Watch Out For THIS Domain Name Scam!
A Kudu Websites client contacted me, asking about an email he received from a "domain service" company. The client had recently registered the domain name mentioned in the email. He was concerned that he had neglected to do something important that might put his domain name at risk.
Was this a scam, or something that needed attention?
Here is the email that my client received (his domain name replaced with a generic domain name):
Attention: Important Notice , DOMAIN SERVICE NOTICE
Domain Name: YOURDOMAINNAME.COM
ATT: WhoisGuard Protected
REGISTRANT CONTACT: YOURDOMAINNAME.COM
Response Requested By
06 - February - 2018
PART I: REVIEW NOTICE
Attn: WhoisGuard Protected
As a courtesy to domain name holders, we are sending you this notification for your business Domain name search engine registration. This letter is to inform you that it's time to send in your registration.
Failure to complete your Domain name search engine registration by the expiration date may result in cancellation of this offer making it difficult for your customers to locate you on the web.
Privatization allows the consumer a choice when registering. Search engine registration includes domain name search engine submission. Do not discard, this notice is not an invoice it is a courtesy reminder to register your domain name search engine listing so your customers can locate you on the web.
This Notice for: YOURDOMAINNAME.COM will expire at 11:59PM EST, 06 - February - 2018 Act now!
Select Term and Package Here
Payment by Credit/Debit Card
Select the term using the link above by 06 - February - 2018
Why is this a Domain Name Scam?
There are some aspects of this email that point to it being a domain name scam. Looking at the red colored text in the email:
- The email has been sent for the attention of "WhoisGuard Protected." My client enabled domain privacy for his domain name. When you do that, your own name does not show on domain records. If the scammer was legit, he/she would've known the name of the domain owner.
- There is no such thing as a "domain name search engine registration" service that forms any part of registering a domain name. Search engines, like Google, Bing, etc., will find your website whether you "register" it or not. If you want to tell, e.g. Google, about your website, you can submit it for free via the Google Search Console.
- If anyone might send you an email about your domain name, it will be your registrar. Such an email will not contain a deadline, thereby creating false urgency.
What to do about this Domain Name Scam
Here are some thing to do and not to do...
- Do not click on any links in the email!
- You can report the email as spam to your email provider. This will help to prevent this type of spam in the future.
- If you have a "spam samples" folder in your email to remind you in the future of identified spam, put the email in there. If not, delete the email and get on with your day!
Have you been affected by this type of domain name spam in the past? Tell us about it in the comments below.