Master Your Domain Name or Someone Else Will.
Remember a few years ago when telephone carriers were stealing customers without their knowledge? It was known as slamming. You'd get a phone call asking you to confirm the details of your long distance account. Maybe you'd get a check in the mail from a different long distance carrier, then, after you cashed the check, you'd realize that you had been switched. That scam has just moved to the Internet.
Welcome to Domain Slamming
I just received an "IMPORTANT NOTICE" from Domain Registry of America. It says that they understand that my domain name expires on a certain date. The notice goes on to recommend that I renew my domain at least 30 days prior to it's expiration to avoid any "Registrar Lock". They warn that if that happens, "you will be unable to renew your domain name at what are likely to be the new lower prices offered by our firm."
The problem here is it leaves the domain owner with the impression that Domains of America is the current registrar. I've got to hand it to them. They've been very careful with the wording of their notice. The phrase " likely to be the new lower prices" sure makes it sound like a bargain. I had to read it more than once to determine that the "IMPORTANT NOTICE" was really a sales letter to get me to switch.
My client's domain names are currently registered through Godaddy.com for less than 10.00 per year (even if it's one year). Domains of America charges $30 for one year, $50 for two years and $95 for 5 years. Even at 5 years, you'd still be paying Domains of America $19 per year!
How to Prevent Domain Slamming
When you get a notice in the mail about your web site or domain name, call your web professional immediately. If you maintain your own web presence, you can use the Internet to check domain ownership yourself.
Using Whois to learn the Truth
Whois is a web function used to learn all the details about you domain name registration. Your listing includes the name of your organization as well as the names of the important contacts: Administration, Billing, and Technical. You'll also learn the true expiration date for your domain name.
How to confirm domain ownership.