One of my clients received a very real sounding email that claimed to be a last chance warning to prevent her domain from expiring. She asked me about it because she had just bought the domain a few months ago and it was purchased for at least a year.
A little bit of research showed this email to be a phishing scam.
According to Scam.com, it goes something like this:
- The owner of this “company” has looked up your domain registration info.
- They send you an email that is nicely crafted to sound like your domain is expiring, but it actually does not.
- You pay something to the tune of $50 to “keep your domain registered” which actually does nothing for your domain registration.
- Instead you are apparently signing up for some other service. In this case it appears to be SEO services which are likely a complete farce.
This particular email purported to be from a DOMAIN REGISTRATION SEO SERVICE Corp. The name of the email is the URL + EXPIRATION! The body of the email says: (I have marked in red the places that show what it is really about.)
This important expiration notification notifies you about the expiration notice of your domain registration for abc.com search engine submission. The information in this expiration notification may contain confidential and/or legally privileged information from the notification processing department of the Domain Registration SEO Service to purchase SEO Traffic Generator. This information is intended only for the use of the individual(s) named above.
If you fail to complete your domain name registration abc.com search engine service by the expiration date, may result in the cancellation of this domain name notification offer notice.
See, it’s completely not what it is written to sound like.
What I find to be the funniest part is in the footer area it says that it is CAN-SPAM compliant. Really? How exactly can that be?
If you get this email, please be sure to mark it as spam and if you happen to be in Canada, please report it to whatever government agency is regulating your CAN-SPAM compliance.
If you’re ever in doubt as to whether your domain registration, or any other service for that matter, is expiring or having other problems based upon an email or phone call, always log in to your account where you know it is housed and double check. Never ever click on links in emails that even appear to be from your provider unless you know for a fact that it is legit.
It’s always best to go straight to the source. Just like if you receive a phone call asking you to pay with credit card right now, you would be better off hanging up and calling the company back at the phone number you typically use.
There are a lot of bad people out there who spend their time trying to make money by stealing yours. Don’t be a victim.