Domain name scammers have been around for years, but the Domain Registry of America (a.k.a. Domain Service of America) is one scam that seems to persist.  

What they do is send letters or emails to unsuspecting website owners (often small business owners who are not prepared to handle information related to their domains) telling them that they need to switch domain name registrars.  

If the recipient does this, they will see a jump in price– often 5xs the original cost.  

As a website development company specializing in small business websites, we come across this issue with clients from time to time. Hopefully after reading this post, you will be able to avoid getting scammed by this company.  

The Domain Registry Scam 

The Domain Registry of America is a scam-domain registry service whose well-crafted letters and emails are designed to fool business owners with websites. With the prominent American flag, prominent pricing, and urgent expiration date, it’s not hard to see why many assume this is legit. 

The top heading says, “Domain Name Expiration Notice.” Notice that they do not say that they are your current domain registrar. But many business owners who work with online marketing experts don’t actually know who their domain is registered with, so they can be easily duped.  

The Domain Registry of America then tells “customers” that their domain will be expiring, which may be true, but they aim to catch website owners before the actual registrar sends out an expiration notice and renewal offer. 

How do they get this information? It is easily accessible on “whois” databases, which provide contact information for owners of registered domains.  

What To Do After Receiving One of These Scam Emails or Letters 

If you have already paid this company, there is no recourse. As the Domain Registry of America states, “payment…is non-refundable.” Shocking, right? 

If you are reading this, you probably have not acted yet, which is great. Ignore any further communications from Domain Registry of America. Keep in mind that they are only one of many such scammers out there. 

How to Avoid Becoming a Victim 

Here are some tips to help you avoid getting conned by one of these companies:  

  • Check your records to see if your renewal statement is coming at the typical time. Double-check past bills for provider name and pricing. 
  • Keep an eye out for formatting changes on your bill. 
  • Ask your website provider if you are unsure of a bill related to your domain. 

Bottom Line: Keep track of your website-related expenses so you always know who you are supposed to be paying and when. Domains are typically renewed every one, three, or five years. By staying on top of your information, you can thwart many of the attempts of scammers to make money off your business. 

OpenVine Internet Solutions provides comprehensive internet marketing services to small business owners across the country.  If you need help with website design, social media, content creation, or search engine optimization, contact us today to learn how we can help you grow your business!