Recently, one of our team members got an letter in the mail from Web Listings Inc. regarding a domain they have registered with us. The letter looks like a bill, describing the service you will be paying for and telling you where to mail your check.
The letter is an offer to purchase an annual website search engine listing for your domain name. For $85 a year they promise to submit your domain name to 20 search engines with up to eight keywords or phrase listings. It is their goal to sell you enhanced website exposure, but they do not provide you with any guarantees. They are simply asking you to blindly send them money for a “service” that may or may not increase your web presence.
How did they get my contact information?
When you register a domain, you need to provide the registrar with a valid name, mailing address and email address to provide to the WHOIS database. Without this information you cannot register the domain. Some companies will troll the WHOIS records for domains that are expiring, or that they think could use a certain service and will send a letter or email to the owner of the domain.
You can avoid this entire scenario by purchasing or adding Private Registration to your domain name. Private Registration removes your contact information and inserts ours. We filter out all of the bad emails and snail mail and only forward the important stuff to you.
Don’t fall for these scams, read every email and letter you get line by line, before ever sending money to anyone. If you aren’t sure if it is legitimate, contact your current domain registrar and ask them. They will be able to tell you if the mail is from them and how to proceed.
Have you fallen victim to one of these scams in the past? Let us know how you handled the situation.