AWG Offers Tips on Avoiding Potential Domain Name Scams

Active Web Group’s mission as a full-service web marketing firm is to provide any size business the opportunity to leverage and utilize the power of the Internet as a marketing tool to expand their business. With potentially thousands of new domain names being registered every day, there is also increased potential for scammers to take advantage of the unwary.

Since domain name registrars are public information, it’s not hard for someone to locate your email address and the domain you have registered. This also means that it is not difficult for them to discover your contact information. Most domain name scams take place via email, although there have been a few attempts to attract victims via websites. Email is much more anonymous and direct, and therefore it is more likely that you’ll be a victim of a domain registry scam in this fashion.

The basic idea of the most common scam is to convince you that your registration is ready to expire. Naturally, if that were true, you would want to take immediate action so that you could hold onto your success thus far and continue building on it. The scam artists have taken care to create an official looking invoice to encourage you to fix the pending problem right away. Of course, they make it seem as though this is all for your convenience.

Of course, that’s not the only scam you’ll find online. Some are so finely tuned that they technically aren’t illegal. Domain name search engine registration is not the same thing as domain name registration. Official looking emails, professional looking invoices, and selective use of words like “final notice” and “urgent notice” give the illusion that you must take immediate action.

Some of these companies imply or directly state that a merger has taken place and they now control the company. From there, you are supposed to register and handle your renewals through them. If you register through these fraudulent companies the only thing you’re registering is the domain name search engine registration. DomainUSA is the most commonly known company running this barely legal scam.

So how do you avoid these scams as well as others like them? There are some rather basic ground rules that can help keep your money actually going into your business and out of the hands of internet criminals.

Start by being aware of the going rate. If you are registering a domain for the first time, be sure to check out many prices so that you will notice when the charges are excessive. Any time you need to renew or you want to make adjustments go to the site. Never pay for something through an email link. Always hand type the web address into the browser. It’s even better if you have the domain registry site book marked from your initial visit with them.

Know when your domain actually expires. If you paid your annual fee in August you don’t have to pay again until August of the following year.

Unsolicited emails and faxes should always be looked at with great skepticism. It is illegal to contact you in these methods without your consent.

Pre-registration of a domain name can not give you the guarantee of any kind of special treatment. Those who are in the legitimate business of domain name registry aren’t specifically interested in guiding you toward one name over another. Their service is not to help you get ahead in your marketing efforts with a “special and personalized” domain name. Actual domain registry services are a first come, first served business.

Stay informed. Any time you receive correspondence that just doesn’t seem quite right, check it out. Any time a new company is asking you to pay an invoice you know nothing about, research it.

For more information regarding online marketing solutions, contact Active Web Group, Long Island’s premier full-service online marketing agency. As an established Web Marketing firm, Active Web Group works with every client individually to develop the best possible online marketing solutions that are best suited to meet our clients’ unique goals and budget. We will strive to get your business in front of potential clients at the very moment they are searching for the services you offer.

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