I’ve Got This Letter In The Mail. Now What?
You’ve just checked the mail, and you notice a letter from the Domain Registry. “Open Immediately,” it says in bright red letters. In fact, it looks like a bill. Curious, you look inside and see that your domain name is almost expired, but you can renew it by sending a check or charging your credit card. What do you do?
Unfortunately, the immediate response for some domain owners is to pay the tab. Perhaps they even splurge for the 5-year plan and invest in their site. Why wouldn’t you want to keep the name you’ve worked hard to create? While it is important to keep up-to-date on your domain expiration, don’t let that official-sounding title fool you: the Domain Registry of America (DROA) is indeed a scam.
How Did They Get My Information?
Anyone can have access to domain information through online domain registries, including when domains expire. From there, scammers can simply look up your business on the internet and send you mail (if your mailing address is somewhere on your site). It is important to note that the DROA does not send a bill, but rather a notice. They cannot legally bill you for a service you did not sign up for.
If you have received a letter like this, don’t pay any money. You will likely receive an email from your website provider when the time comes to renew your license or better yet, sign up for auto renewal and you won’t have to worry about whether you are paid up or not.
What Should I Do About It?
At Highstreet, we get a call about a letter like this at least once a week from our clients. Our advice for handling letters like these is to simply shred them. Dispose of them. Toss them in the trash and forget all about ‘em. If you are concerned about someone potentially stealing your domain information, you can also pay to have your domain privately registered to avoid scammers. This is a more costly option, but it is the most secure option as well.