Are you getting bills from Domain Registry of America, DNS Services or some other domain registration company that you have never heard of? Read it carefully, it may be a solicitation.
Cairn Applications registers many domain names for ourselves and our clients. We started getting these solicitations about a year ago. When a customer who holds their own domain called me about this, I thought I ought do a post about it.
It looks like a bill
Below are are 2 examples of this trick. They both came in the US Mail so they feel legitimate. They both really look like bills, so your natural reaction is to pay them.
Is it a scam?
Scam is a pretty strong word. If you read these things carefully, they definitely make it clear that they are not affiliated with your domain registration provider. The DNS Services example states clearly, "You are under no obligation to make any payments on account of this offer unless you accept this offer." The Domain Registry of America example states, "This notice is not a bill. It is rather an easy means of payment should you decide to switch your domain name registration to the Domain Registry of America."
These solicitations do, however, arrive when your domain names are due to renew; they use the word "renew" frequently; and they look like a bill. People who own businesses are very busy and their attention is divided by many tasks. It is highly probable that business owners will see an invoice, glance briefly at it, recognize their domain name, and throw it in pile of bills to be paid. In doing so, they unwittingly accept the offer.
Buyer beware even if you don't buy on purpose
DNS Services and Domain Registry of America are the only two companies that we are aware of doing this trick, but that does not mean that there are not more out there. In any case, always read before you sign or pay.