Tips on Recognizing Fake Domain Service Bills

Usually fake bills regarding domains and web services come in the mail. I was surprised when a client sent me a copy of an email which he received today titled “Domain Services Notice.”

How to Tell if a Bill for Your Website or Domain is Fake

  • Who is it from? Is it your registrar (where you paid for the domain)? Is it your web host? Interestingly the bill below doesn’t even say who you are paying! Unless you are paying for domain name privacy or some other unusual products or services there are only two things you should expect bills for:
    1. The domain registration (buying the www.xyz.com address)
    2. Web hosting (paying for storing your website and serving it to browsers)
  • Does it have scary language in it? If so it could be trying to trick you into paying for something you don’t want or need.
  • Does it ask for information they should already have? Companies you are already working with should already have your phone number.
  • What are they charging you for? Is it selling you something legitimate? In this case the “bill” is for “Search Engine Submission” which is NOT necessary for your website to be found on the internet.
  • Is there anything unusual about the form? In the case below it requests that you NOT include your credit card information and fax their form (so they can contact you separately with instructions. This is very suspicious.
  • Read the small print. This solicitation says it is a solicitation (in large print) and in small print it says “THIS IS NOT A BILL”.
How to recognize Fake Bill for domain renewal

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Frank Gomez

Frank Gomez is the owner of Empowered Marketing, LLC: Providing Website Development, Web Design and Graphic Design since 1997. Originally named Frank's Designs in Seattle, the descriptor Empowered Marketing was added in 2008 when he moved to Sarasota. In Sarasota, Frank developed his skills in InDesign, Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop as well as incorporating WordPress to build compelling, fast loading websites.
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