First, we had to deal with fraud calls with conmen looking to steal our bank details. Then, we had to deal with millions of phishing emails trying to steal whatever they could from us.
Now, we have a new nuisance on our hands— domain buying scams.
Scammers know that not all business owners are tech experts, and their favorite sport is preying on those who are ill-informed. We’ve laid out our intelligence on domain buying scams to help you save your money and information. Keep reading to learn more about some of these common scams and how to avoid them.
How To Avoid Domain Buying Scams
Though it feels like scams might be more of a thing of the past or something that only your grandma might fall for, there are a few domain buying scams that are still getting even the most cautious of people. First, let’s discuss some of the types of domain buying scams, and then we’ll provide a few tips for how to avoid them.
Website Listing Services
This is one of the most common domain buying scams on the internet. It usually takes the form of an email trying to list your website by claiming that it is not currently performing on search engine rankings.
They make promises like “We can list your website on the five biggest websites on the internet for a year for just one small fee” to tempt you with an offer that’s too good to refuse. They won’t charge you any exuberant amounts because they want to lure you in.
At best, these services will just take your money and leave. But things can be much worse if they actually follow through with their promise of listing your website. They could list your site on darknet websites, bot networks, or send malware.
Overall, avoid companies that send you emails about listing your website.
Domain slamming is one of the most ‘successful’ domain name scams out there because it’s often made to look very legitimate. Unethical domain registrars commonly use this scam, and it’s when these businesses send out letters that look like invoices to your home or business.
These letters threaten that unless you send them money immediately, you’re going to lose your domain. They’ll even give you an option to pay off your domain hosting for up to five years.
It usually goes like this:
- You’ll get an authentic-looking letter warning you’ll lose your website.
You’ll be asked to send a check if you want to save your website and keep ownership.
You’ll be asked to pay for your domain for 2 to 5 years at once.
Their prices will be almost double or triple than those of genuine registrars.
They won’t give you any way to access your domain.
Domain Name Scam
A newer scam tries to convince you that a competitor is trying to purchase a domain name similar to yours and wants you to act as quickly as possible to stop them. They’re trying to take advantage of your haste in this case.
They’ll claim that they’ve temporarily blocked your competitors from buying the domain (how gracious) and are allowing you to buy them. The price is usually way more than the actual domain price.
When in doubt, the best course of action is to contact a domain broker and pass along this information and let them help you decide if it’s legitimate or not. In most cases, this type of offer is disingenuous.
Tips to Avoid Domain Name Scams
Follow these simple tips to make sure you stay safe.
- Know your domain registrar and when your domain name will expire.
- Lock your domain so it can’t be transferred without you unlocking it.
- Use the auto renew features available with your registrar so your domain is always up to date.
- Always renew your domain through the original registrar.
- Look out for spelling and grammatical mistakes on scams. They can be easy to spot.
Now that we’ve laid it all out for you, we hope that you feel a little more prepared when you’re ready to buy your domain name. When you break it down, if it looks fishy or feels off in any way, it probably is!
Buying a domain name is a tricky process and could also be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. Name Experts has sold and brokered over $80,000,000 in domain names and is one of the industry’s most trusted names.
With an excellent track record, we can make your domain buying process a breeze and protect you from any domain buying scams. We can even keep you anonymous during the process.