Over the years, we've seen a number of scams that come and go that target people with websites -- people just like you, our customers. Thanks to your reports to us about these scams and also being the target of these scams ourselves (just like you, we have our own websites too), we've compiled a list of the top scams targeting website owners.
Domain Registry of America/Domain Registry of Canada Wants to Charge You More for Your Domain
This is a private company that mails domain owners an official looking letter letting them know their domain is expiring soon, but if you sign the form they will take care of it and renew it for you. What isn't obvious is that they are a domain registrar and by signing the form, you agree to move your domain to their company and pay their very high prices.
Learn more at Misleading Notices From the Domain Registry of America.
People Trying to Scare You Into Buying Services or Upgrades
If you get a call or email where the person is trying to scare you into believing something is terribly wrong with your site or that you need to upgrade right away and they ask for some kind of payment, look into their claims. First, ask them what company they are calling from. If they claim to be from a business you currently have services from, you should then be able to contact that supplier yourself and confirm the message is true.
If they claim to be from a company you do not have an affiliation with, you can do a search for the company name and the word "scam" on Google. Keep in mind, even bigger companies will have some complaints against them, but they will also have a lot of compliments too. By doing a bit of research, you can can make an informed decision on whether you should trust the company or not.
Phishing Scams for Your Credit Card Info
Never give your credit card info via email. Emails are not secure and can be intercepted and read. Anyone you may want to give your credit card info should be able to confirm in some way that they can be trusted. For example, if you've paid for a service with the company before, they should be able to give you details of past payments. Even better, only give your card number to the official phone number listed on the company's website or through the company's online billing system.
Emails Asking You to Click a Link to Update Personal Info
Sometimes you might get an email asking you to update personal info by clicking on a link. Before you do that, look at the web address of the link. For example, if the email is supposedly from Microsoft, you would expect the web address to have microsoft somewhere in the web address which is right. What is sneaky though is when microsoft is not in the correct part of the web address. Here are examples:
- www.microsoft.com -- this is good
- www.support.microsoft.com -- this is good, microsoft.com is at the end of the address
- www.windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/home -- this is good, microsoft.com is at the end of the section before the forward slash
- www.microsoft.safelogin.com -- this is NOT on microsoft.com's site, you are on safelogin.com's site
- www.safelogin.com/microsoft.htm -- this is NOT on microsoft.com's site, you are on safelogin.com's site
In general, you shouldn't update passwords or other personal info from a link in an email unless you asked for the email (e.g. you clicked on "Forget Password" on a site and requested to reset your email).
Hopefully these tips help you avoid getting caught up by sneaky tactics and remember, if you're ever unsure, feel free to ask our support team for their advice.