There it is, in your email inbox. Or maybe in your filtered / spam folder. Or if you're especially lucky, you even received one by postal mail!
This letter informs you to act now about something regarding your website. But is it legit?
DOMAIN SERVICE NOTICE
Ooh, sounds serious. Let's examine the email...
1. The Klunky Subject:
Domain Notification for wixcountry.com : This is your Final Notice of Domain Listing
This is your final notice of Domain List.
What is a, "Domain Listing?"
Unless you are auctioning a domain or have hired someone to list it in a directory like Yellow Pages or similar, then there is no reason for you to have a LISTING. This is bogus.
2. The disclaimer: This Email was automatically forwarded to you through Wix SPAM Protection Service, possibly due to a domain transfer request. Wix.com is not responsible for the content of this email. Please handle it with appropriate caution.
The domain was originally registered through Wix but we moved the domain to another registrar over a year ago. Unfortunately, we continue to receive spam like this through, "Wix Spam Protection." Which means, Wix has not removed our address from their registry despite our moving our domain. 🙄
The fact that the domain is not even with Wix is the second clue this is a scam.
3. The Greeting
Hi TNW Creations
Not using your real name.
Many scammers insert your email address, a username, a generic title or endearment like Sir, Customer or Friend (really awkward, but sometimes they will also call you, "Dear").
In this particular case, it's a Business Name. Maybe you registered your domain with your business name, so this might seem feasible to you. But it's a flag to notice.
4. Think fast! Expiring!!
Response Requested By 29 - Jun. - 2020
This Notice for: wixcountry.com will expire at 11:59PM EST, 29 - Jun. - 2020 Act now!
We received this email (and some others just like it) the day before the supposed expiration date. Why? So you...
Don't stop and think, don't examine, don't waste a minute trying to determine if this is legitimate! Because you have to act fast! The email says so. 😏
5. What fun! They are making up words!
PART I: REVIEW NOTICE
Hello TNW Creations As a courtesy to domain name holders, we are sending you this notification for your business Domain name search engine registration. This letter is to inform you that it's time to send in your registration.
Business Domain name search engine registration...
That's a mouthful! And only someone who doesn't know how websites work would fall for this.
These scammers know their target. A business owner who has no clue what a website is really made of or what makes it work. Those words, "business Domain name search engine registration" all sound pretty important when you put them together! And separately they are legitimate words, basically they make a nice big word salad that tries to convince you this is serious.
After all, you wouldn't want to lose business would you? So PAY UP! Pay for that bogus garbage.
I didn't even mention, "Review Notice," what's that about? Absolutely nothing.
It's okay, Jeff, don't panic. We still have areas to investigate. Just don't click anything. Got it? Carrying on now...
6. Threats if you don't comply
Failure to complete your Domain name search engine registration by the expiration date may result in cancellation of this offer making it difficult for your customers to locate you on the web.
Oh now you did it. Now you're going to threaten cancelling me. Actually, yes please. Cancel me from your scam list and never contact me again. (if only)
"Domain name search engine registration" - already established, this is not a real thing.
"May result in cancellation of this offer" - oh offer huh? Now it's an OFFER. Not a sudden cancellation of something I already have.
Privatization allows the consumer a choice when registering. Search engine registration includes domain name search engine submission. Do not discard, this notice is not an invoice it is a courtesy reminder to register your domain name search engine listing so your customers can locate you on the web.
Privatization?! You mean like making your registration private? That has nothing to do with search engine optimization or domain registration or domain listing. Come on. Just throw some words together, add a panic date and BOOM, you got some money from an unsuspecting business owner. Good grief.
"Search engine registration includes domain name search engine submission." Garbage, garbage, garbage! No, no, no. And don't fall for this. Because you know what you're going to see? Missing money and nothing but heartache to show for it.
A Deputy once told us after he arrived to a call in our neighborhood about an aggressive security salesman, "Never sign up with a solicitor because you don't know who they really are or their true intentions." Burn his quote into your brain and never let go of it.
8. Foreign Domain
Choose your package:
Aww... look at that! This word salad mess email registration link will send me to a website in Peru! That seems legit. 😆
Another common scammer location is Russia. If your link ends in, ".ru" - please don't click it.
Choose my package? So I get to pick how much money you will steal from me? Or should I just mark you as SPAM. What do you think Dick?
Absolutely correct. This email was a scam. And it needs to be marked as spam in your inbox. We hope this helps you avoid being phished and scammed in the future.
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 theportfolio 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.