Website domain registration scam by Domain Name Group

Last week, we reported the domain registration scam by DomainRegister.  Now, a week later, another one has popped up, this time by Domain Name Group.

It’s very similar to the DomainRegister scam – you are sent an official looking document which resembles an invoice that needs to be paid.  The document comes from:

Domain Name Group Ptd Ltd
Level 1, 530 Little Collins Street
GPO Box 4111
Melbourne, VIC, 3000
Phone: 1300 255 144
Website: www.domainnamegroup.com.au
ACN: 135 472 305
Bank deposit details: Bank of Cyprus (Delphi Bank)

An example of their letter with payment options is included below.  It looks extremely similar to the one from DomainRegister.

Domain Name Group

Domain Name Group with their unsolicited invitation to register a domain name at a high price, which very closely resembles a bill for a service that you should pay.

They attempt to get you to register an additional domain which is quite similar to one of your existing domain names. For example, it may be a .com or .net.au version of a .com.au domain you already own. The offer to register is aimed at either convincing you that you are simply renewing your existing domain, or that you should register the similar name to protect your internet identity. They push the legal boundaries of billing you for something you didn’t order by the use of wording that says “this is an invitation to register – if you are not the proprietor or do not wish to register, disregard this letter”. The registration fee is very excessive, typically several hundreds of dollars, which is up to 10 times the amount of an equivalent service provided by a reputable provider. The offer of free web or email forwarding does not offset the large total of the bill.

Before deciding to renew your existing domain, or registering a similar domain to one you already own, you should definitely look around for the best deal.  But most importantly, ensure that your selected domain registrar has been accredited by auDA – the Australian domain name administrator. See the official list of accredited domain registrars and then visit each registrar’s website to compare their domain name pricing.

auDA posted out a warning two years ago about the ongoing unsolicited letters to businesses from Domain Name Group and Domain Register.

Website domain registration scam by DomainRegister

If you have registered an internet domain for your website, you may be the target of scams by other domain registrars who may employ a number of procedures to trick you into registering additional similar domains at inflated prices.

These organisations are able to find out your contact details, as the registered domain owner, by consulting the Whois Database. They then post you out an official looking letter in the mail which may closely resemble an invoice to be paid.

A recent perpetrator of such a scheme is “DomainRegister”. Their contact details are:

Domain Register Pty Ltd
Level 3, 480 Collins Street
PO Box 37 Collins Street West
Melbourne, VIC, 3000
Phone: 1300 855 811
Website: www.domainregister.com.au
ACN: 127 506 807
Bank details: ANZ, Cloverdale, Western Australia

An example of a letter they may post out to you is included below:

DomainRegister

Domain Register Pty Ltd with their unsolicited invitation to register a domain at a very inflated price, which closely resembles a bill for a service that you should pay.

They are trying to get you to register an additional domain which is very similar to one of your existing domain names. For example, it may be a .com or .net.au version of a .com.au domain. The offer to register is aimed at either convincing you that you are in fact renewing your existing domain, or that you should register the similar name to protect your internet identity. They push the legal boundaries of billing you for something you didn’t order by the use of headers and wording that includes “domain name available” and “this is an invitation to register”. The registration prices are very excessive, typically several hundreds of dollars or up to 10 times the amount of an equivalent service provided by a reputable provider. Any offers for free gifts or bundled in services do not offset the large total of the bill.

Before deciding to renew your existing domain, or registering a similar domain to one you already own, you should shop around for the best deal and ensure that your selected domain registrar has been accredited by auDA – the Australian domain name administrator. See the official list of accredited domain registrars and visit each registrar’s website to compare domain name pricing.

Two years ago, auDA posted out a warning about the ongoing unsolicited letters being sent out by Domain Name Group and Domain Register.

Shop around for your website’s domain registration or renewal

Cash register

Shop around for the best deal when registering a domain name

People shop around for the best deal on groceries, petrol, goods and services to save money. Sometimes the savings can be enormous.  The same should apply when purchasing or renewing your website’s domain name registration.

There is a list of accredited registrars for Australian domain names, so ensure you only select from that list.

What is interesting is the wild variation in pricing between registrars, partly due to the fact that some offer different levels of services and products bundled into their packages. And it goes without saying that some registrars have a higher profit margin which is reflected in their pricing to you, which is a good reason to shop around.

As an example, at this moment in time, Melbourne IT charge $140.00 to register a .com.au domain name for 2 years, although they bundle in a free one page website hosting package, a free search engine starter pack and provide 24/7 phone support with that offer.

In comparison, ZipHosting offer you a .com.au domain for 2 years for just $20.96, however there’s no freebies, and support is limited only to email.

Your level of technical expertise and the functionality you require needs to be considered when comparing registrars, as there’s more to a deal than just the price alone. However, for example, if you already have your own web hosting organised and know what you’re doing, you could potentially save about $120 over two year period by choosing your domain name registrar carefully.

Don’t forget that if your domain name is already registered, you can always switch to another registrar at any time and still keep your domain name, much like taking your mobile phone number with you when changing carriers.  So you need not let history dictate who you renew with.

There’s savings to be made – just do a little research!

Good ideas that go nowhere

Web domain names

The domain name you registered - it seemed like a good idea at the time

It’s big business at the moment for companies that register internet domain names for you. Apart from the fact more businesses than ever are seeking to create an internet presence, there’s many people out there who come up with catchy domain names that they later plan to turn into killer websites. So they register them for “future use”.

Unfortunately that’s the easy part of the whole colossal plan – registering a domain name. The rest of the plan requires lots of hard work and usually plenty of money, with the fruits of labour often not ripening until years later.

It’s interesting to observe the daily list of expiring Australian domain names – that is, domains people have registered but eventually give up on renewing years later, and are about to become available for someone new to register again. Some grand plans you’ll find in there.  Someone obviously mapped out the creation of a kingdom of Australian holiday rental websites by registering holidayrentalsaustralia.com.au, aussieholidayrentals.com.au, and a whole swag of other similar domain names. Websites were never created, and for whatever reason, the domains are about to expire for the current owner.

Speaking of visions, we at Travel Victoria had one last year when, quite by accident, we saw the domain beachstays.com.au was about to expire. A website was never ever created during that domain’s many years of ownership. So we decided to build a website dedicated to accommodation that was very close to the beach. We officially launched it in May 2011. So go and have a peek at Beach Stays – someone’s idea that went nowhere, now has life breathed into it by a new owner.