Understanding Domain Name Scams – How to Identify and Prevent Them
There are so many benefits to owning your own website. Whether you have a personal site to show off your graphic design portfolio or own a website dedicated to your company, owning your own domain is a great way to create credibility and show off your brand to further legitimize yourself with customers.
Owning your own domain is also cost-effective and easy to obtain. Check out our blog on how easy it is to set one up with No-IP. If you’re lucky, you can even sell a domain to an interested buyer and actually make a profit. Buying and selling domains is more common than you think.
However, owning your own domain can sometimes lead to some pretty sneaky scams. Today’s blog is based on domain name scams, something that our Customer Support team has been coming across multiple times recently: domain name scams. Take a look to see what domain name scams are, how to recognize them, and how to prevent them.
What Are Domain Name Scams?
The con is fairly simple: These scammers are on the lookout for when “.com” domain names become available. Then, they reach out to whoever is registered under the less popular TLD version like “.net” and pretend that they own the “.com” version. Under the guise that they own the “.com” domain name, they try to persuade the website owner that they can sell or buy the domain at a fair cost.
Website owners receive an offer from a “company” to sell or buy domain names. Much like other scams, these bogus emails at a glance look official: they offer links to their website, which have posted “reviews”, a short paragraph about who they are, and a very easy way to enter your information.
What do They do?
Steal Your Info
Any scam will go out of its way to trick you into entering and submitting your private information, especially your credit card. These domain name scams are no exception. By the time you catch on that what you’re filling out might not be legitimate, it might already be too late.
Scams such as the Domain Name Outlet scam, trick website owners into buying their domain name with a different top level domain (TLD). So, if you are the web owner of “example.net”, you might get an email from Domain Name Outlet asking if you would also like to purchase the more popular “example.com” at a reasonable price of $99 just by following the link in the email.
However, with just a basic search online, you can find that it would cost a small fraction of the price to actually buy “http://example.com ”. Scams like Domain Name Outlet are banking on tricking users that take their emails and website at face value to pay more than they should.
How can you prevent them?
If It’s too Good to be True, It Is!
We recently published a blog with some tips and tricks to verify and avoid phishing scams. The same rules apply to these domain name scams. A very simple search online to see if an offer or email is legitimate is a safe and responsible way to double-check that you are not clicking on a malicious link. You can even utilize the WHOIS search in No-IP to verify if the domain is available or not.
Private Domain Registration
This is a great way to keep your personal information safe, such as your name, email, and address. However, it is also a great way to reduce the amount of spam. Take a look at one of our previous blogs on why private domain registration is a responsible way to go. By choosing No-IP to register your private domain, you also get a wealth of support from our stellar Customer Support team as another resource to help you verify and navigate around these sneaky scams.
It is sometimes discouraging to see the lengths scammers will go to just to convince you to let your guard down a tiny bit. However, by keeping yourself educated on all these different phishing tactics, your skepticism will become second nature. Take a look at our many blog posts to stay versed on all the tips and tricks.