Do not send money to a company you have never heard of. This seems obvious, however a huge number of domain owners send money to domain scammers without question, even though they have never heard of the company requesting payment. Here's how it works: you may receive a letter by post or as email spam saying something like the following:
If you receive this kind of note first check it comes from the company you bought the name from. If you are not sure call the company you bought the domain name from.
If the letter is not from either of these it is probably just an 'advertisement' to persuade you transfer management of your domain name to the sender! The problem is that many of these advertisements do not look like an advertisement they are worded to scare you into thinking that if you do not pay the sender (by credit card) immediately then your domain name will be lost.
Instead check with the company you bought your name from, and ask them about the expiry of your name. You will probably find they will contact you in due course to let you know it is time to renew your domain name.
How do they get your address? Companies can use the whois database to find addresses and information about most domain names.
Example: Court Bars Company from Misleading Consumers in Domain Name Services.
You do not need to buy every variation of your domain name
Another scam is companies that send you emails or letters telling you, you must buy more domains.
Suppose you own the domain example.com, domain agents may write to you saying you must use their service to buy example.biz, example.eu, example.info, example.co.uk.... They use scare tactics to make you think you will lose your internet presence if you don't buy extra domains. They tell you you must buy these now otherwise your competitors will buy them. Or they may say you can make millions online if you have all these extra domain names. In reality they just want you to buy extra names for their profit.
Example of a domain-scare letter
The letter below is a real example of the kind of email you might receive, to scare you into buying names from the sender. It looks like a helpful letter, giving you the opportunity to buy a name to prevent your competitor from getting it. However in reality, if your competitor had actually tried to buy a domain like yours, the domain agent would not risk losing the sale, by asking if you would like to buy it first:
Re. Domain name & Internet keyword Registration confirmation
We are [Name removed]. which is the domain name register center in Asia. We have received a formal application from a company applying to register "[Your Company Name Here]" as their domain name and Internet keyword. Following some investigation we found that this word has been in use by your company, and this may involve your company name or trade mark, so we inform you in no time. If you consider these domain names and internet keyword are important to you and it is necessary to protect them by registering them first, contact us soon.
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