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Domain scam

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fax - domain scam
You've got to give credit to the ingenuity of some slick operators out there trying to make a quick buck. A couple of days ago I received this fax attempting to rope me in for a domain name with a .US TLD (Top Level Domain) extension. I own the .COM equivalent and I have no interest in their offer, but some people may fall for this scheme and end up paying for something they never had any intention of owning.

Here's how the scheme works. An alleged company with an official-sounding name goes through a list of domains and pulls out the owners' contact information. They then craft a confusing, but official-looking, document laden with a bunch of legalese and account numbers and give it a tone of urgency to swindle the receivers into action. The idea is to scare the domain owners into paying money for renewing domain names or registering new domains with similar names. Then they fax or mail this official looking document to give it an aura of credibility.

Sometimes the documents look like this fax. Other times they appear like invoices with short due dates. They work based on the laws of percentages. In other words a percentage of people might get concerned enough to send them money, or some of the letters may end up in accounting departments with lax checks and balances who might treat them as legitimate invoices and make prompt payments.

I have no idea if these supposed companies even render the services they advertise, but even if they do, their practices are at best questionable. If you want to register a domain name or renew an existing one, just contact a legitimate, ICANN accredited registrar. Of course you knew this already, but the accounting guys in your company might need a reminder on this too.

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