How to Spot and Avoid Domain Scams

If you have or are thinking about getting your own domain name, there are some things you should know. There are domain scammers out there and they are just waiting to take advantage of a naïve domain owner. They do this in a few ways. One common way is to send a fake renewal bill. It looks very official, but it is actually meant to trick domain owners into signing up for a bogus SEO service. If you receive a bill for renewal but aren’t sure if it’s legit, log into your registrars’ website and check your account. If your domain is up for renewal it will be made clear to you.

Domain Scams

Another scam comes in the form of an email claiming to be from a hosting company in China or another overseas location. It says they have found a local company has registered your domain name and if you want to prevent it, you must pay a fee. If you get an email like this, delete it. Once you buy a domain name it’s yours, period. The email is a scam.

Domain cloning and squatting are other common scams. In cloning, a scammer watches a popular domain when it gets close to it’s renewal time. If the owner forgets to renew (and it happens more often than you think!) the scammer snaps it up and fills it with ads to take advantage of its traffic. Sometimes they will demand a huge fee from the original owner in exchange for turning it over. Another version of this scam involves spammers copying the content from an existent site and setting up a fake version. These cloned sites can be used for phishing scams or have spam links inserted in them to take advantage of any misdirected traffic.

Squatting is similar. Scammers will check available domain names to find ones that are related to popular companies, fads or individuals. In most cases, the original company, individual or rights owner will want to add the domain to their existing ones. Squatters will demand huge fees for doing so. This practice is highly frowned upon by ICANN.

When you’re registering your chosen domain, think about grabbing the .net version and any common misspellings. This will protect you from cloning, squatting and other scams.  It’s also important to make sure you renew your domain promptly when the time comes. If you forget and lose it, it could be very very difficult to get back.

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This is a guest post by Simmyideas Tech Hub

Simmyideas Tech Hub is a Lagos based digital marketing company. We focus on building online business for small companies. We have expert Digital Marketers, social media managers and content writers to give a push to any online business.

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