This has been going on for years and it is one of the trickiest domain schemes online these days, one in particular I would like to point out that has been trying to take advantage of me and fellow Canadians for years now.
The company is called iDNS, also known as Internet Domain Name Services that is leveraging the mail system combined with people’s domain name information (also know as their who is data) to try to get people to vastly overpay for their domain services.
The iDNS Mail, I Get It All the Time
Owning 100’s of domains has many advantages. A domain portfolio can be a valuable asset to your business and can appreciate in value if you hold some awesome domains, not to mention the potential to build out and create branded websites on your domains. I have built many very successful websites over the years and every successful website starts with a domain.
Unfortunately there are times when a company gets their hands on your domain details (your personal contact information) and they start soliciting you services/products, or in this case, re-registration of YOUR domain on their services.
For example, these domains I purchased were bought through namecheap.com, which is a very trustworthy domain registrar. What has happened though is that iDNS has caught wind of several domains that I have and sent me mail encouraging me to renew my domain at inflated domain prices, almost triple the normal cost of a domain.
For example, a domain through NameCheap costs me about $15 per year for a renewal whereas iDNS is trying to charge me $40 per year for the exact same domain. Trickery? Absolutely. Unethical practices, I think so.
iDNS, Fooling Those That Simply Don’t Know
The problem I see with this is that most people that own domains may not have the same sort of experience that I have within the online world and they might fall into this trap of paying almost triple for their domain. The iDNS mail seems legitimate and very professional. They are also convincing and put a good deal of time pressure on you, making the unsuspecting feel as though they need to act before their domains run out.
The very first line in the letter indicates:
“You must renew your domain name to retain exclusive rights to it on the Web…”
That is enough to strike fear into the unassuming and get them to overpay for their domain.
The problem is that you MUST not renew through the iDNS service unless you like paying much more than you are already paying for your domain name. In my case, I am using Namecheap for this domain name and am paying around $15 per year, they want to charge me $40 to renew through their service.
I can see this definitely fooling some people, if it didn’t Internet Domain Name Services would not go to all the work to send out posted mail about all domains they can find that are registered. I can only imagine people that are not privy to how domains work panicking and ultimately being sold into this domain renewal scheme.
Domain Registrars Will NEVER Send You Mail
You will not get email, mail, or phone calls from your domain registrar…EVER. So as a rule of thumb, if you get mail about something similar to my iDNS story here, then you should not be responding and absolutely do not pull out your credit and buy anything.
The iDNS scheme is not the only one going on. There are likely 1,000’s of other seemingly legitimate companies trying these same sort of antics by finding your information through the whois registry (if your domain has not been set to private) and they solicit you in a number of ways, some of them being very REAL and LEGITIMATE feeling.
They are not and you should not entertain any of these offers. I fell for this trap (from a different company) in my early days online. I don’t want you to make the same mistake.
Every More Reason to Privately Register Your Domains
When you register your domain, almost all domain registrars allow you to register your domain with “whois privacy”. What this does is protects your contact details from the world, so if someone looks up your WHOIS informaiton for your domain, domain protection information is put in there (which will vary based on the company you use to purchase domains).
There are several places I recommend you can go to buy your domains and protect yourself from solicitations or schemes like the iDNS one. Here some some domain registrars that are cost efficient and offer quality “whois privacy” and domain privacy protection.
If you have any questions or you have had any sort of solicitations recently in relation to your website/domain that you would like to report, please leave a comment below.