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Is this a scam? (domain registration search engine optimization service)

I receive panicked emails sometimes from customers, concerned something bad is about to happen to their domain because they recieve fake scam emails like this.... 


For me, this is clearly obvious it's scam. 

But for others, it might look pretty convincing.

Is this registration email for my website legitimate?

Notice this particular emails states, "this is not a bill, it is rather an easy means of payment should you decide to switch your domain registration to Domain Registry."

Not all scammers will be up front like the one above. 

The layout looks professional and similar to other legitimate emails they've recieved. In many versions of this email, the sender uses red to alarm the customer. The addition of a short due date is to panic the customer into acting immediately before thoroughly looking into the situation. 

Is this domain email legit?

Examine the text of the email. 


Keep in mind your website is made of 3 basic elements: 

1. A domain. 

2. Hosting.

3. Design / Development. 


You may also have add-ons for your website: 

  • Email
  • Calendar
  • Galleries
  • Scheduling / Booking
  • Store / ecommerce
  • Tickets
  • Donations or Payments
  • Ad accounts
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • More... 

And with each one of those add-ons, you might have an account and a subscription. Maybe you pay $12. a month for email and $20 for booking, $35. for your store, etc. 


Each one of these elements, apps, features should have an online account that you are familiar with and can access to check your account, or if you have a web developer or account admin, you can ask them to check into the issue. 


Login from your bookmarks. Never click links in an email. 


For each one of these accounts, it poses a risk of phishing you into logging into a fake or spoof account that steals your login information or worse, you inadvertendly give your payment information, thinking you are about to expire and lose part of your livelihood. 


These scams rely on confusion, non-technical people and anxiety. 

How can you protect yourself from these scams? 

1. Bookmark your accounts

Save your Accounts to your web browser's favorites, shortcuts or bookmarks folder. Whenever you need to access your accounts, use the link you saved. Always check to see if the website shows, "Secure" which is usually indicated with a padlock in the upper lefthand corner like this.   Be cautious if the account asks for additional information that you do not normally give. 

2. Additionally to bookmarks, Save your account information OFFLINE.
Write down the web address / url and login information in a notebook or document that you save offline (not on your computer) and can access to make sure you are going to the right address. Save pertinent information with each entry like a Customer Service phone number. These details can also be helpful for family members should they ever need to take over administration of an account for you. Or if you forget your logins or your computer is wiped or hacked.

3. NEVER click the link provided in an email. 

If you need to check your account to make sure the notice is legitimate, then use the link you saved in a bookmark or wrote down elsewhere. DO NOT CLICK THE EMAIL LINK. 


4. Call Customer Service

If you aren't sure whether an email is legitimate or if you've been compromised. Don't hesitate to call the Customer Service line for the account in question. Be sure to check your bookmarks or tangibly written information for the contact number. Don't just google and hope the number Google shows you is the right one.


Protecting yourself in the future - 

  • Follow the guidelines for saving and accessing your account information offline and online. 
  • Use unique and strong passwords for each account.
  • Do not use the same password for more than one account. Turn on two-step verification. 
  • If in doubt, ask someone for help.



TNW Creations is a Web Development & Media Publishing Agency in Austin, Texas. Web Development, cyber security, web design, clean energy web host, Advanced SEO, Digital Marketing and more since 1995.

I've been programming, designing, writing and publishing professionally online since 1995. I've worn many hats throughout my life, but the common core of my career has always been media. Besides the portfolio you see on TNW Creations, my internet presence has been substantial for over 2 decades. In 1995, while still in college, I founded TNW Creations and became part of the grassroots development for teaching the Lakhota language online. By 2004, my bilingual work was listed on many sites, including National Geographic , Encarta and Touchstone Pictures Hidalgo. When I'm not developing and writing, you'll find me managing MagicStoryLand.Com, creating kid-friendly game & video content, investigating and initating hostile website takedowns, posting salty articles about cyber threats, moderating UnifyLife.Org and enjoying my  community, church & family.