As we know there are people all over the world using different unethical tactics to try to obtain money from unsuspecting victims. Some do it without actually breaking the law. Such as leveraging these bogus domain expiration emails that are pouring in to unsuspecting business owners email accounts.
If you received a similar email such as the one below, and wondering what you should do, read on to find out more.
First, how are they getting all your companies information? Well that is easy, as every domain name registered displays the registrants personal email, company address, phone number to the public.
You can find your public listed information by typing in your domain name at the official ICANN Domain Name Registrar site: https://whois.icann.org/en
Unless you purchase additional services to hide it or have a reputable web firm registrar it on your behalf, its fair game. For a small annual Fee you can opt to have your details hidden.
These folks that send these emails scrape the internet for this public information, even get triggered when new domains are registered so they have all the info needed, including your name, email address, home address and when the domain expires, which is all used against you.
Next, they add fear and limited time to the equation. The whole email structure is to capture fear that something is going to happen if you don’t respond. So the next step is to have you quickly read the headings, since they know your busy and don’t have time to read the whole thing.
They figure you know you need a domain name to properly display your website (and keep your email working), so they state its going to expire.
Here is the fine print:
This important expiration notification notifies you about the expiration notice of your domain registration for yourdomain.org search engine optimization submission. The information in this expiration notification may contain confidential and/or legally privileged information from the notification processing department of the Domain Seo Service Registration to purchase our search engine traffic generator. We do not register or renew domain names. We are selling traffic generator software tools. This information is intended for the use of the individual(s) named above.If you fail to complete your domain name registration yourdomain.org search engine optimization service by the expiration date, may result in the cancellation of this search engine optimization domain name notification notice.
But in reality, its a ploy to buy some type of SEO service service, which they don’t explain what that entails.
I have tracked many of these types of emails coming from mail servers located in other countries.
So what do you do if you receive an email like this and its not from your website hosting or domain services provider? Simply delete it and/or mark it as spam in your email client.
DO NOT ANSWER as this will most likely trigger MORE Spam Emails.
What happens if you did fall for this and send them money for it? Technically consider it a lesson learned. As they will not provide a refund and they keep changing the company and email these come from to prevent action taken on them.
Hopefully this provides a little insight on these types of scam emails targeting specifically to business and non-profits that have websites.
Let us know if you have received a similar email or if you know of anyone who actually signed up for this in the comments below.