“Domain Registry of America” scam

Got a dodgy letter from an unknown company called “Domain Registry of America” about one of my domain names.

droa-scam.gif

With the usual scare tactics to trick me into giving them money:
“Your registration for – will expire on June 27, 2008. Act today! … You must renew … Failure to renew your domain name by the expiration date may result in loss of your online identity…”

Payment is requested by February 2008 – four months before the expiry date. And they offer 1, 2 or five years registrations. These clearly go against AUDA’s policies:

3. DOMAIN NAME RENEWAL

3.1 The domain name licence period is fixed at 2 years. This means that when a domain name is registered or renewed, it has a fixed expiry date 2 years from the date of registration of renewal. For example, if a domain name is registered or renewed on 1 January 2007, the expiry date is 1 January 2009.

3.2 Domain names may be renewed a maximum of 90 calendar days before the expiry date, and 30 calendar days after the expiry date (see section 4 below).

A quick look on Google seems to say this is a scam, and the company appears to be known for it around the world.

Their return address for Australia is:
Domain Registry of America
189 Queen St, Suite 209
Melbourne 3000 Australia

They gave a US phone number: 1 905 479 2533

And the letter was on Letter-sized paper, not the standard A4.

2 comments

  1. Stilgherrian said:

    Scams like this are very, very common. The website domainwatch.org used to keep an eye on them, but that the guy runs it must be busy on other things. The site hasn’t been updated in over a year.

    Nevertheless, it’s worth a read to educate yourself on how these scams work — and to read the stories of serial scammers Bradley Norrish, Chesley Rafferty and others.

    The scams take two general forms:

    Looking like an invoice for domain registration renewal, when they’re not — they’re only offering to “facilitate” the renewal, which is how they can get in earlier than auDA’s 90-day rule.
    Offering to register — sorry, “facilitate registration of” — a .com domain, when your registered domain is actually .com.au. Many people confuse the two when speaking, and don’t realise they’re completely different.

    Both versions of the scam usually charge renewal fees way above the going rate. For example, one scammer was recently offering to register a .com domain for $275 per year when the going rate is around $25.

    And, even if they actually do renew the name, they often lock you into a registration regime which is difficult to extract yourself from.

    Like most such things, the scammers wouldn’t do it if it weren’t profitable for them. The way to stop them is through education (to reduce the number of “customers”) and through lobbying The Authorities to allocate more resources to prosecuting them.

  2. Steve said:

    I got done F$%^&EN pricks!!!!!!!!

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