Domain Registry of America scam
I recently received a deceptive notice from Domain Registry of America (see image to the left). The "notice," which looks more like a bill than a notice, gives the impression that a domain I own is about to expire and must be renewed. Domain Registry of America's notice informed me that, "Failure to renew your domain name by the expiration date may result in a loss of your online identity making it difficult for your customers and friends to locate you on the Web." OK. That's very thoughtful, but my domain doesn't expire until November. Why is Domain Registry of America only giving me until July 23 to reply? Well, mostly because it's a scam.
The scam is nothing new. In 2003, the Federal Trade Commission slapped the Canada-based Domain Registry of America (DROA) on its wrists for:
- misleading consumers into thinking that they are renewing their registrations with their current registrar when, instead, they are transferring their registrations to DROA's registrar, eNom.
- failing to disclose a $4.50 processing fee for any transfer requests that are not completed, even when the failure occurs without any fault of the consumers.
- failing to issue promised refunds in a timely manner, in violation of the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), sometimes delaying refunds for months.
On top of Domain Registry of America's deceptive practices, its domain prices are outrageous (sometimes 2 to 3 times higher than the industry norm). If you receive a notice from Domain Registry of America, DO NOT SEND MONEY. It is a scam.