The Domain Registry of Canada scam is still alive. This week I received not one but two fake domain renewal invoices from the bogus Domain Registry of Canada for my WordPress Training site seoservicestoronto.com.
What is the “Domain Registry of Canada scam“?
A company called “Domain Registry of Canada” sends out old school direct marketing letters via Canada Post designed to appear as though the Domain Registry of Canada is some sort of quasi official government organization for domain registration.
CAUTION ! ! The letter from Domain Registry of Canada is nothing more than a scam. The letter is designed to appear as an invoice and urges the domain owner to renew their domain immediately, with the warning, “failure to comply will mean losing your domain”.
It is NOT a real invoice, it is a fake invoice.
Be on the lookout for their deceptive invoices. If you are a domain owner, there is an excellent chance you have been targeted and received one of these phony bills. It’s inevitable, Domain Registry of Canada will send you a fake invoice if you own a domain. I have been getting these for years, generally in the first year after I set up a new domain. Unfortunately, according to Google Insights, searches for fake invoices are climbing, so please be on the lookout for these fake invoices. The bogus letters are sent in a manila window envelope which is very similar to official government type envelopes. The company uses bulk emailing marques from Canada Post.
The Domain Registry of Canada (DROC) has been running this scam for a long time. They have used various company names such as “Internet Registry of Canada”, “Domain Renewal Group” or “DROC”. According to the fine print on the back eNom is also involved in this as DROC clams to be a reseller. In any case they always use the same technique to fool domain owners into transferring their domain away.
How does the Domain Registry of Canada scam work?
The Domain Registry of Canada scrapes the details of your domain name registration record from the publicly available whois database. This is known as ‘whois data mining’, and is a violation of the TOU of the whois service. If your Whois information is set to public they can find the mailing address of the domain name owner. Once they have the information, they simply send the deceptive fake invoice and wait for an unknowing domain owner to fall for the scam. Years ago after I registered my first domain I received one of these and my bookkeeper at the time nearly paid it. It looked very officious and above board, which is how the Domain registry scam works. They want to to trick anyone who owns a domain into transferring their domain to DROC by sending your payment information and email address in the enclosed envelope. this probably works well with large companies that have hundreds of invoices passing through their mail every day.
Will I lose my domain if I don’t reply?
You don’t have to do anything but throw the fake invoice in the garbage. Nothing will happen to your domain if you do not move or transfer your domain to Domain Registry of Canada.