Few things upset me more than greedy companies taking advantage of consumer ignorance. I own about 30 domain names, and therefore I get a lot of domain name spam– both emails and letters in the mail. Some of the letters in the mail attempt to pass themselves off as bills from the company that owns your domain. The wording makes it appear as if your domain is registered through them and will expire unless you pay them a fee (usually something like $30 for a 1 year renewal, which makes it even more ridiculous because the typical rate is around $10 per year). They make the letter look as official as possible, and while it does say in the (very) fine print that it isn’t really an invoice, a lot of gullible consumers aren’t going notice that, especially because they send these letters out a month or so before your domain is actually about to expire. (Publicly accessible whois records allow anyone to obtain the owner name and address, expiration date, and registrar of any public domain name.)

Now, when I receive these types of letters, I just rip them apart and toss them in the trash. However, I can imagine non-tech savvy people falling for this. My mom, for example, recently received one such letter but thankfully was smart enough to call me about it. I don’t remember exactly which company it was from, but if you google “domain renewal scam” you’ll come across a bunch of reported cases involving companies such as Domain Registry of America and Liberty Names of America.