December 2019 update: A new rash of these is being reported by my clients in recent days…
Whether it’s a scam or a questionable tactic from a lesser-known domain company competing for business, the trick of sending official-looking letters and emails to domain name holders has been around for years. I still see this questionable tactic when clients forward me invoices, wondering if it is something they need to pay.
Your domain name is a valuable asset of your company, and you need to maintain control of it. Accidentally paying a domain name bill that seems official could have undesirable consequences, like inadvertently transferring control of your domain to one of these unscrupulous companies.
What you can do
The best solution for my clients is to have me monitor, renew, and pay for your domain name on your behalf. That way your domain bill will always come from Thomas Albohm, and there isn’t any question of its legitimacy.
If clients are managing their own domain name(s), it’s best to call or forward notices or bills to me so I can verify the validity of them.
If you aren’t my client, one thing you can do is look over the notice very carefully. Verify which company it’s coming from to see if that’s who you registered your domain name with initially. If you receive a renewal notice from a registrar that you’re not registered with and have never heard of, tear it up and put it in the bin. Yes, you can do this. It isn’t a real invoice!
Another scam that unscrupulous companies may try to hit you with is pretending there is a third party interested in buying domain names related to your trademark, such as domains with different extensions, such as .net, .org, .uk, and so forth. In reality, there is no third party looking to buy these domains and the companies are trying to scare or convince you into buying those domains from them. Don’t fall for it. Any additional domain names or URL extensions like .net or .org should be part of a marketing strategy. Contact me if you would like to discuss the purchase of any additional names. Don’t automatically trust companies that contact you out of the blue.
Since October 2003, registrars are required to contact domain owners once a year to verify that their contact information is correct. These are valid emails.
It is important to keep your contact information up-to-date. Should you ever run into a problem with your domain, you will want to be able to prove that it belongs to you. Problems could be as simple as forgetting your password and no longer having the email address that’s listed on the account.
If you receive a notice to verify your contact information, please take a minute to look at the information that’s listed on your domain and make sure it’s correct. Again, if you’re ever confused or question the legitimacy of a request related to your domain name, give me a call. I’ll be happy to help ensure your online safety.
Protecting your company assets is important and that includes your domain name. Know who your domain name is registered with and who manages it. I may purchase, renew, and manage your domain names for you, but I don’t own them. They are yours, and I will not attempt to hold on to them if you decide to manage them yourself.