Very often we receive letters from a company requesting that we send in our payment for the renewal of our domain name. To most businesses this would seem perfectly normal, courteous actually, that someone would be sending out a reminder to make sure that we don't lose our precious domain name. However, since we are the company responsible for registering and renewing our domain names, it strikes us as a bit odd that another company is pretending to have control of this authority.
Unfortunately, these letters are scams and they've been around for a long time which means that the scammers are merely getting craftier as the years go by. The tactics they use could clearly work on lots of unsuspecting domain name owners. The letters appear to be domain name renewal invoices. They warn that you should promptly renew your domain name registration with the company or risk losing your domain name. They may also encourage you to secure the name for an extended term or register the same name with alternate extensions. The verbiage of the "invoice" has been carefully crafted to appear to be a renewal notification, however upon closer examination it is legally classified as a transfer request. By reading the fine print you'll learn that they are NOT in fact your domain registrar and by paying the bill you are actually authorizing to transfer your domain to them.
Some letters and emails will even go as far as to suggest that you register alternative extensions of your domain name to protect yourself from copyright infringement and retain the intellectual property of your current domain names. These are usually sent under the disguise of foreign goverment entity or registration service.
What you should do?
Please be kind to the environment and recycle! These notices can simply be tossed away. If Earth Plaza manages your domain name you can be sure that any renewal notification or correspondence will have our name or logo on the message.
If you have already sent money to another registrar, we suggest you contact your bank or credit card company regarding your options of having payment stopped or reversed.
If you have paid by check, write to the company that you sent payment to demand a refund. If you paid by credit card and are unable to get a response regarding a refund, you can contact the issuing bank for your credit card to dispute the charge.
What We are Doing to Protect Your Domain Names?
By default, Earth Plaza locks down all domain names that we have registered on our clients behalf. This is the first line of defense in preventing unauthorized transfers. A domain transfer cannot be completed unless the administrative contact for the domain first unlocks a domain and then confirms it by submitting a transfer authorization code.
But don't take the risk. If your domain is transferred away, we will not be able to manage it for you and you don't want to transfer it to an unscrupulous company. Be leery of any notice you receive via postal mail or email that does not come from Earth Plaza.
If you are in any doubt as to who you should pay for domain renewals, please contact us and we will gladly check on the status of your account.
As always, it's better to be safe than sorry.