The Australian Small Business Blog

Friday, September 04, 2009

Online Business Scam

As someone who owns quite a few domain names, whenever a domain name gets near for renewal, I get sent unsolicited offers presented like invoices for domain name renewals. They will offer to renew the domain for $245 with an incentive such as an iPod Shuffle. Details of domain name ownership and their expiry are available on public registers which is how they find out who you are.

Your website guru probably organised your domain for you when you first set up your website. They probably only charged you $40-50 for 2 years, which is quite reasonable if they included additional support which most do. If this is your first renewal, you may not even know how little the domain name cost you in your original website investment.

So when you see offers such as the one I mentioned above, remember the iPod is probably costing them $20, and bulk domain registrations wholesale below $30. Everyone is entitled to a margin depending on the service they supply, but $245 is just ripping you off.

I won’t mention the name of the organisation I received this latest offer from as I don’t want to give them a Google boost, but if you own domain names, they will find you.

If you are aware of other scams, I would be pleased to report them for the benefit of others here.

May Your Business Be - As You Plan It.

Over to You. What do You Think? Post Your Comments Below.

Dr Greg Chapman is the Director of Empower Business Solutions and The Australian Business Coaching Club and is Australia's Leading Advisor on Emerging Businesses and provides Coaching and Consulting advice to Australian Small Business Owners in Marketing & Business Strategies Planning & Systems. He is also the author of The Five Pillars of Guaranteed Business Success.

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5 comments : said...

As a web developer I look after the domains of many of my clients (they generally don't want to know the details) and charge my clients only $5 more than the wholesale cost to me just to cover the small time it takes to renew every year or so.

I'm not sure how a company could in good conscience charge 7 times the worth without any effort or extra services rendered.

Several clients have received similar "invoices" in the past, however I've educated them all to come to me first with ANY domain/web related issues or questions.

Managed to prevent a few payments being made for no reason!

Still not sure why there can't be tougher infringements for these questionable tactics.

Nerida Gill said...

The other scam I've been subjected to is a huge fee to register my trade mark on an international trade mark site.

If the letter is not from the IP Australia office confirm with your lawyer (or the government) before paying it.

Tash Hughes said...

I've seen those domain registration scams, too, and I get really cross with them as they can use scare tactics ('renew with us now or someone else will get your domain')

The one I've received a lot more often, though, are the directory listing ones. They look official and imply that I have a directory listing but just need to confirm my details - by confirming I am actually signing to pay for advertising with them but there is no mention of price and I've never heard of their directory to assess it's value (or reality for that matter.)

April Andy said...

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Natahnee said...

Protect yourself against scams and download NSW Fair Tradings Scam Buster app. It offers expert tips on how to bust scams, provides information on current scams targeting Australians, and even has the option to report a scam. Get it now from the Apple app store or the android market. Visit the NSW Fair Trading website at for more information.


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Dr. Greg Chapman is also the author of
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