I received a letter from a domain registrar that said my domain name will expire soon and I have to pay a renewal fee of $40 by a certain date. What do I need to do? –Originally appeared in the Clickfire Webmaster Newsletter
Nothing. The letter you received is an attempt to get you to transfer your registration of your domain to a different company that charges a very high price for domain registrations. I’ve received these pseudo invoices from companies I’ve never heard of. This practice is very deceptive. Some unsuspecting site owners won’t realize that this is not the company they originally registered with and will pay without much thought. The reason scammers can do this is that your name and address appear on the public “who is” registration record, which is sort of like a property deed for domains. Anyone can view the official domain record of a web site at the Whois Source or any number of other who is database sites. They know who you are and when your domain expires so they try and scare you into renewing. Only later will you realize that you actually switched your domain registration to a different company. It reminds me of the way that some long distance companies used to switch service without permission.