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Be Wary: Misleading Mail Pieces that Look Like a “Domain Renewal”

Digital marketing is an often-overwhelming concept for a business as there are so many components to it. It is not uncommon for companies to hire a marketing agency to take care of this aspect of their business, as it can be better to leave your marketing strategy in the hands of experts who understand the landscape.

This ensures you aren’t spending your marketing dollars in places where they are not going to be most effective, or, you aren’t accidentally convinced to pay for something you don’t need.

If you have a website, as everyone should in today’s digital society, then you own a domain. A domain is the website name that customers type into their computer to reach your website. Just as your mail gets delivered to your house because you have a unique address, the domain acts like the address for your website, allowing computers to deliver your exact website to another computer. No two websites have the same domain.

The Problem - Mail Pieces With Intent to Mislead:

Recently, we as a business have received various mail pieces that do not clearly convey what their purpose is. Many businesses will receive the same mail piece and it has come to our attention that people are unsure if it is real or a scam.

The mail piece itself looks like a bill for your domain renewal, but it is actually an order form for a directory listing and tons of people just pay it. It is almost a scam. It intends to mislead the business owner, who is unfamiliar with a process like this, into paying as everyone knows they need to renew their domain.

These companies are selling a service, albeit a very overpriced service. The most recent piece we received was charging $228.

The scam letters are created to trick business owners into paying for a directory, at an unreasonable price, which is something most businesses don’t even have a use for. It is okay to ignore these letters, as they are more than likely sent with ill-intentions. If you are unsure about a mail piece you have received, call a marketing professional to help provide you with the information you need.

Facts About Domain Renewals:

If your business is receiving mail pieces that seem a bit odd, here are some facts about domain renewals so you can tell which is real and which are irrelevant.

First, domain renewals are not normally handled by mail. If you are getting letters in the mail about a renewal, then it is most likely fake. Nowadays, these transactions are typically done on the internet and are received via email.

So if you’re getting it in the mail you should take caution and read it carefully.

Another way to tell if a renewal is legitimate or not is by the cost. Renewal costs for traditional domains (.com, etc.) should be between $10 and $20 /year - not an exorbitant cost like $228.

Typically, the company that registers domains for your business is the only person likely to get the bill to renew your domain. So if you have never heard of the company attempting to bill you in the mail, that is another sign it is probably fake.

As a business, it is important to be wary of situations like these. We all get scam phone calls, but a mail piece such as this has been created with an intention of purposely misleading someone who might not know better.

If you are ever curious about the legitimacy of a bill or document, it is important to always ask a professional for their expert opinion on the bill you are receiving.

If for any reason you feel as if it is nearly time to renew your domain, refer back to the purchase of the domain. The renewal date should be mentioned multiple times so you can be sure when it is time to renew. Staying on top of scammers is crucial to local and national businesses. So stay alert and aware of any possible scams or misleading mail pieces.

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