Regular users of the Internet, people who are au fait with the registering of domain names, will be familiar with some of the more widespread scams that exist online – such as the ‘Domain Registry of America’, who became the ‘Domain Renewal Group’. They send out fake invoices prompting people to renew their domains, when in fact they’re really transferring the domains to the company.
However, one online scam that is perhaps less well known (possibly because it’s less effective) is the scam where companies send out official looking ‘renewal’ notices for ‘Search Engine Registration’. We received one such renewal notice this week, from a company with the website address registerdoma.com – that’s right, they didn’t get the last couple of letters on their domain name, which should set alarm bells off straight away.
You can see the ‘renewal’ notice we received here, which looks relatively official – except that it’s for search engine registration, whatever that is. This notice promises an offer price of $75 if we act fast, otherwise our website may not be visible by search engines… the horror.
The email reads:
This letter is to inform you that it’s time to send in your search engine registration for ************.COM.
Failure to complete your search engine registration by Dec 21, 2010 may result in the cancellation of this offer (making it difficult for your customers to locate you using search engines on the web).
Your registration includes search engine submission for ************.COM for 1 year. You are under no obligation to pay the amount stated above unless you accept this offer by Dec 21, 2010. This notice is not an invoice. It is a courtesy reminder to register ************.COM for search engine listing so that your customers can locate you on the web.
When you click through to the website (which I don’t advise by the way) you’ll see that the website is in fact hosted in China, which is again a mark of instant quality and trust.
You may be thinking however, do I need ‘Search Engine Registration’? In a word, no. There is no such service and your website does not need to be ‘registered’ with Google and Yahoo. Simple SEO will ensure that your website is found in the search engines, and that your business is successful online. Paying the $75 to these scam artists will ensure that you’re out of pocket by the tune of $75, and nothing else.
Have you received one of these emails, or one similar?