The “Domain Renewal Group” with an address listed in Buffalo appears to be like other shady firms preying on unsuspecting domain name holders. They have sent me a “Domain Name Expiration Notice” with a “Reply Requested by July 27” for 1) A domain they have nothing to do with and 2) a domain name that does not expire until November.
This common tactic preys on the fact that people either routinely pay bills or don’t understand the system well enough to know that most renewals are handled online anyway. These letters make it appear as if you need to work with them to renew when in fact they will *move* your domain from current registrar and will generally charge much more per year for the fees.
In the case of the Domain Renewal Group they charge a whopping $30 per year so I’d be looking at an increase in my domain fees of some 400%
General rule for domain name holders: Use great caution with any renewal notices, but also MAKE SURE your names will be automatically renewed with your current registrar if you forget, change email, or miss the notices which are generally NOT sent via real mail. In typical internet irony the real paper mail domain notices are generally scams where the half-assed email renewal note may be legitimate.
Many registrars including the one I use (Godaddy) make it too easy to lose domain names if you don’t pay for them by expiration, often whisking them away into auction after only a few weeks. For this reason “auto renewal” is generally a very good idea.
Note: If you work for DOMAIN RENEWAL GROUP feel free to contact me – I’ll print your response to this.
You’re just now figuring that out?
I ran into this over 10 years ago. And while the name doesn’t ring a bell, an address in Buffalo does somewhat. I even got one for a domain that I no longer maintained back then.
These new sort of bureaucratic phish-hacks are rather clever–I doubt the supposed “domain service” gets much in the way of shekels except from complete tools, but they get all your bio-info, probably a CC#, DOB, SS#, etc, and then the phunn starts. The malware mafiosi often have access to credit reports, utility bills, and so forth.
Thank you for your article about the so – called : ” DOMAIN RENEWAL GROUP “.
As a matter of fact, although i have NOTHING to DO with this shady Company, I received – yesterday in France – at my Home Address, a ridiculous letter about my ” renewal ”
of very private DOMAIN NAME of mine.
I consider this as a scam, and a possible suit ( at least in France ) against what is considered as interference into my private contract between I and the REAL Company which is managing my Domain Name ( name undisclosed, for obvious reasons ).
With best Regards,
OGERAU – SOLACROUP
Thanks for the heads up. I received one of these letters recently and was going to pay up until I re-read the letter carefully. There’s some clever wording in there that makes you think you’ll be losing your domain if you don’t pay.
We need to stop companies like this… I’ll report them to the Advertising Standards Agency and see if that works!
Vixster there definitely need to be fraud rules that cover this type of abuse. But the laws lag the internet by decades so I’m not optimistic.
It’s worth a try.. as it’s been sent out via direct mail, it’s something that the ASA supposed to cover/investigate.
However I wouldn’t be surprised if other domain name providers have already reported it as they’re probably pretty miffed about these companies stealing their business, and in such a sneaky way.
I’ve emailed the ASA, and I’ll keep you posted if they have any success.