Domain Renewal Scams

If you have received a letter in the post from”Domain Name Renewal Service”,  “Domain Registry of America”  (DRoA) or “Domain Renewal Group” urging you to pay them for renewing your domain name, please ignore it.  It’s a scam, so don’t worry about your domain and do not send them any money.

Amongst other names they have used;
“Domain Registry Services”, “Registration Services Incorporated” and “Domain Registry of Europe” and “Domain Registry of America”, “Yellowbusiness.ca”, “Internet Registry of Canada”, “Domain Registry of Canada”, “Domain Registry of Australia”.

Physical Addresses:
In America: Domain Registry Group Inc, 2316 Delaware Ave #266, Bufallo, NY 14216-2687 US.
In Canada: Domain Registry of Canada, PO Box 904, Thornhill, Ontario, L3R 5M3 Canada.
In UK: Domain Registry of America or Domain Name Registration Services, 56 Gloucester Road, Suite 526, London, SW7 4UB, England

The approach usually comes in the form of a letter to your postal address obtained from the public “Whois” database of registered domains.  Superficially the letters may look like bills and may say something like “Domain Name Expiration Notice”, but are actually intended to be agreements to transfer your domain to them (at an inflated price without hosting).  PDPS Internet automatically renews your domain while you have hosting services with us, so you don’t need to do anything.  It seems that particularly domains ending “.com”, “.org” or “.info” are affected by this so-called “domain slamming”, although the terms of use of the WHOIS database forbid its abuse for marketing.

The return address is often a mailbox at “56 Gloucester Rd, Suite 526, SW7 4UB” and we have seen similar campaigns using the names “EU Registry Services” (in 2004), “Domain Registry of Europe”, and “Domain Renewal Group” using identical tactics.  Their own website mentions “Brandon Gray Internet Services” and “NameJuice.com”.

Some of these have mentioned particular names of people involved in DRoA, located in Toronto, including Eric Voisard (evoisard@droa.com), Peter Chan and Steven Linn.

We have been seeing these letter campaigns since 2004 and would like to suggest ways you can report the scam and avoid confusion.  Conversations with the Office of Fair Trading and the Trading Standards department indicate there is little they can do, since the company is based abroad and this could be seen as a business-to-business dispute.  DRoA & Domain Name Registration Services claim there is no law protecting users from being contacted by post, unlike email or fax, although there have been reports of them also using email in 2010.

If you, as an affected person, would like to make a complaint here are a few numbers you can call.

Other mentions of the scam:

 

Further reading: DROA
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domain_Registry_of_America

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