There has been a number of companies, going by several names like Domain Renewal Group, Liberty Names of America, and especially Domain Registry of America, that has been taking advantage of people who own domain names and are due to renew. I have seen it happen to several of my clients, and I want to help others not to fall for this… “service”.
How, you may ask companies such as Domain Registry of America are phony? Let me demonstrate. Please see the image gallery that I am including in this post. It contains 5 images – 2 sides of the envelope, 2 sides of the letter, and image of the return envelope. This specific example covers Domain Registry of America – actual letter I received as an owner of worksheetsforlearning.org and customworksheets.org (I have a project for a non-profit cause I will be using these domains for in the next year).
So what you see here is sort of a legitimate “notice” to a domain customers. It is a clear attempt at gaining control of my domains. The letter is labeled “Domain Name Expiration Notice”, yet they have no affiliation with the domain name holder or the actual registrar of record. Some people are confused by the notices thinking that they are legitimate renewal notices from their registrars, when, in reality, they are deceptive attempts to transfer the domains.
In addition to renewing and transferring domains to their registrar, they also charge you a higher fee that you would normally pay with your existing registrar.
Some of you may have been fooled by them before.
It seems that they are mining the domain WHOIS system to get the contact information and expiration dates for these domains. First of all, it is a violation of WHOIS policy. According to Shashi Bellamkonda of Network Solutions, companies such as DROA are also risk running afoul of the Federal Trade Commission, which has been kept up to date of their activity. Customers are advised to log into their accounts at their respective registrars (such as Network Solutions, GoDaddy, or any other registrar you purchased your domain through) to check the status of your domains and to renew if needed.