There are numerous website hosting and domain name renewal scams or deceptive advertisings circulating today. We were even recently target with this “invoice” only to discover it was a deceptive way to try to host our website. We host our own website along with about 99% of our clients’ websites so knew this was not right. Unfortunately, we have had clients lose money thinking they were paying for their website hosting and/or domain name renewal based on similar mailings. One client that managed their own domain name and lost it through a scam. By the time we were notified it was too late. They had to get a new domain name losing all that search engine optimization power behind their original domain.
All of these scams or deceptions are about the money. Some just take your money and you get absolutely nothing. No website hosting, no domain name renewal just less money in the bank. These companies tend to disappear quickly. Others do deliver on there promise but now they control your website and domain name. Can you trust them? Unfortunately, they may not provide the service that you were accustomed. Worse if you try to leave they hold your website and domain name hostage to try to force you to stay. Yet others target popular domain names to hijack and resell at a high price either back to you or someone else.
What can you do?
Thoroughly read the notice you received. While this one looks like an invoice, further down it does say it is a solicitation not a bill. If it’s not a bill, then why make it look like one? They do it with the hopes that you don’t realize it is just a solicitation and pay it. If you have an accounts payable department, it may slip through.
If you are still not sure, contact your website provider. Here at Webtivity Marketing & Designs offer website hosting, website support, and domain name management. 99% of our clients would receive invoices for these services directly from us. If you are part of the 1% that only receives support, we know where website is hosted and domain name managed. Scan or take a picture of the notice and send it to us. We are more than happy to determine if it is legitimate.