Domain Deception

By Luke Farrugia in Business with 2 Comments

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I regularly receive emails from my clients asking what is going on with their domains and wanting to know why they have been billed twice. To verify their claim they often forward an email to me which has been sent to them requesting immediate payment for their domain renewal.

That is when I have the unpleasant task of explaining that they have been deceived.

How they do it

These unscrupulous operators are currently targeting small businesses by sending them invoices to renew domain names that don't exist (The ACCC are aware of it and have been warning small businesses of these practices). For example, your address might be, the Domain reseller will email you an urgent invoice to renew before it expires. Did you see what just happened there? They offered you a domain that does not even exist, (it was a .com, not a but because it is your name, you will usually just pay it because it seems legitimate.

This is not the end of the issue though, to make it worse, they usually charge astronomically high prices with markups that are sometimes more than ten times the market price. The trouble is, many small business owners are so accustomed to paying all the bills that pour in from all kinds of providers, they often mistake the fraudulent company as a legitimate service provider and simply pay the invoice, only realizing their mistake when the legitimate invoice arrives.

How to protect yourself

A bit of common sense goes a long way when avoiding a scam. When you receive a bill for your domain or hosting,

  • Check if it came from the same company who designed your website, or a company you have dealt with before.
  • Confirm that the domain name is exactly the same as yours, including the end portion.
  • Check their payment details to ensure it is going to your existing service provider.
  • Contact your web designer and ask them if they sent you the invoice.

If you follow these simple steps, you will save yourself a lot of money and trouble.

What about you?

Have you ever received one of these deceptive invoices?

Tell us in the comments below.


Post your comment


  • hi Luke just received one yesterday spoke to Shanley and it was a scam
    tried to get $245.00 for domain name i did not pay it because i saw it was wrong but did speak to Shanley first
    thanks for all the updates and info that helps us mere mortals.

    Posted by sue scanlen, 13/02/2014 8:50am (2 years ago)

  • Thats a perfect example of what i mean! I'm glad you saw through the scam.

    It is also good to hear that you are enjoying the posts.

    Have a great week!

    Posted by Luke Farrugia, 18/02/2014 4:52pm (2 years ago)

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