It takes a lot to make me angry. I mean, really angry. But when people try to scam my clients out of their hard-earned money…well, that will do it.
Several times a year (sometimes several times a month), I’ll get an email from a client that goes something like this: “I just received this domain listing renewal bill in the mail. Is this legit? It looks like it is, but I wanted to check first.”
And it’s a good thing they did check, because it is not legit. Not at all.
What does a domain listing bill scam look like?
This scam comes directly to your mailbox as a physical letter that looks a lot like an actual bill. It is NOT a bill! It is a solicitation. It says that in small print, but you wouldn’t see it if you weren’t looking for it.
How can I tell if it’s a domain scam?
See that section in all caps? Here’s what it says:
“THIS IS NOT A BILL. THIS IS A SOLICITATION. YOU ARE UNDER NO OBLIGATION TO PAY THE AMOUNT STATED ABOVE UNLESS YOU ACCEPT THIS OFFER.”
Yours might look a little different or be worded differently, but they’re all the same. It’s a sales pitch designed to trick you into thinking it’s a bill.
I know. Disgusting, right?
Most Doebank Designs clients are set up with domain billing through Google Domains which you pay directly to Google for $12/year. If you are unsure about your domain settings, check with us or whoever manages your domain before paying any bills.
But whatever you do, do NOT ever send money when you get a “bill” like this in the mail.
Side note: Okay, so technically, it’s not a scam. Since they put that disclaimer in there, it’s legal. But it’s definitely not ethical. I’m going to keep calling it a scam. Just because something is legal doesn’t make it right.
Why does Doebank Designs prefer Google Domains?
When people think of searching for something online, they immediately think of Google. “Just Google it!” is something I say often. In fact–and this is a secret you can’t tell anybody–often when people ask me how to do something, I just Google it and pass on the info. They think I’m really smart.
Google has done a great job of providing domain services without all the extra fees and complications found in other providers. While some domain services charge $20 or more for domains and extra fees for domain privacy and security options, Google charges a flat $12/year for most domains and no extra fees for important services such as:
- Domain privacy: Hide your contact information from the public and protect yourself from spam.
- DNSSEC (Domain Name System Security Extensions): Safeguard your domain from potential attacks like DNS spoofing. Read more here.
- 2-Step Authentication: Enable extra security to protect your domain listing from bad actors.
- Domain and subdomain forwarding: Easily forward any of your domains to your primary domain.
- Email forwarding: Even without using Google Workspace, a paid add-on, Google Domains lets you set up email forwarding for up to 100 addresses.
Where do I find my legitimate domain listing?
If you’re a Doebank Designs client, and we are helping manage your domain, you will find your legitimate domain listing at domains.google.com.
Once you’re there, you can check your registration settings to ensure that your contact info is up to date, your domain privacy is enabled, and any users that need access to the domain are registered. You can also check your payment and renewal settings there as well.
If you have any questions about your domain settings, please get in touch. And whatever you do, don’t pay that ridiculous scam fee!