There is a scam going around the web which everyone who is registering domain names should be aware of.
It's the DOMAIN SERVICES email scam which arrives to your email inbox looking like you're either doing something wrong, or that you're in danger of having something happen to your domain name if you fail to do nothing.
NOTE: ENOM.COM is not the one perpetrating the scam, they are merely HOSTING the SCAMMER and I believe should be held liable for any and all damages to domain holders who are suckered into this type of arrangement.
One of the companies that allows these emails safe passage which really surprises me that nobody has shut them down yet is http://www.enom.com or https://twitter.com/enom on twitter, or https://www.facebook.com/pages/eNom/104056076298290 which is their facebook page.
These emails will generally arrive to you as your domain is either expiring, has been renewed or is coming up for renewal
In a second I will share with you the content of one of their emails. What is frustrating about these things is that if you're not aware of this scam, you could be tempted to sign up for their services which are a ripoff and which in some cases will cause you to turn over your domain registration to them, costing you substantially more to renew your domain in the future than you should be paying.
I like to see people avoid these issues. So that's why I am investing time in writing this to point out the problem.
Okay, so let's examine the email:
From address is generally Domain Services, or Domain Notification Services. (something to note, If you are a GODADDY customer or a SNAGADOMAIN customer you will receive notifications, but they will come from an address that mentions godaddy or snagadomain, so check the email before deleting it).
One I received yesterday was:
From: Domain Services
To: Michael Murdock
Subject: Domain Notification: MICHAEL MURDOCK This is your Final Notice of Domain Listing - 24HOURLISTING.INFO
Attention: Important Notice , DOMAIN SERVICE NOTICE
Domain Name: 24HOURLISTING.INFO
Complete and return by fax to:
ATT: MICHAEL MURDOCK
email address removed
contact address removed - HUNTINGTON BEACH - CALIFORNIA - 92648
Please ensure that your contact information is correct or make the necessary changes above
PART I: REVIEW SOLICITATION
Attn: MICHAEL MURDOCK
As a courtesy to domain name holders, we are sending you this notification for your business Domain name search engine registration. This letter is to inform you that it's time to send in your registration and save. (SAVE???? I don't think so!)
Failure to complete your Domain name search engine registration by the expiration date may result in cancellation of this offer making it difficult for your customers to locate you on the web.
Privatization allows the consumer a choice when registering. Search engine subscription includes domain name search engine submission. You are under no obligation to pay the amounts stated below unless you accept this offer. Do not discard, this notice is not an invoice it is a courtesy reminder to register your domain name search engine listing so your customers can locate you on the web.
This Notice for: WWW.24HOURLISTING.INFO will expire on JUNE 30,2014 Act today!
[ ] 1 year 06/30/2014 - 06/30/2015 $75.00
[ ] 2 year 06/30/2014 - 06/30/2016 $119.00
[ ] 5 year 06/30/2014 - 06/30/2019 $199.00
[ ] 10 year -Most Recommended- 06/30/2014 - 06/30/2024 $295.00
[ ] Lifetime (NEW!) Limited time offer - Best value! Lifetime $499.00
Today's Date: _____________________ Signature: _____________________
Payment by Credit Card
Select the term above, then return by fax: 1-716-242-0416
By accepting this offer, you agree not to hold DS liable for any part. Note that THIS IS NOT A BILL. This is a solicitation. You are under no obligation to pay the amounts stated unless you accept this offer. The information in this letter contains confidential and/or legally privileged information from the notification processing department of the DS 3501 Jack Northrop Ave. Suite #F9238 Hawthorne, CA 90250 USA, This information is intended only for the use of the individual(s) named above. There is no pre-existing relationship between DS and the domain mentioned above. This notice is not in any part associated with a continuation of services for domain registration. Search engine submission is an optional service that you can use as a part of your website optimization and alone may not increase the traffic to your site. If you do not wish to receive further updates from DS reply with Remove to unsubscribe. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that disclosure, copying, distribution or the taking of any action in reliance on the contents for this letter is strictly prohibited.
The problem with this notice is that the removal of your information is for that one domain ONLY. If you have 300 of these, you have to send 300 requests to remove your information which is a waste of time and someone should have to pay for that time wasting.
As a domain reseller and also one who purchases domains for myself and for others, I consider this type of marketing abusive in nature and something that someone should be held accountable for.
These people will switch providers and change domains that they email from to avoid getting caught, but they do provide a valid fax number and a mailing address which means some attorney could potentially make a literal fortune off this company as they are getting sales from somewhere, otherwise they'd not be continuing to email people.
Do yourself a favor, if you see one of these solicitations coming into your email box, delete it, don't sign up for the service because once they have you, they have you and if they get access to your domain control panel they can literally steal your domain from underneath you and then hold you ransom to get it back.
Notice also that by entering into this agreement with them, that you agree not to hold them liable for anything. So they have you there as "oh you were told about this".
I am going to forward a copy of this email that I am posting to ENOM.COM as well so that they are aware that their ethics are being questioned, and since it appears they're a company formed in the USA that they would fall under FTC guidelines for such things and that they could be fined for such activities or shutdown should they be found to be complicit. But that would be a for a court to decide, not me. Am not a lawyer, just one who's been exposed to legal matters for many years so I tend to read a lot.
Thanks for taking time to read this and if you run into one of these and want me to look at it, please reach out and I'll see if I can help for a very affordable fee.
Michael Murdock, CEO