Having written a post in November 2014 on domain name scams, and another on 30th November 2015, the old ‘domain name search engine registration’ scam is still very much around. These potentially fraudulent emails are sent to either the Registrant or the Admin contact for any .com domain name.
If you have a .com domain name, at some point you are likely to receive an email that looks something like the screenshot below. [N.B. the look will vary over time as the scammers try different techniques, but the content always relates to payment for search engine ‘registration’].
There is no such thing as domain search engine registration that you need to pay for!
Here is an example of one of these scam emails…
At first glance the above is a reminder about some kind of “Domain name search engine registration” which, if you don’t renew, implies your website will never be found on the internet. However, it’s a complete load of rubbish and just a way of extracting money from the unwary. Doubtless some people will pass this to their company’s accounts department, who will then pay.
DO NOT CLICK THE “UNSUBSCRIBE” BUTTON, as it just confirms to the scammer that they have a live email address.
When you don’t reply you’ll probably get a follow up email, which may show as being from a sender such as ‘Domain Notice‘, ‘Domain Services’, ‘Domain Supports’ or similar, and it will be sent from various email addresses. The subject of the email is something like ‘Domain Notification for your-domain-name.com : This is your Final Notice of Domain Listing.’ or even just yourdomainname.com (insert your own domain name here!).
In some of these scam emails there is (very) small print at the bottom that says something along the lines of:-
- “This notice is not an invoice…”
- … “business Domain name search engine registration”
- “THIS IS NOT A BILL. THIS IS A NOTIFICATION PROPOSAL. YOU ARE UNDER NO OBLIGATION TO PAY THE AMOUNT STATED UNLESS YOU ACCEPT THIS NOTIFICATION PROPOSAL”.
- “… our Domain Registration Service SEO Company, Shenzhen Futian”.
Below is another example of these scam emails, but remember that the look will vary and my examples, here, will be out of date very soon.
Attention: Important Notice , DOMAIN SERVICE NOTICE
Domain Name: your-domain-name.com
ATT: Your name
Response Requested By
20 – March – 2016
PART I: REVIEW NOTICE
Attn: Your name
As a courtesy to domain name holders, we are sending you this notification for your business Domain name search engine registration. This letter is to inform you that it’s time to send in your registration.
Failure to complete your Domain name search engine registration by the expiration date may result in cancellation of this offer making it difficult for your customers to locate you on the web.
Privatization allows the consumer a choice when registering. Search engine registration includes domain name search engine submission. Do not discard, this notice is not an invoice it is a courtesy reminder to register your domain name search engine listing so your customers can locate you on the web.
This Notice for: your-domain-name.com will expire at 11:59PM EST, 20 – March – 2016 Act now!
Payment by Credit/Debit Card
Select the term using the link above by 20 – March – 2016
Please reply with UNSUBSCRIBE subject.
Disclaimer: The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act) establishes requirements for those who send commercial email, spells out penalties for spammers and companies whose products are advertised in spam if they violate the law, and gives consumers the right to ask mailers to stop spamming them. The above mail is in accordance to the Can Spam act of 2003: There are no deceptive subject lines and is a manual process through our efforts on World Wide Web. If you send me an UNSUBSCRIBE email we ensure you will not receive any such mails.
Again, when you don’t reply the scammers will probably send a third email entitled something like ‘Domain Notification for your-domain-name.com : This is your Final Notice of Domain Listing.’
Don’t be caught out by this scam. Just put these emails in the bin where they belong!