If you have a .com domain for your hyperlocal site you may find that you get an E-mail like the one below around about the same time as the domain registration needs to be renewed, telling you that you need to submit a payment for you ‘search engine registration’
There is no need to submit a payment of $75 for search engine registration so you customers can locate you on the web. The ‘service’ provided here is a bit like me sending you a letter asking you for £75 to make sure your address is registered with the Post Office so you can get your letters. No search engines used by Joe Public require any form of payment to register your domains with them.
These E-mails are sent by companies using the public data held by the .com registrars by scammers to try and get your credit card details. I clicked through the ‘Submit Secure Payment’ link in the E-mail to the page below which asked me to enter my card details and offered me a selection of discounts for giving them increasing amounts of money.
As you can see it has two logos on the page that tell you it is secure but if you look in the address bar it isn’t a secure payment domain using https. It is just a simple form that will harvest your credit card details.
The $450 dollars fro 10 years registration with a 40% discount may sound like a good deal, but it is for a service you don’t need and I’m pretty sure your credit card will be hit with a lot more than $450 if you do fill the form in.
You may also find that your prized domain could be transferred to a new hosting provider who will then lock you in to their services and ramp the costs up so rather than around £8.99 annual renewal for your domain you might find that it is $50 and when you try and transfer it back to your own hosting provider you will be hit with charges for breaking the hosting ‘contract’ with the scammers.
Everything you should ever need to do with any domains you own should be able to be carried out using the control panel that is accessible from the company you purchased the domain from.
- Know which company you purchased your domains with
- Only deal with them by logging in to their control panel or by phone
- Don’t respond to unsolicited E-mails like the one above.