Domain registration scams making a comeback

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RIP-OFF ALERT: Small business owners need to be aware of a new round of scam letters, e-mails and faxes relating to website domain registrations.

I recently took a call from an entrepreneur who received a domain name expiration notice for a site she owned. The woman forwarded the letter to me and it looked completely legitimate with barcodes, a pricing list and more.

Then more recently, I received one myself. It was billing me $85 for “annual web site search engine listing,” though I’ve heard reports of other people being billed for “web advertising” and similar terms.

But the other side of the letter contained a page of mice type in light grey ink that you couldn’t read to save your life. After using a magnifying glass, I could see it read, “This is not a bill. This is a solicitation. You’re under no obligation to pay the amount stated above unless you accept this offer.”

These notices are similar to the phony Yellow Pages and Internet advertising scams. As a small business owner with a web address, be on your guard for these hijackers who want to rip you with exorbitant fees. Don’t fall for their ploys.

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