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Another Domain Scam

I’ve talked about a particular type of domain scam in a previous blog. You can read that blog here. There is another type of domain scam that has been around for many years, but appears to have taken on a slightly different or additional form.

A company known as Domain Registry of America (or DROA and sometimes known as NameJuice) has for years sent out fake notices about domain renewals. These notices look like invoices, and only reading the very small print on them gives away a vague disclaimer that the notice is not a bill. They usually were sent through the postal mail as well.

Companies would often unknowingly pay them thinking they were renewing their domain names. After all, how many employees working in accounts payable know where their company’s domain name is registered? This type of fraudulent activity is often known as “domain slamming”.

Back in 2003, the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) filed a complaint against DROA for their shady business practices. You can read more about the complaint here.

However, this hasn’t stopped DROA and their fake notices from being sent out. It appears now that they are also sending out emails regarding false domain transfers. Here is an example of one of their emails:

From: Transfer and Renewal Support [mailto:transfers@droa.com]
Sent: Monday, June 28, 2010 4:02 AM
To: xxxx@xxxxxxxxxx.com
Subject: TT0, xxxxxxxx.com; Order # 1772128


Hello xxxxxxxx ,

The transfer and renewal of your domain name, xxxxxxx.com is not yet complete at this time.

Reason:
-------
1) The Domain name is currently in a "REGISTRAR-LOCK" status with your current registrar TUCOWS INC.
2) We require that you provide us with an EPP Key/Authorization Code from your current registrar

In order to complete the transfer and renewal, the "REGISTRAR-LOCK" status needs to be removed and an EPP Key/Authorization code needs to be obtained.
Please see below for instructions on achieving this.

Solution:
---------
- Log into your account with your current registrar, and change the status of your domain, xxxxxxxx.com, from "locked" to "active".

- Then look for the EPP Key or Authorization Code.

Alternate Solution:
---------
- Call your current registrar, TUCOWS INC. (see phone number below) and ask them to remove the lock status of your domain name, give you your EPP Key, and allow the transfer to Domain Registry of America.

- Once done please notify us that you have done so, by clicking on the link below, or calling our toll-free number below.
https://namejuice.com/agree.asp?e=1&o=1772128&p=3367225

We will then re-attempt the transfer and renewal of your domain name.


As a convenience, we have supplied your current registrars phone number below.

Domain: xxxxxxxx.com
Current Registrar: TUCOWS INC.
Registrar Phone Number: 800-371-6992 (Toll Free) or 416-535-0123 (Local)

Transfer Department
Domain Registry of America
Toll free 1-866-434-0212 or for International Callers, dial +1(905)479-2533

So what to do with an email like this? If you aren’t sure if it is a legitimate email, you can ask us here at ISOCNET to be certain whether it is legitimate or not. The second thing you can do is file a complaint with the FTC. You can do so at https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/.

 

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