Have you received a letter in the mail or an invoice to renew your website domain? Good chance this is a scam service and should be read carefully if unsure. Technically not illegal if the domain listing bill or invoice states “this is not a bill”, “this is solicitation”, “you are under no obligation to pay the amount unless you accept this offer”, etc. somewhere on the piece of paper.
Domain Listings Scam & Website Listing Service Scam Solicitation Letter Example
There are individuals, agencies, companies, etc. that scan manually or auto-scan using software to scrape (or download) public information. When purchasing a domain, contact information is required for registering the URL. There are tools that give the ability to look up the registration contact data for domain names such as ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). With this information floating around the internet publicly (unless signing up for private registration) is up for grabs to anyone that seeks this information.
Calling these individuals, companies, agencies, etc. “Scammers” sounds to be true, but in reality it’s just a loophole that gets taken advantage to make profits. Technically not illegal if the domain listing bill or invoice states “this is not a bill”, “this is solicitation”, “you are under no obligation to pay the amount unless you accept this offer”, etc. somewhere on the piece of paper. This is the reason to stay lawful even though it’s unethical in one form or another. When this information gets scraped, thousands of these letters are sent and most unsuspecting or unaware domain name owners get frauded into a 1-time payment or long-term stronghold contract i.e. 12 months, 36 months, etc.
“Website Listing Service” Letters Can Come From The Following:
As of January 1, 2014, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has mandated that all ICANN-accredited registrars verify WHOIS contact information for all new domain registrations and Registrant contact modifications.
Throw it away or shred it (preferred).
Sign up (Pay or FREE) for Private Registration when purchasing or renewing a domain inside your domain register. This type of service masks (protects) personal information.
GoDaddy – Does not offer FREE private registration (normally $10/month).
NameCheap – Offers FREE private domain registration for LIFE using WhoisGuard™.
Watch out for domain listings scam & website listing service scam solicitation letters (domain listings bill) in the mail.