Ugggg.. I got another snail mail from this bunch of Internet hucksters a few days ago.
The official term is called Domain Slamming. And this bunch will send out their solicitation letters to your clients, and try to steal them from you.
Domain slamming is a form of scam in which an internet service provider (ISP) or domain name registrar attempts to trick customers of different companies into switching from their existing ISP/registrar to the scamming ISP/registrar, under the pretense that the customer is simply renewing their subscription to their old ISP/registrar.
The solicitation letter looks like an invoice so it’s easy for a billing clerk or other office personnel to simply cut a check and pay it. DROA has been doing this for a good 10 years that i know of.
They pulled that on me a couple of years back. I started getting emails from DROA to unlock a clients domain so it could be transferred to them. Further investigation revealed DROA sent a solicition letter to my clients business address. The client paid the invoice because he didn’t know it was a scam. I actually owned the domain in question and nowhere in the domain registration was the clients business address. That means that DROA had to look the mailing address for the business to send the invoice to.
This scam is very simple and very effective. Domain Registry of America (which is actually based in Canada) sends out millions of these domain expiration notices. You should understand that, if you receive one, your domain isn’t registered with them. They are trying to trick you into transferring your domain to them and paying more for the annual registration than you are likely payingnow. Beginning in early 2000, their business model consisted of sending out notices that looked like a bill. You had to read the fine print on the backof the mailing to confirm that that they were not actually your domain registrar, and that by paying the “bill” you were authorizing them to transfer your domain away from your actual registrar. The charges from Domain Registry of America are usually much higher than the cost of what you were paying to begin with.
In December 2003 the Federal Trade Commission required Domain Registry of America to provide refunds to tens of thousands of consumers and alter their advertising.
It is also worth noting that they employ some particularly despicable individuals, such as Eric Voisard, and that you will most likely be further insulted if and when you contact them regarding their services.
Have a look at this Very FINE Print on the back of their invoice.. 🙄