Have you ever gotten one of these letters from Domain Registry Services? It comes in an official looking envelope, tells you that your domain is set to expire on a certain date, and gives you options for renewing. Everything looks legitimate and seems like something that should be taken care of quickly. The first time I received one of these letters, I thought that it was possible GoDaddy domains are managed by this company and I should go ahead and renew…until I saw how much they would charge me…
$35 for one year!!! That was when I decided that this letter may just be a scam, or at least an attempt to get me to pay way more for something than I should. After a bit of research, I figured out what is going on and how they are sending me letters with accurate information about my domain, address and other contact information.
How it works
Every domain has what is called a WHOIS record, which details information about the domain, who owns it, when it expires, contact information, and more. This is all Publicly Available Information (Search for your domain WHOIS record here) This is how they get all the information they need to contact you and tell you specific info about your domain and when it will need to be renewed. They have a program that searches the domain registry and drops the pertinent info into a form letter and puts it in the mail.
They probably send out 10’s or 100’s of thousands of these letters in hopes that a percentage of those who receive it will be confused enough to send it back out of fear that their domain may not get renewed if they don’t.
Don’t be fooled
This is a scam, the FTC even posted about it on their website (click here for FTC article). After reading up on this, it’s hard to tell why they are still allowed to send these letters out since it looks a lot like fraud and I can’t imagine the USPS taking too kindly to fraudulent items being mailed through their system. Either way, stay away from these letters, throw them away, and don’t let anybody else be fooled by it.