The scam works this way: unethical companies monitor the publicly accessible WHOIS database and obtain registrant contact information as well as domain expiration dates. Using this information, they mail domain Registrants an official looking document, months in advance of the renewal date, encouraging the Registrant to renew the name now to protect themselves from losing the domain name. When the Registrant renews the name by paying the invoice, the domain is not only renewed, but a Registrar transfer is initiated to the unscrupulous Registrar. Most times the renewal rates are as much as five times the going rate for the initial transfer and even higher for subsequent renewals.
We've even heard of the scammers emailing and/or calling to initiate the domain registration transfer.
There are a number of ways to combat this practice:
- Enable WHOIS Privacy. This is the absolute best protection. It stops the scam dead in its tracks, as there is no way for the scammer to contact the Registrant directly.
- Enable Domain locking. A locked domain can't be transferred, again, this prevents the scam from succeeding.
- Ensure that you know who your Domain Reseller and Registrar are. Also make sure that you understand their communication policies surrounding renewals. If you are even remotely unsure about a renewal notice, contact your Reseller / Registrar directly to be sure that it is legitimate.
- If you can't contact your registrar directly, then you might need to change registrars to one that can provide more personal service.
4yourwebsite.com provides personal service and includes WHOIS Privacy free with every domain registration, transfer and/or renewal. Our $19.44 per year registration cost is actually less expensive than the BigDaddy registrars when you add their extra charge for WHOIS privacy. Our OpenSRS domain manager is simple and uncluttered and won't waste your time trying to up-sell you on a myriad of (mostly) useless extra services.
Our domain manager features the domain manager, the whole domain manager and nothing but the domain manager. This simple, focused, uncluttered approach saves you time and frustration when dealing with your domain.