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If you are a website owner or operator, you’re used to receiving notifications from your provider that your domain name registry is up for renewal. For most of us, each year we have to update certain properties on our websites: copyrights, hosting, and domain name registration. However, if you had a third party marketing company, employee, friend, step-son, cat sitter etc. set up or handle your website you might receive a notice asking to renew your registration, pay the money, and be none-the-wiser that you actually just got scammed.
Domain Registry of America may seem like a legitimate service and, in fact, they are. They have a decent website in which they market that they will give you “free hosting services” with domain registration. They do serve as both a hosting and domain registration company. It is their tactics used to acquire new customers that should be considered unethical at best.
From what has been buzzing around the internet, Domain Registry of America uses Whois sites to find current domain names and physical addresses of websites that use another hosting and domain provider. Then, they send a letter informing the recipient that their domain name is expiring soon and they must renew.
The top right of the letter reads in large text: “DOMAIN NAME EXPIRATION NOTICE” (pictured below). If you continue reading it becomes clearer that they want you to “switch today” to their services from your current provider. However, for many people who see that header declaring their domain name has expired, they pay the bill and switch their services to DROA without even realizing.
Now, this may not concern everyone and DROA keeps it legal by declaring on the page: “This statement is not a bill” in bold text. It is the ethics (or lack there of) in their approach that is questionable.
As a domain name registration and website hosting company, Directory One is very familiar with handling the renewal of these services. We needed to let our clients and others on the web know about this domain name registration scam. So be careful and make sure to take the time to read every statement received carefully.