I have noticed a big uptick in domain renewal scams going out to our members over at the Appraisers Club, but other real estate appraisers have contacted me about this as well.
I am sure most of you check the validity of all bills that come to your company, but this one seems to be focusing on real estate appraisers for some reason. Who knows why, maybe we pay our bills without asking too many questions?
So if you have a website and you get a notice in the mail to renew your domain name, make sure it is your company domain name first. Check every character, maybe even type it in to your browser to make sure it pulls up your website. I have seen notices going out that are very similar to your domain name and they are trying to trick you in to buying it through them.
If it does match your domain name, make sure that is the same company you purchased the domain name from in the past. Log in online if possible and renew the domain name there if needed. Many of the letters that are sent to you in the mail are stating they are for a ‘renewal’, but it is actually requesting you to transfer the domain name to their company. They are not trying to take ownership of the domain name, just have you pay to ‘register’ it with them.
There really is no need to change a ‘registrar’ unless you want to change it yourself. Most of these companies are just trying to scam you in to paying a higher annual fee.
Most places like Moniker or GoDaddy will be the registrar for only $10-$20 a year.
When it comes to domain name billing, always take a close look, these scams have been going around for decades, but they seem to be targeting real estate appraisers now.