30 Aug, 2010

Domain name renewal scams

It's something clients ask us about on a regular basis, "I've just received a renewal notice from Domain Registry of Canada do I renew my domain with them?"

Most of our clients ask us to hold their domains for them, in that way they know that we will notify them when a renewal is due, and they won't risk losing their domain name if they miss a renewal email sent to them. However a few do hold their own domains and may not remember who registered it for them originally, so when a "genuine looking" renewal invoice arrives they often think nothing of it.

Our advice is READ THE SMALL PRINT. If you sign/pay a renewal invoice with Domain Registry of Canada you are also giving them permission to transfer your domain into their holding and this is what the small print sort of tells you.

If you do sign and pay them then your domain still remains registered to you, however they now control it and you will have to ask them to make any changes required e.g. pointing to a new website or hosting service etc.

So before you sign and pay for any renewals through Domain Registry of Canada (or Domain Registry of America) read the paperwork thoroughly. Checkout what Wikipedia has to say about them... read. [Note: Wikipedia appears to have removed the referenced article, however you can read the Wikipedia page on Domain Name Scams instead]

Also talk to the company that built your latest website, if they are hosting it they may also be administering the domain for you, they will know this level of detail so they are the first people to talk to.

This is one of those typical cases of Caveat emptor: let the buyer beware.