It is VERY important to stay on top of internet domain renewals. It’s easy to do, but if you procrastinate…
You may have received an invoice in the mail, in your email inbox, or you may have received a phone call from a very helpful person:
Your domain is up for renewal, and you will owe $250 to restore the domain if it expires without payment and must be reinstated. Renew early, and you’ll get some extra benefits.
The “invoice” is not from the company who services you! (It may legitimately be time to renew your domain, but the invoice is requesting money to be sent to the wrong place.)
When you get the call or invoice, your information will be fully populated, exactly as accurately as you’ve entered it when registered on the Internet. It looks like a legitimate invoice. It will feel like this company knows you.
When an internet domain is registered ownership and management information is collected, stored, and audited regularly. Periodic attestations are required to keep registrations current. ICANN is the governing body and maintain a list of companies that they will allow to manage your registration:
This information has traditionally been publicly available, and unless you purchase a “privacy” add-on option when you bought your domain, your name, email, address, phone number, etc. are all publicly available through WHOIS and related ICANN searches.
How do you know?
If ever in doubt, go to the source. Any reputable registrar will have online management tools. These should always be used to manage your subscription. (An example: GoDaddy won’t use a third-party company to send invoices. GoDaddy will have you log into their website to make payments, manage renewals, etc. GoDaddy stores your credit cards for automatic renewal. A paper invoice from GoDaddy would be completely out of place, but an email reminder pointing you to their website would be normal.)
As with any identity-theft related scam, always be careful. The “bad guys” already have your information. They are tricky. Never agree to send money over the phone—the money always flows just as easily through the REAL corporate website, so a real corporate representative will encourage you to pay online. (Requests for money orders, prepaid cards, bitcoin, etc. are all immediate flags for scams.)
If you need a second opinion, please contact us. We would be happy to ensure you don’t fall prey to these types of scams.