Domain Registry Scams

We have all grown rather accustomed to receiving emails trying to cheat us out of our money and place malicious software on our devices, but what about when these crafty scammers take things offline?

In the last year, we have had a handful of customers reach out to us with questions about invoices received in their physical mail requesting payment to renew their domain. These letters often appear quite legitimate with company letterhead and details such as your business name, address, and phone number. Often they come off as threatening, warning that there will be dire consequences if the invoice is not paid immediately. Other times this letter can offer the promise of a better price if you transfer your domain to their company, but this too is just a ploy to get money or your credit card information. This type of scam is often referred to as Domain Slamming and can come in the form of a physical letter or email.

How domain registration works

Canada Domain Registry fake letter

Letter received from a LilYPad customer. This scammer aims to get the victim to pay by promising a better deal than their current domain registrar.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) manages domain names. It is a non-profit organization that permits companies such as GoDaddy or Name.com to make changes to the domain names registry.

How do scammers get my physical address?

ICANN requires some personal information to be made public when registering a domain. These details include your email address, physical address, phone number, and name. Domain names are an important part of any business’ identity and therefore the domain registrar needs to be able to contact you with details about your domain such as when you need to renew, or if any changes are being made to your account. When you register your domain name you can purchase additional Domain Privacy as an add-on service, which will make these details private.

Scam letter from United States Domain Authority

Letter received by a LilYPad customer from United States Domain Authority. The scammer aims to scare the recipient into quickly taking care of this invoice to avoid their domain expiring.

What to do

If you receive a notice about your domain expiring you can always check the details for your domain using the Domain Name Registration Data Lookup provided by ICANN.  This will provide you information on when your domain will expire and who the domain is registered through. If you are unsure you can always reach out to the company that helped you create your website.

What steps has LilYPad taken

All new domain names that we register on behalf of our customers have domain privacy enabled. We have been doing this for at least the past year. As mentioned above it would be a good idea to double check your domain with the ICANN lookup. We will send your invoice via email and always encourage you to reach out to us with any questions you have.

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