letters. Don’t trust mail notifications for domain names that arrive via US postal service. You need to trust your web provider directly because they can, and generally do, handle your domain name(s), and oftentimes those domain names are cheaper than the scam letters that arrive in the mail.
Below is an image of a IDNS domain name expiration notice that a client received in the mail, indicating that their domain was up for a renewal. In this specific SPAM letter, it says “as a courtesy to domain name holders, we’re sending you this notification of the domain name registration that is due to expire in the next few months. When you switch today to internet domain name services, you can take advantage of the best savings.”
Just to clarify, there are no savings. It costs $45 to renew a one year domain name with this company, inConcert Web Solutions charges $35. So there are no savings. Even if you are using the new common core math that the schools are teaching, you can’t save money in this situation.
The SPAM letter also states that “all fees are non refundable in whole or in part, even if your domain name registration is suspended, canceled or transferred prior to the end.” What they do is they trick people into thinking that this is the way to renew. And they are sending these via US postal service.
Let’s be clear about one thing….IT’S NOT. This is not the way you should be renewing your domain name. If you receive a notification like this, you should immediately notify your web provider, and go through them to ensure that your domain name is not lost or transferred to another organization.
Most of the conversations we are having with clients are result of confusion. They receive this letter in the mail and they’re not sure if their domain is safe, or what is going on. More than half the time they’re not even sure who’s holding or managing the domain, because it is a one time purchase, and then often times clients forget about it. Generally we find ourselves having a conversation about the legitimacy of the actual letter. We often have our clients flip it over and see that this is not an invoice on the back. Depending on the letter or the company attempting to gain the business, there are often other indications to tell that it’s actually a scam versus a legitimate bill or invoice.
If you receive anything that looks like an invoice of any kind, you should always talk to your web company about this, because they can get to the bottom of it rather quickly, and they’ll notify you if this is a legitimate bill or some type domain registration scam.
Just for clarification purposes, we were notified about this IDNS mail the same day that another client notified us about their domain name from the same company. The reason this happens is because domain names are purchased without privacy protection. And in some cases clients do not choose to do that because it costs a little bit more money.
inConcert Web Solutions provides privacy protection for all domains that we purchase and manage. So the confusion comes because clients are not adding privacy protection when they are buying their own domain name, so their information is disclosed in the public records as to who the registrant is, and who the billing contact is. That is how this company is able to send these spam notices.
How do you know if your domain has privacy protection on it or not?
If you go to inconcertweb.com/help/domain-whois and you look for the domain search at the bottom of our page, in the domain search box …type in your domain name, and hit Search, it will show you that the domain is taken, and it will show you the details. If it shows you any identifiable information, your domain does not have privacy protection, and you should contact us immediately to get that added to your domain name. If, in fact, you’ve typed in your domain name, it shows that it is taken, and there’s no discernible contact information shown, then privacy protection is on your domain, and you are safe at that point.
If you have any questions regarding domains, go ahead and download the DOMAINS 101 document (see below). And if you have any questions regarding domains directly, you can contact us here at inConcert Web Solutions.