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April 20, 2011

Beware again of unsolicited and overpriced domain name registration invitations

By Ross Gerring

They’re up to it again! And again. And again.

Be on the lookup – again – for unsolicited but professional and official-looking invitations to renew or purchase domain names from a company called “Domain Name Group” (or variations thereof).

The domain names are significantly overpriced and, if you pay the bill, will almost certainly be registered in a company name other than your own. This makes it ‘challenging’ to prove you are indeed the rightful owner of the domain name down the track.

The domain names being offered as “Domain Name Available” tend to be subtle variations of domain names you already own. So in the highly unlikely event that you do genuinely wish to acquire the domain name, then your best bet by far is to do so through your normal domain name reseller.

auDA, the official Australian administrator of .au domain name, has had running battles with the perpetrators of illegal and/or unethical practices like this for years. You can read about a similar one (probably with the same people behind it) here:

Mass mail out by Domains Australia Pty Ltd

Our understanding is that the nature of this particular mail-out isn’t technically illegal (but don’t quote us on that). But the perpetrators are hoping that sufficient volumes of people and accounts departments will just pay the invoice without paying too much attention to the details, thereby netting them huge profits for relatively little outlay.

Stay vigilant people!