Have you ever received an email or letter warning you that if you don’t “take action now” your domain will expire? Or, perhaps you see a bill come in with an urgent deadline, and it looks legit. What do you do? These may very well be common domain renewal scams, and we are going do help you debunk them before they swindle you.

Note: In order to protect our client’s privacy, I have swapped all of their information (domain and email address) to be “yourdomain” or “youremail@yourdomain” in the screenshots below.

Domain Renewal Scam #1: Domain Lions

Here are five things to look out for with this particular scam:

  1. They put your domain in the email several times, but some of them have the .com or .org or .net as (com) (org) (net).
  2. They have grammar or spelling issues. (It should read, “that the domain…”)
  3. They try to scare you with phrasing of losing your domain.
  4. As it turns out, they aren’t actually renewing a domain, they’re offering you a different version.
  5. You have to click a link to proceed.
screenshot of domain lions email - a common domain renewal scam

Domain Renewal Scam #2: Go Hosting

Here are four things to look out for with this particular scam:

  1. Their email domain doesn’t match the domain they use below.
  2. They include the link to pay several times.
  3. The purchase is actually for an e-book submission, not renewing your domain.
  4. They try to scare you with all caps and urgent language.
screenshot of gohosting email - a common domain renewal scam

Domain Renewal Scam #3: US Domain Authority

Here are four things to look out for with this particular scam:

  1. A sneaky trick they play is putting our information on there such as the name servers “NS2.LEWISDES.COM” which makes it seem like Lewis Media Group is aware of the offer.
  2. If you read it carefully, it is actually a subscription to a listing on their website.
  3. They clearly state (in the big block of text) that they “are not a domain registrar and [they] do not Register or Renew Domain Names…”
  4. They also clearly state that “THIS IS NOT A BILL. THIS IS A SOLICITATION. YOU ARE UNDER NO OBLIGATION TO PAY THE AMOUNT STATED ABOVE UNLESS YOU ACCEPT THIS OFFER.”
  5. The listing costs a whopping $289 per year!

If you have a hosting plan with Lewis Media Group, your primary domain name is covered. Domains typically cost $10-20 per year, but we include this in your Hosting & Maintenance Package. Sometimes, if you have several domain names, we will send you an annual bill for those, but it will not amount to $289 for just one. To read another take on this scam, go to the article by Real Basics here.

Scan of US Domain Authority letter with private information redacted - a common domain renewal scam

How do you spot common domain renewal scams?

Know your registrar and hosting providers.

This could be GoDaddy, Namecheap, HostGator, Network Solutions, etc. If you get your Hosting & Maintenance through Lewis Media Group, chances are we cover your domain name, too.

Look for the common mistakes or disclaimers

This could be spelling and grammar errors, mismatching domain names with their email address, or text that proves they aren’t actually invoicing you for a domain after all.

Compare it to a real invoice

Bring up a previous bill from your actual provider to determine if it comes from the right email or looks like a typical invoice.

Check in with us!

Give us a call at 503.602.9074—we are happy to help save you from paying someone for a service you may not need or want.