If you get one,
DO NOT RESPOND.
What is it?
It is a “Domain Renewal Group Invoice”.
And here is what it looks like:
This particular one was sent to a client of ours in the UK, who immediately emailed it to me asking for advice. Good decision!
This Domain Renewal Group Invoice company is based somewhere in the Bahamas, so it is outside of the jurisdiction of your local Government Consumer Affairs Department.
They search the web for domain names that are due to expire and post this invoice to the web owner. This is pretty easy to do.
Even though they are a foreign company, the letters appear to come from within your country.
Many people, (like me the first time around), will think it is an invoice from their legitimate domain resigtrar and just automatically pay it.
Now, to their credit, I did get a full refund when I complained.
But they didn’t have much choice as my bank was going to refund the credit card transaction anyway.
But the Domain Renewal Group Invoice must get enough people in to make it commercially viable for them to continue sending them out.
But get this – there was 82 lines of fine print on the back of the invoice in what looked like 6pt font! Now that’s FINE PRINT !
Their rates do not appear to be particularly expensive either, so they are not ripping people off.
But what they are doing is soliciting for business in a very subtle way that makes it look like an invoice that you should pay. They are building a customer base of unsuspecting people and companies.
This practice has been outlawed in many countries because it is not ethical.
So if you receive a Domain Renewal Group Invoice, file it in the Big Round File under your desk, or in the shredder.