Written by: Craig Edmonds | May 28, 2012
I manage thousands of domains on behalf of my clients and thank goodness a good many of those clients have had the sense to ask me WTF?? after they have received a domain reminder email from a third party, telling them or making it appear as if their domain name is expiring and requesting payment.
Below is a screen shot of one good example which can easily fool someone without experience of online scams.
The sender has sent the domain owner an “authentic looking” expiration notice which is very carefully worded, probably…to avoid it being 100% illegal. (another good reason to protect your privacy online with private whois)
The sender makes the email look as if the actual domain name is about to expire, when in fact they are telling the domain owner, in the smaller text, that the “registration” is for ”submission services”, which are in fact non existant, the domain owner had never signed up to anything in the first place.
Basically the scammer is preying on the innocence of the domain owner and giving them a scare into divulging their credit card details by asking them to PROCESS SECURE PAYMENT.
(please click on the images in this post to view the larger size versions)
So, the unknowing domain owner clicks on the PROCESS SECURE PAYMENT link in the anticipation that they will be renewing their domain/se services for another year and are in fact taken to a NON SECURE page where they are asked to provide their credit card details.
Below is another screen shot of the “payment page” where you can see there is ZERO SECURITY on the page and in fact, the scammer’s web page is fraudulently using TRUSTe.com logos in order to suck the domain owner into thinking the payment is secure, when the truth is its TOTALLY un secure and open for abuse.
I would imagine that if the domain owner submits his credit card details on this page, that the credit card would not only be charged for that amount shown on the page, but the card details would more than likely be sold to the scammers’ partners which would most probably be a criminal network who would use the credit card details to buy other goods, sell those goods for cash to fund their other illegal criminal operations such as child trafficking, buying guns, drugs or worse.
Although this innocent looking email looks like its a legitimate reminder, the consequences of submitting your details online to un secure pages on the internet, can land you in some inconvenience and provide criminals means and opportunity to expand their enterprises.
When in doubt, always ask someone you trust.