Misleading Domain Registration Renewal Emails

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It seems that for almost as long as the Internet has been around, misleading and sometimes outright fraudulent domain registration messages have been finding their way to inboxes.

Operating under all sorts of legitimate-sounding names, shady registrars scrape the WHOIS database and pre-emptively send messages reflecting domain names with their renewal dates and insinuating that you need to renew them at inflated rates. Reading carefully, some even make an attempt to note that they are solicitations but in reality, these are not being sent the registrar. They even include the words “domain name search engine registration” to add much impact (domains and search engine registrations, oh my).

Don't fall for fake domain name registration emails
Don’t fall for fake domain name registration emails

Misleading Domain Expiration/Renewal Pitches
Akin to the maligned long-distance hijacking scams last decade, these messages are socially engineered to take advantage of FOLMD (fear of losing my domain). GoDaddy, Network Solutions, and other top-level domain name providers don’t engage in these practices (at least not as of the date that this post was published), leaving the field open to scammers who pump these messages out to unsuspecting domain registrants. Why do we call them scammers? The example below came from an email address at “barrowdems.com” which was either hijacked or registered and subsequently dumped for the explicit purpose of pushing out millions of these messages. Not surprisingly, the domain name was only registered for a year and is already in the infamous redemption period (the period in which a domain name’s registration has lapsed and is pending removal from the domain registrar).

Looking at the message example below, you’ll note that the only way of contacting these folks is an ambiguous number in upstate New York. A credible domain registrar would have a website and a much higher profile identity. A quick search for “Domain Service” and even “Domain Service Registrar” yields nothing meaningful as far as an actual company goes.

The pitch gets even better, there is an actual “lifetime” proposal. According to ICANN, “Each registrar has the flexibility to offer initial and renewal registrations in one-year increments, provided that the maximum remaining unexpired term shall not exceed ten years.” It’s quite impossible and doesn’t even make sense. Lifetime domain name registration for a fixed cost? That line follows the same as finding your long lost relative who is looking to shift a hidden fortune out of an African country and forwarding Microsoft messages for the chance at a paycheck.

Protecting Yourself
Some of the best approaches to guarding against this type of activity is to distrust messages such as this. Be sure that your domain name contacts are valid, consider private registrations, and ensure that you who your domain registration is as well as when the domain will expire. IQComputing provides our St. Louis website design customers with worry-free domain name renewal services combined with private registration features to help protect them from accidental transfers for this very reason.

Attention: Important, DOMAIN SERVICE
Domain Name: YOURDOMAINNAME.COM

Call: 1-518-xxx-xxxx

ATT: Domain Owner DOMAIN ADMIN
ADMINISTRATIVE CONTACT
PRIVATE REGISTRATION
ATTN: Address

WWW.YOURDOMAINNAME.COM

Requested Reply Before

March 30, 2019

Attn: Domain Owner DOMAIN ADMIN

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 and save.

Failure to complete your Domain name search engine registration by the expiration date may result in cancellation of this proposal making it difficult for your customers to locate you on the web.

Privatization allows the consumer a choice when registering. Search engine subscription includes domain name search engine submission.

You are under no obligation to pay the amounts stated below unless you accept this proposal. Do not discard, this notice is not an invoice it is a courtesy reminder to register your domain name search engine registration so your customers can locate you on the web.

This Notice for: WWW.DOMAINNAME.COM will be terminated on October 30, 2018 Act today!

[ ] 1 year 10/30/2018 – 10/30/2019 $75.00

[ ] 2 year 10/30/2018 – 10/30/2020 $119.00

[ ] 5 year 10/30/2018 – 10/30/2023 $199.00

[ ] 10 year -Most Recommended- 10/30/2018 – 10/30/2028 $295.00

[ ] Lifetime (NEW!) Limited time proposal – Great value! Lifetime $499.00

Payment by Credit Card or Check

Call our New York main office: (518) xxx-xxxx

——————————————————————————————-

By accepting this proposal, you agree not to hold DS liable for any part. Note that THIS IS NOT A BILL. This is a solicitation. You are under no obligation to pay the amounts stated unless you accept this proposal. The information in this letter contains confidential and/or legally privileged information from the notification processing department of the DS. This information is intended only for the use of the individual(s) named above. There is no pre-existing relationship between DS and the domain mentioned above. This notice is not in any part associated with a continuation of services for domain registration. Search engine submission is an optional service that you can use as a part of your website optimization and alone may not increase the traffic to your site. If you do not wish to receive further updates from DS reply with Remove to unsubscribe. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that disclosure, copying, distribution or the taking of any action in reliance on the contents of this letter is strictly prohibited.

Another version of this same scam. Note the creative “domain seo registration” (not sure what that means but it sounds pretty important). We even get a “notice number” which must mean that it’s legitimate!

Important notice

Notice#: 89293213
Date: 01/08/2019

 

Expiration notice

Domain: yourdomainname.com

Expiration date: 04/29/2019

 

To: Domain Admin, Private Registration
ATTN: Your address

 

Domain Name: Registration Period: Amount: Term:
yourdomainname.com 09/12/2018 to 09/12/2019 $86.00 1 Year

Secure Online Payment

 

Domain Name: yourdomainname.com
Attn: Domain Admin
This important expiration notification notifies you about the expiration notice of your domain registration for yourdomainname.com search engine optimization submission. The information in this expiration notification may contain confidential and/or legally privileged information from the notification processing department of the Domain Seo Service Registration to purchase our search engine traffic generator. We do not register or renew domain names. We are selling traffic generator software tools. This information is intended for the use of the individual(s) named above.
If you fail to complete your domain name registration yourdomainname.com search engine optimization service by the expiration date, may result in the cancellation of this search engine optimization domain name notification notice.

Process

Secure Online Payment

to complete your payment.

 

Failure to complete your seo domain name registration yourdomainname.com search engine optimization service process may make it difficult for customers to find you on the web.

Process Payment for
yourdomainame.com
Secure Online Payment

Act immediately

This domain seo registration for youdomainname.com search engine service optimization notification will expire 04/29/2019.

Instructions and Unlike Instructions from this Newsletter:
You have received this message because you elected to receive special notification. If you no longer wish to receive our notifications, please unlike here. If you have multiple accounts with us, you must opt out for each one individually to unlike receiving notifications. We are a search engine optimization company. We do not directly register or renew domain names. This is not a bill. You are dont need to pay the amount unless you accept this notification. This message, which contains promotional material strictly along the guidelines of the Can-Spam act of 2003. We have clearly mentioned the source mail-id of this email, also clearly mentioned our subject lines and they are in no way misleading. Please do not reply to this email, as we are not able to respond to messages sent to this address.

 

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