Scammers are always on the hunt for new ways to take advantage of unsuspecting people. Domain name buying scams are growing in popularity, and many people have fallen victim to these schemes.
If you own one or more domains, you can easily avoid these schemes if you know how to protect yourself. In addition to only working work with a legitimate domain name broker service, you should also follow these seven steps to protect yourself from domain name buying scams.
1. Understand the Common Scams
The first step to protecting yourself is to understand the most common types of domain buying scams that may target you. When you understand the types of scams, you will know what to look for you when you are approached with an offer or a threat.
A common kind of scam is called domain slamming. This scam is very popular and often looks legitimate. With this scheme, illegitimate registrars will attempt to have you turn over your registration with a fake renewal notice. These registrars will charge exorbitant fees and may prevent you from accessing your domain afterward.
Another scam comes in the form of an email offering to list your webpage and help you rank higher in search engine results. These fake website listing services offer this help in exchange for a fee.
You should also watch out for a popular con that attempts to scare you into purchasing more domains than you need. You may receive communications claiming that your competitors are attempting to buy domains similar to yours and offering to sell the domains to you first.
2. Know Important Information About Your Domain
When you have a website, there is certain key information you should know about your domain. This information can help you spot a scam. The first thing you should know is who your registrar is, which is the company that registered your domain. You can find this information by typing in your domain name at whois.net.
You should also know when your domain name registration expires. That way, if you are contacted by anyone claiming that your domain is going to expire before that date, you will know it is a scam.
3. Lock Your Domain
Most registrars provide the option to lock your domain to prevent any unauthorized transfers from happening if you are a victim of a scam.
4. Utilize Auto-Renewal
Many people choose to use auto-renewal so they will not accidentally forget to renew their domains. It has other benefits, as well. With auto-renewal, you know that your domains are taken care of and any communications about renewing are a scam. If you haven’t turned on this feature, you should strongly consider it.
5. Ignore Paper Notices
Your registrar will never contact you by mail. If you receive a paper notice, you can safely throw it out.
6. Purchase for More Than One Year
Most registrars will provide the option to purchase your domain for extended periods of time, such as two or five years. To protect yourself from common domain buying scams, you may want to consider renewing your domains for more than one year at a time. Doing so will help you identify any suspicious communications about renewing your domains before they expire.
7. Check for Bad Grammar and Misspellings
Bad grammar and misspellings are common hallmarks of many kinds of scams. If you see these mistakes, you should be suspicious of the email. However, you should not let perfect grammar or spelling fool you either. Just because an email does not have any grammatical mistakes does not mean it’s legitimate.
The potential for scams targeting your domains may seem scary, but you can easily fend off these cons by being knowledgeable about your domain and taking precautionary steps.
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