Don’t get caught in the Scam. Protect your Domain Name!

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Karma has been made aware that several of our clients have received letters from a company called iDNS. Many people don’t know who their domain hosting company is. These letters appear to be legitimate, complete with details including your domain name and your domain’s expiry date.

How do I know who my Domain Registrar is?

Whether you are a Karma Web client or not, it is important for you to read carefully and understand who your domain registrar is before you proceed. There are 2 easy ways to do this.

  1. Use a WHOIS lookup tool like whois.icann.org/en, www.whois.net or ca.godaddy.com/whois. Enter your domain into the look up search box and follow the instructions. The report it returns will tell you who is your domain registrar.
  2. Call your web provider. Even if you don’t host domains with Karma, we typically have had access to them at one point or another to adjust settings. More than likely we can confirm who is your domain registrar.

Read the letter content carefully!

We have received many of these letters at Karma and I had never actually read all the print. I took the time to look one up today and I was surprised to read that iDNS is actually being fairly up front in the letter. It clearly states:

“Domain name holders are not obligated to renew their domain name with their current Registrar or with Internet Domain Name Services (iDNS). Review our prices and decide for yourself. You are under no obligation to pay the amounts stated below, unless you accept this offer This is not a bill, it is rather an easy means of payment should you decide to switch your domain name registration to Internet Domain Name Services (iDNS).”

 

Other red flags took look for…

  • Your domain name registrar will never send you a letter in the mail. They will always send renewal requests via email to the account contact.
  • You should not have to provide an authorization code! A domain renewal should be a quick transaction and business as normal. Any time an authorization code is requested, you should be concerned. Authorization codes are the one thing needed to transfer your domain from one registrar to another.

What to do if I get caught in the scam

The good news is that until you provide that authorization code, your domain is protected. To get that code you will likely have to contact your web person, who will advise you of the situation.

    1. If you have completed the payment, you can request a refund via email or by phone. While my client did get email notification that they would receive a refund, she called to confirm the details and they were not very gracious on the phone. In fact, they hung up on her in the end.
    2. If the refund is not given in a timely manner, contact your credit card company to cancel the payment and report fraudulent activity.
    3. Report any letters you receive to ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) and/or the Canadian Spam Reporting Centre

This is not the first scam of this kind. In past years there have been similar scams from Domain Registry of Canada (DROC).

While these companies may legitimately renew and/or register a domain for you, their methods for gaining customers seems to be shady and even deceptive. Once the domain holder falls victim to the iDNS domain registrar scam by transferring over their domain and giving iDNS their credit card information, iDNS will then lock the domain holder into paying exorbitant amounts of money for services that should be offered for much lower prices. Trying to get your domain back from them could prove to be a difficult and costly battle.

If in doubt, contact your Karma representative and we will assist you in protecting your domain.

 

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