If you own a fax machine chances are you have received numerous amounts of offers from companies wanting to sell you vacations, excel classes and employee handbooks. More than likely you ignore them or call the number to be removed from their list.

It’s easy to ignore the outrageous prices when you know it’s a scam, but what about the scam that comes in the form of an official looking invoice to renew your domain name?

Domain name renewal scams can work in one of two ways. You might be sent an invoice for a domain name that is very similar to your current domain name – the scammer hopes that you don’t notice the difference and just pay the invoice.

Alternatively, you could be sent a letter that looks like a renewal notice for your actual domain name, but is from a different company to the one you have previously used to register your domain name.

So how do you protect your business from falling for the domain name scam?

First: Protect yourself

  • Use your common sense: the offer may be a scam.
  • Check the website address carefully. Scammers often set up fake websites with very similar addresses.
  • Try to avoid having a large number of people authorized to make orders or pay invoices.
  • Always check that goods or services were both ordered and delivered before paying an invoice.
  • Make sure the business billing you is the one you normally deal with.

Second: Know your stuff

  • Be sure to check that the domain name listed in the invoice is the same as your actual domain name. If it is the same, also check to make sure that the invoice is from the company that you have previously used to register your domain name.
  • If you want to shop around for domain name renewal, find out when your current registration expires to make sure you are not paying when you don’t have to. Also keep in mind that if you get your IT services (e.g. email or web hosting services) from an external company this may include domain name registration for free or at a lower cost.
  • Make sure you know all the terms and conditions of the offer before agreeing to anything. You may also wish to check if the provider is legitimate.

Scams are everywhere, it’s up to you to protect your business.