Yesterday a client of mine emailed me a scan of a letter they received from “Domain Registry“. I have received many of these letters since my name is attached to hundreds of domain names. And co-incidentally enough, I too received yet another letter in my mail from Domain Registry.

The problem with these letters are hidden in the clever wording of it. Phrases like “As a courtesy” and “When you switch today to Domain Registry” and “now is the time to transfer and renew your name from your current Registrar to Domain Registry. Failure to renew your domain name by the expiration date may result in a loss of your online identity

Isn’t that nice of them to remind you that your domain name is expiring? The trouble is there’s a nicely formatted form that leads you to believe you need to renew for 1, 2 or 5 years (“Best Value“) complete with a handy section to enter your credit card information, and to make it even easier for them to charge you way more than you should and steal your domain name they include a handy return envelope inside, to which they don’t include postage.

Here’s a copy of the Domain Name Expiration Notice:

A copy of the letter I received May 15, 2020

I noticed that the web url at the top right of this one says to visit them at www.giv.com.

At one time they were going by the name of iDNS Canada at www.idns.as, as I have a copy of that letter in my file from 2018. The wording and the form is identical and the address is the same too. This scheme has been going on for a long time and I’m tired of it/them.

So much so that in November 2017 I filed a complaint against them with the Better Business Bureau. I provided copies of their letter, insisted the wording and delivery was meant to “trick” unsuspecting domain owners into renewing (at a much higher price) and transferring their domains, and that this trickery should stop!

Domain Registry just refuted my claims, said their wording clearly indicates this is “courtesy” reminder and that I’m just a disgruntled competitor.

And guess what? The Better Business Bureau dropped by complaint just like that!

Over the years I have written “Return to Sender” on the envelope but they have changed the way to do the postage and my post office says it can’t be sent back that way [for free] anymore.

I’ve written letters back to Domain Registry asking them to remove my mailing address or flag my mailing address for non-delivery but I keep getting them.

I’ve returned the form to Domain Registry with comments written on the form in black marker.

But Domain Registry continues to mail out these letters, hoping domain owners will think they need to renew right now, and hoping these unsuspecting people will fill in their credit card information and mail it back.

Does this sound like business practices that the Better Business Bureau should ignore? I don’t think so.

But you be the judge. I’m just putting out the facts. You decide if this company should be reprimanded for the way they do business.

As a final note, they can’t transfer your domain unless your domain is unlocked, and they should require an “auth code” from your current registrar to begin the transfer process. These requests for transfer should alert domain owners that something is wrong.

So what are they really doing with the credit card information? Why did the Better Business Bureau drop my complaint? Makes you wonder.

This scam has been going on for a while. A quick google search for “domain registry letter” returned plenty of other posts. Here’s just a few:

DomainPeople
https://www.domainpeople.com/alerts/domain-registry-of-canada-scam.html
https://www.domainpeople.ca/alerts/domain-registry-of-canada-scam.html

Webnames.ca
https://blog.webnames.ca/potential-scam-alert-domain-expiration-notices-from-domain-registry/

Multimedia Solutions and Consulting
https://www.multimediaxp.com/post/15/be-careful-domain-registry-of-canada-droc-is-a-scam

Love2dev.com
https://love2dev.com/blog/idns-scam-letter/

Radar Hill Website Design
https://blog.radarhill.net/2014/03/26/beware-of-domain-renewal-scams-domain-registry-of-canada/

Oracast.com
https://www.oracast.com/blog/domain-registry-of-canada-scam/