As an agency operating in the online marketing world, we receive a multitude of solicitations day after day. From robocalls, to spam emails offering ORM services, to print marketing offers and promotions, the ‘fun’ rarely stops. However, one particular print piece strikes a nerve with our team.
If your small business has a website, you had to have purchased and registered a domain name with a specific registrar service. Because information from registrars is readily available online, there are ‘domain registry’ scams lurking around waiting to fool naiive businesses and entrepreneurs. One specific company to look out for is Domain Registry of America (also known as DROA).
Whether you are a non-profit organization, a large corporation, or a small ‘Mom and Pop’ downtown business – you are targeted by DROA so long as you have a website.
The typical DROA experience goes as such:
Said business receives a letter in the mail from Domain Registry of America (contact has also been reported in the form of an email). Once opened, the business owner or employee notices that the letter appears to be a statement requesting payment for the renewal of their website domain name. Depending on their level of online marketing knowledge, they may or may not fall for the vague, yet urgent, language insisting the business sign their life (and website) away to DROA.
DROA – The Naive Business Owner’s Nightmare
What is DROA trying to accomplish with these seemly official notices sent to business owners across the world?
Domain Registry of America is attempting to trick unsuspecting domain name owners into transferring their domain name over to their service. Let’s dive into why this is a problem.
Unless you registered the domain name for your business with DROA (and I highly doubt you would ever do such a thing), there is no reason you would need to renew your domain name with them. They are looking to con you into thinking that they are some giant organization that controls all the domains in America (hence their name), when in fact this is not how the domain registration process or industry works.
Their goal is to have you sign away your domain name (and credit card for that matter) to their service. Thus, transferring the name to their registrar. They accomplish this with the format of their notice, the language implemented, and the seemingly low prices. However, we’d like you to note that what they offer as a low per year price is actually more than five times the average cost from legitimate registrar companies.
Although the statement clearly says ‘This is not a bill’ and other legal mumbo jumbo to cover their tracks, the entire purpose of the letter is to decieve individuals and business owners. Talk about unethical.
Have You Been Tricked?
At Titan Web Marketing Solutions, we work with a large number of businesses and many of them have been solicited by DROA. Of course, when they bring up the ‘legitimate looking statement’ they received about their domain, we immediately tell them to ignore it. Their standing with the BBB is enough of a reason to completely ignore their statements.
Most recently, we had a neighboring business come in with a letter from Domain Registry of America, which stated that they needed to renew their domain name soon. The owner of the business did not know what to do and was wondering if they should send over their information and renew their domain name.
All in all, do not renew your domain name with Domain Registry of America. You will be charged far more than the typical ticket price of domain names, potentially lose your website for quite some time, and become involved with a rather large headache when you realize your mistake.
If you are concerned about your domain name, website hosting, website design or other issue regarding your website, give us a call and we’ll help you get your situation figured out. 615-890-3600.