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Domain Services Scam

October 19, 2009

This morning I checked the inbox from a very old Yahoo address that I’ve for the most part abandoned.  One recent message was titled:

Domain Notification: MICHAEL This is your Final Notice of Domain Listing – XxxxxxxxxxxxxxXxxxxxx.ORG

Where XxxxxxxxxxxxxxXxxxxxx.ORG is a domain that I have just renewed within the last two weeks, and, just had listed at another Sedo promotion.

Notice that the structure of the subject line closely resembles the type of emails one receives from domain registrars for annual whois update notifications and domain expiration notifications. Thought it smelled a bit iffy I decided to open it.

As it turned out the entire email stunk to high heaven.

I immediately noticed that as well as an outdated email address, the sender had included in the body my old mailing address and a DBA name that I have since abandoned.

The content itself was as dubious as they come, including this foreboding warning in bold:

Failure to complete your Domain name search engine registration by the expiration date may result in cancellation of this offer making it difficult for your customers to locate you on the web.

and the price tag for this “service”?  a whopping $295

The best part though, was the senders email address:  domanwebser372@hotmail.com

I tell you, this company must have a solid foundation to be using a @hotmail address.  I will be looking for them on the next Fortune 500.

But who exactly is this upstanding good company?  Its hard to tell in fact.

The From line reads: Domain Srvcs.  In the body we find them listed with their address as:  Domain Services.  In the disclaimer (fine print) we have the following:  By accepting this offer, you agree not to hold DN liable for any part.” as well as“The information in this letter contains confidential and/or legally privileged information from the notification processing department of the DN.”

I spent a bit of time analyzing the header to see if I could trace whether the offending email actually came from the same vicinity as the companies address (Long Island City, New York), but the sender did a fair good job of anonymizing himself apparently.

In case it isnt clear, this is junk, garbage, a SCAM.  Even if this were a legitimate company (it’s not) offering a legitimate service (theiy’re not), the price tag is gross beyond compare.  I routinely find these sorts of services all over the web for under $10.

If you get any such “offer” from ‘Domain Services’ or anyone else, whether via email or snail mail, toss it.  Dont even bother opening it, unless of course you intend to write a great blog post about it. 😀.

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