We have heard from a number of clients recently about two different domain name scams doing the rounds so thought we would post information here so you do not get caught out:
In this scam you will receive an email from a Chinese company stating that they have had a request from a company (often Tianhua Ltd) looking to register your main domain name with the .cn, .asia, .com.cn (etc) extensions.
They ask you to contact them if you want these domains for yourself.
This is just rubbish, do a search for the company name (Tianhua Ltd) and you will see lots of people asking why this company is trying to register all these domains. You can safely ignore this email.
This scam is much more clever. You will receive a very official letter in the post stating that your domain name is due for renewal with details of how to pay (often for a very inflated price). They even list the domain name in the letter.
BUT look closely....the domain listed will NOT be the same as your main domain. For example if you main domain is a .com.au they may well be showing you the .com address (if it is available)
We have had clients who have been convinced by these letters and paid the full amount not wanting to loose their domain and the whole process looks very official and legitimate. The company claim it is not a scam as they are legitimately selling you an available domain which they will register in your name.
The good news is clients have contacted the company and demanded their money back or they will report them and have got their money back.
When you register a domain name (or your web design company does it for you) always ensure it is registered in your (company) name with your email as the main contact. That way you will get notifications when it is due for renewal.
Always check very carefully any notices regarding your website hosting or domain name, if in doubt contact your web company or check your original documentation to see who it was registered with and contact them.
In terms of costs you can get domain names from as little as $25 for 2 years registration. If you are paying more than this you are getting ripped off!