Published May 11, 2011
The policy authority and industry self-regulatory body for the .au domain space, auDA, has warned consumers to be wary of two companies reportedly sending unsolicited letters to .com.au registrants offering to register .net.au and .com equivalents.
According to the auDA, the letters have a heading of "Domain Name Available" and spruik an offer to register the .net.au version of the registrant's domain name at a price of $245 for a 2 year license period and the .com version for $249 for the same period. The auDA has expressed concerns the wording of the letter may lead registrants to believe they are renewing their current .com.au domain name.
The auDA also points out the amount requested is well above prices charged by most registrars and has received complaints from parties who have taken up on the offer that the names are being registered with the registering company's contact details, rather than the registrant.
Additionally, some letters have offered a free gift, which the auDA says has not been forthcoming according to some of the complaints it has received.
The auDA advises anyone having taken up on the offer to check the domain name has been registered by running a WHOIS search and if the contact details are not those of the registrant, to contact the registrar of record shown in the WHOIS results and request they update the contact details.
In the past, misleading unsolicited letters from other companies have been sent to registrants taking a slightly different approach. The letters gave the impression they were an invoice for the renewal of the registrant's domain name when in fact they were a transfer form. Many domains were transferred from the registrant's chosen provider to the companies, without the registrant being aware of what was happening.
As these and similar scams will continue to occur, domain name registrants should always exercise due diligence when receiving notices in connection with their domain name to ensure they are from their chosen registration provider.
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