I recently received a deceptive letter from Domain Registry of America. The “notice,” which looks more like a bill, gives the impression that a domain I own is about to expire and must be renewed. Domain Registry of America’s notice informed me that, “Failure to renew your domain name by the expiration date may result in a loss of your online identity making it difficult for your customers and friends to locate you on the Web.” OK. That’s very thoughtful, but my domain doesn’t expire until November….and I didn’t use them to register my domain.  What’s the deal?  It’s a scam.

The scam is nothing new. In 2003, the Federal Trade Commission slapped the Canada-based Domain Registry of America (DROA) on its wrists for:

  • misleading consumers into thinking that they are renewing their registrations with their current registrar when, instead, they are transferring their registrations to DROA’s registrar, eNom.
  • failing to disclose a $4.50 processing fee for any transfer requests that are not completed, even when the failure occurs without any fault of the consumers.
  • failing to issue promised refunds in a timely manner, in violation of the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), sometimes delaying refunds for months.

If you receive a notice from Domain Registry of America, DO NOT SEND MONEY. It is a scam.