We often get customers asking if an invoice they’ve received for their domain renewal is legitimate or a scam. The simple answer is; if the notice doesn’t come from a known source – then it’s most likely a scam.
If you read the invoice closely it will typically ask for payment of a new domain that is very similar but not exactly the same as the one you already own.
For example, you receive a notice in the mail asking for you to renew your domain “fabwares.com”. The trick here though is your actual domain is: “fabwares.com.au“.
Another indication you’ve received a false invoice is that the fee quoted is usually excessively high. For some reason, they’ll most likely quote an exact cost of $249 for 12 months.
For the record, a “.com” domain – registered with a reputable registrar – should cost no more than $33 for 12 months.
Technically, the letters could be considered legitimate direct mail. The reality is they have been authored to deceive. And while these types of letter are in breach of ADMA standards – it simply comes down to a case of buyer beware.
To avoid being overcharged for a domain you may neither need nor want – check who your registrar or domain name manager is with your IT support team.
The key is to always read every invoice carefully as this is not the only type of invoice scam targeting website and business owners.
Stay safe out there… Ed.