Domain Fraud Alert Also Called “Slamming”
It has been brought to Genesis System.com attention that several scamming companies are mailing invoices requesting the renewal of domains. They obtain hosting contact information through the publicly accessible WHOIS database, and are sending renewal notices through regular mail in an envelope and on stationary intentionally designed to appear to be an official government notice or invoice. Several of these scam companies have taken the approach to send domain renewal notices by postal mail to domain registrants 90 days prior to the renewal date. However, some people think this is a legitimate renewal notice and pay it. These solicitations are often called “Domain Expiration Notices.” They are sent by postal mail hoping accounts payable may provide payment without questioning the fake invoice. The domain is then “hijacked” by this new registrar. By paying them, you are providing authorization to move your domain name to a different registration company. The problem is that to complete the process of moving the domain, confirmation is required from the administrative contact. Since the administrator contact would not authorize the transfer (GenesisSystem.com), you would then have the authority to allow this transfer. You could also be faced with losing your domain if the transfer was not confirmed and the domain was not renewed at the current registrar, regardless of having paid the new firm. If you review the offer you will see that it is a solicitation, not an invoice. The manner in which it is presented, however, is intended to cause alarm—”you could lose your domain and your website”—
Solicitations have come from the following firms:
- Domain Registry of America
- Liberty Names of America
How can they legally get away with sending what appear to be “invoices” when what they’re really trying to do is get your domain moved into their register account….what many are saying that amounts to Domain name hijacking.
I mean just run a search in Google for Liberty Names of America and see results like:
Some of these same companies are now generating invoices for a “Annual Website Search Engine Listing” which is nothing more than an trumphed up service that is never performed. They take in hundreds of checks a week by accountants who pay invoices without question. This new scam is hard to prove, whereas there is no paper trail, data log or system to track claimed submissions. DO NOT PAY ANY INVOICE FROM THESE COMPANIES!
Old Scams Pursue New Ventures
Slamming is a term that was first used in the long distance telephone industry. In the long-distance business, slamming is the practice of changing your long-distance carrier without your consent. Recently, more domain registration service providers are resorting to the practice of sending notices by postal mail that look confusingly like a renewal notice or invoice. You absolutely SHOULD NOT send any money to the above listed companies in order to renew your domain, as Innovative Design is your Domain Registry Provider. If you have already sent money, we suggest contacting your bank or credit card company regarding your options of having payment stopped or reversed. “Domain Registry of America” has just recently been investigated by the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) . A Court Order now requires payment of consumers redress and prohibits future deceptive conduct.
If you recieve one of these notices, Innovative Design encourages you to file multiple complaints against the violating
company by notifying:
- United States Postal Inspection Service
- ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers)
- Internet Fraud Complaint Center