Domain Name Scam
Here's a company you'll definitely want to watch out for...
It's called Domain Registry of America (DROA) and they send letters in the mail that "appear" to be real invoices for domain name renewals. But please don't fall for this scheme.
If you own a domain name, don't let DROA trick you into transferring it to them - you'll end up being quite ripped off on the renewal fee.
For example, they state on their website that "the industry standard price" for the registration of a domain name is, "$70.00 for a two year registration."
That's a grossly exaggerated and inaccurate figure. There are many better deals out there, my friends. One can easily buy a domain name for $7 or $8 bucks per year from several respectable domain registrars.
Unfortunately, and for several years now, countless people have fallen victim to the domain name renewal scam of Domain Registry of America (DROA). And over the course of time, I've discovered that even some of my own business associates have been preyed upon as well.
So what's the good news?
Well, thanks to the Federal Trade Commission, you definitely have a way to fight back - and more importantly, a way in which to get your money back!
How Does the Scam Work?
Domain Registry of America (droa.com) mails you a letter requesting that you renew your domain name (before it expires) by returning a payment (by check or by credit card) for the desired renewal term.
(NOTE: Never pay attention to snail mail regarding domain renewal notices. ALL renewals are automatically handled through your online domain account.)
The letter is meant to appear as an official renewal notice - however, it is not. It is actually a solicitation to register your domain name with DROA instead, and leave your current and trusted registrar.
When the transfer away from your current registrar occurs, your nameservers may also be changed. This means that your website may not be live on the Internet - of course DROA fails to inform you of this.
One of the other things Domain Registration of America (DROA) "conveniently" fails to tell you is that if you fall for their scam, and then realize afterward that you've fallen for it, and try to stop the transfer, that you'll still owe them $4.50. AND, you'll also owe them $4.50 IF the transfer fails (through no fault of your own), whether because of a registrar lock, or due to their own error!
By the way, DROA has also been accused of agreeing to credit consumers upon request, but NOT issuing those credits in a timely manner.
How Do I Fight Back?
If you receive one of these letters, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission - even if you've never made a payment to DROA. The notice will be reviewed and it will be judged to see if DROA is meeting the requirements of the FTC’s ruling.
How Do I Get My Money Back?
The Federal Trade Commission stipulated that, upon consumer request, DROA must refund any payment remitted to them, and compensate eligible consumers an additional $6.00 per domain name transfer to assist with fees incurred when transferring back to their original registrar.
If you file a complaint with the FTC you may be entitled to ADDITIONAL redress if you experienced any loss of business or business expenses due to DROA’s scam.
To contact Domain Registry of America directly, call: (866) 434-0212 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
According to the ‘Truth In Lending Act’ (TILA) Domain Registry of America (DROA) MUST credit your credit card within seven (7) business days.