Watch out: Domain Expiration Scam on the Loose!

It seems that fake domain expiration emails are back in vogue. They allegedly come from the domain registration service and claim they are an expiration notice. People think that their domain will expire so they may hurry to renew it by clicking on the included payment links.

A closer inspection of the small print reveals that the expiration actually refers to a search engine optimization service that customer most likely haven’t purchased in the first place. Usually these emails may simply be ignored and deleted.

Such domain notification scams aren’t new, though. In 2010 The US Federal Trade Commission issued a warning about an email scam by perpetrators posing as domain registrars. In 2014 ICANN alerted about scammers posing as ICANN urging registrants to renew their domains.

There are things you can do to make sure you avoid such scams:

– Check your Whois records to ensure that your email contacts are updated and accurate so messages go to the responsible contact person only.
– When you receive a domain expiration email, don’t click on any links. Your click may be tracked and lead to more spam.
– To make sure your domain isn’t really expiring, simply check the expiry date in the domain’s Whois record. You can also confirm with the domain registrar that your payment details are accurate.
– To prevent any unauthorized domain transfers, make sure that your domain status is set as locked.

These steps can be confusing if you’ve got many domains spread out among several registrars, therefore keeping some order in your email history may save you time and effort when faced with suspicious correspondence.

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