There was an interesting find in my letterbox today – a scam ‘Domain Name Expiration Notice’ from a company called Domain Renewal Group, seeking to have me renew one of my domains (wordpresschix.org) to them – for the bargain price of four times what it cost me originally!
This letter looks so authentic that less-savvy people could easily be fooled – in fact, unless you were really skilled in domains and registration, it would be difficult to pick it up as a scam;
Because the domain is not in the .au namespace, auDA does not have any authority over the registrar. I emailed Public Interest Registry, the registrar for the .org TLD to let them know, and also let auDA know in case they wish to raise a consumer alert.
I also emailed Domain Renewal Group themselves, and threatened to report them to the ACCC (the enclosed self-addressed envelope – not reply paid! – has the address 189 Queen Street, Suite 209 Melbourne 3000 on it – so they obviously have an Australian base of operations) if they did not cease their operation;
To whom it may concern, I recently received a letter addressed to me concerning the domain WordPressChix.org This letter constituted an unsolicited domain name expiration notice, and is considered a scam. Because the namespace '.org' is not maintained by auDA, the Australian domain authority, I have raised my concerns with the Public Interest Registry (PIR), the official registrar for the .org TLD, in writing. I would like DROA to undertake the following: 1. A written apology via return email for your actions to me personally 2. A written undertaking via return email that you will cease these operations in Australia no later than 14th March 2011 Failure to respond to this email with 14 (fourteen) days with the above will result in a formal complaint being raised with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (www.accc.gov.au). Please note I will also be using social media channels to inform other Australian webmasters of your unethical tactics. You may also wish to know that you're garnering a very unfavourable reputation within Australia; http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/archive/1040704 Regards, Kathy Reid Member, Linux Users of Victoria Member, Linux Users of Australia Board member, PHPWomen @KathyReid on Twitter
We’ll see what happens! (to be continued…)