I just received a bunch of spam emails from a generic “Domain Service” for several of my domains and I’m going to take the opportunity to call them out here to warn my readers of this scam. First, you need to know that it’s unlawful for anyone to use your domain registration information to solicit you. Second, the way it’s worded it takes more than a cursory glance to realize that you’re being duped as at first glance it looks like a notice from your domain registrar. Certainly the title “Domain Notification: – This is your Final Notice of Domain Listing ********.COM” is intended to deceive you and give you that false impression. Obvious plays on words throughout is intended to fool you into thinking that your website will disappear off the internet if you don’t act now.
Simply put, this is a fraud, a scam. Your website isn’t going anywhere. They’re pretending to offer you Search Engine Submission services. There’s no reputable company behind it and the whole thing is being presented to you as though it’s an invoice that you have to act on. However if you read the fine print at the bottom you finally get the truth that it’s not a bill, it’s an (illegal) solicitation. The “unsubscribe link” doesn’t work.
Needless to say this “offer” isn’t expiring any time soon, despite their best efforts to create a sense of urgency, and the only “best value” is promptly flagging it as spam and deleting it. If you’re looking to make your website more visible, there are legitimate companies out there that can help you. These scammers aren’t one of them.
Do not send these scammers any information.
I’ll copy and paste the body of the email here:
Attention: Important Notice
DOMAIN SERVICE NOTICE
Complete and return by fax to: 1-212-913-9858
NORTHERN PROTOCOL INC.
331 BAYFIELD ST SUITE 210 – BARRIE – ONTARIO – L4N 9R3
Please ensure that your contact information is correct or make the necessary changes above
Domain Name: ********.COMSearch Engine Submission
|Requested Reply FEBRUARY 1,2013|
PART I: REVIEW SOLICITATION
Attn:- 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.
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.********.COM will expire on February 1,2013 Act today!
DETAIL OF SERVICE: ANNUAL WEBSITE SEARCH ENGINE SUBMISSION FOR DOMAIN NAME WWW.******.COM
|Detail of Service: SEARCH SUBMISSIONS|
|Reply by Date: 02/01/2013|
|For Domain Name: ********.COM|
|SelectTerm||Your Existing Domain||Period Covered||Price|
|[ ] 1 year||02/01/2013 – 02/01/2014||$75.00|
|[ ] 2 year||02/01/2013 – 02/01/2015||$119.00|
|[ ] 5 year||02/01/2013 – 02/01/2018||$199.00|
|[ ] 10 year||-Most Recommended-||02/01/2013 – 02/01/2023||$295.00|
|[ ] Lifetime (NEW!)||Limited time offer – Best value!||Lifetime||$499.00|
|Full Name: -||Email: ********@*****.***|
Email 2: ____________________
|Want to receive this notification for other domains you own? simply list them below: _____________________ _____________________|
|Today’s Date:_____________________||Signature: _____________________|
Payment Select the term and complete the form above, then return by fax: 1-212-913-9858 (do not include your credit card details on this form, just fill the information above and fax it to us, once we receive your fax we will send you instructions on how to make a payment by credit card, also make sure you provide us with your contact phone number above)
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. 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 Go to http://jiffytext.com/url/ 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. * 100% satisfaction guaranteed, you may request a refund within 30 days.