Domain Name Registry of America Scam | January 14, 2004

In the last couple of weeks an official sounding company called the Domain Name Registry of America has been sending letters to the owners of non UK domain names (.com, .org, .net etc) telling them their domains are about to expire and that they need to renew.

If you're not used to dealing with domain name issues or if you read the letter quickly it would be easy for you to assume (which is the intention) that the domain is registered with this company and they are just being helpful in letting you know it's time to renew. However this is actually a scam. This company is based in Canada and is sending out these letters in order to dupe domain name owners into transferring their domain names to this company. They have nothing to do with the domain names in question and the domains usually aren't about to expire.

As I own a few domain names I've had a couple of these letters so far (as have a number of friends, colleagues and neighbours). On first glance they look quite convincing, and if you don't know the terminology it would be very easy to fall for the scam.

I also happen to be the tech/admin contact for a few domain names at work. In this capacity I've also received emails from this company saying that somebody has requested the domain name be transferred and asking me, as the admin contact, to confirm the transfer. Again, these email look convincing, and my first impression was that somebody at the company in question had fallen for one of the scam letters. However after doing a quick google, it appears that this is just another one of their scam methods.

So if you receive one of these letters or emails, don't get taken in by this scam.

Posted at January 14, 2004 8:58 AM

Comments

Allan Moult said on January 14, 2004 10:55 AM

I’ve been having the same problem with clients in Australia for about eight months now. The giveaway is the line where they offer “to facilitate’ the renewal.

And, you’re right, they do look convincing,

Isofarro said on January 14, 2004 11:44 AM

Domain Registery of Europe (DRoE) is the same scam.

Daniel Von Fange said on January 14, 2004 2:23 PM

It’s not just in the past couple of weeks. I’ve been getting them for too long.

At first they did not even have the “this is not an invoice” disclaimer hidden on them.

brian horlings said on January 14, 2004 4:35 PM

too late for me… my senior vp at work went ahead and paid them without questioning any of us. we had a bear of a time trying to cancel it.

Geoffrey said on January 14, 2004 4:50 PM

Domain Name Registry of America is the devil. They’ve been doing this to all my clients for the last year. Luckily they have all called me to confirm. This kind of tactic should be illegal somehow.

Ryan Brill said on January 14, 2004 6:42 PM

I seem to remember one of my clients asking me about that a while back, as well. Since I had gotten one of the letters myself a while before for one of my own domains, I knew what they were all about, and told my client to simply disregard such notices.

Jim Stone said on January 15, 2004 3:51 PM

They’re working their scam here in Canada too … as the Domain Registry of Canada. I guess, since they’re international, its working for them.

Joerg Schaum said on January 16, 2004 7:01 AM

I had this problem last year a couple of times too. Got similiar emails from a domain service in Australia. Because I live in Japan and my provider is NTT Communications, I realized that it maybe scam, but was on the other side a little bit unsure. Decided to call the ISP, but the next day my ISP sent out a mailing list, that this was scam. Thy tried it a few more times, but my ISP did some tactics to stop them.

Rain Woroz said on February 19, 2004 9:23 PM

I have seen one of the mailings and I don’t think it is misleading at all. As long as you read what the literature is stating, you should be able to understand what is going on. People love blaming others for mistakes they have committed. Its not your fault its human nature. If your like me and do not want to waste paper or if you cant throw out the solicitations because your afraid of a paper cut call them and ask them to take you off the mailing list. I did that and I haven’t received one since. Stop crying and help yourselves and stop waiting for others to do it for you.

Tim Parkin said on March 24, 2004 10:14 PM

Yep,

I was nearly caught out until I noticed the domain name. You’re number one in Google and thats good enough for me :-)

Tim

Tom B. Hansen said on July 14, 2005 8:02 PM

Thanks for the information. I received a similar letter just a few days ago. I was just about to pay the bill, but decided to check in google if this was a scam, as I didn’t recall having registered with that company before.

Jacquie said on September 24, 2005 2:55 AM

I am so sick and tired of DRA’s baloney. We need to all get together and do a class action against them… I mean look at what happened to Microsoft!

Simone said on October 24, 2005 10:06 AM

I work for a small charity in Australia which has been receiving Domain Registry of America emails about transferring and renewing two of our domains (.org and .com). We’ve ignored them just thinking it was a scam, however, doing a ‘whois’ on our domains today showed they have actually hijacked the domains somehow. DROA need to have something done about them. Here’s hoping our lawyers can sort it out.

innothwoods said on January 2, 2006 5:20 PM

I manage a couple hundred domains for myself and my customers. I’m very tired of having to discuss with customers that these letters from DROA are junk mail and should be thrown away or having to tell customers their domain is not going to expire and they need to ask for a refund from DROA.

I really hate DROA and thinking about going to their offices with Lou and having a little sit down talk. (Lou is my favorite 33” Louisville Slugger).

Larian said on April 15, 2006 10:30 AM

Well it looks like I have been caught hook, line and sinker. Does it work asking for a refund from DOA, I had read this all too late otherwise I wouldnt have signed up.