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Is Your Domain *Actually* Expiring?

Beware of this Phishing Scam!

As a business owner navigating your way through 2021, your business’s online presence is critical for success. Whether your site is focused on e-commerce or is strictly informative, your domain is your business’s digital identity and its loss can have a detrimental effect on your success. Do you want your domain to expire? Most likely not. Should you take action if you receive notice that your domain is expiring? Of course – but don’t believe every word that notice tells you.

A surge in phishing scams regarding  “expiring” domain names has been targeting anyone that owns a website/domain name, especially business owners. If you own a website/domain, you may receive a letter in the mail or email warning you that your domain is expiring and you need to renew it ASAP, which is where they grab your attention for immediate reaction. In reality, these notices come from an external company trying to trick you into transferring your website domain to them for renewal. Hidden within the letter is a notice explaining that “this is not a bill,” but an “offer.”  Although majority of these phishing scams engage domain owners via physical mail or email, phone calls and messages have also been reported.

If you aren’t sure if the notice you receive is authentic or part of this phishing scheme, don’t panic. Log directly onto the website you have your domain registered with to check if your site is expiring or set to auto-renewal. Some of the most popular and widely used companies are GoDaddy, Network Solutions and NameCheap. Checking with your provider is always the most secure way to determine your domain’s expiration status but there are other tools available if you’re in a pinch. WebsitePlanet.com has a free tool that tracks domain name expirations and identifies when a site is set to expire.

 

TIPS TO IDENTIFY & AVOID “EXPIRING DOMAIN” PHISHING SCAMS:
  • Always read the fine print and do your research before paying for any transaction.
  • Know what company you registered your website domain with…they are the only ones who should be legitimately reaching out to you regarding expirations and renewals.
  • Don’t be pressured to “act now or else” when it comes to immediate payment.
  • Trust your gut – If it feels “fishy,” it could very well be “phishy.”
  • Always contact your domain provider to verify the authenticity of the notice.

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