It's been happening for years, yet people are still being duped into signing up multi-year domain registration contracts costing hundred of dollars
Internet registry offers promise to register websites in a domain name database, but they are really scams that extract money from website owners who never hear about the database again. Dean from Victoria wrote to Investigator recently about a scam that he fell into inadvertently.
"We received a very official and professional form in the mail from World Wide Web Registry. Our website was listed at the top and it asked for updated details. Not paying much attention, I filled in the correct details of the site and sent it in. About six weeks later we got a bill for 899 euro. I hadn't realised I had signed a three-year deal at 899 euro per year. I wrote to them and accused them of running a scam.
"After three reminders to pay, we were threatened with legal action. The next step will be threatened with a bill collector and then a compromise payment. I'm not worried about this, but there will be people out there who will either pay up or have many sleepless nights. Dean ignored the demands for money and never did get the CD.
Investigator thinks you should be wary about any organisation sending unsolicited offers for database registrations or domain renewals costing hundreds of dollars.
To register or renew a domain, only use an accredited domain name registrar. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers is the official body that manages and accredits domain name registrars for top-level domains, such as .COM and .ORG. An official registrar is then able to register and sell individual domain names. The ICANN website has some information on accredited registrars here.