Remember that there will be different cases for different people and different scams. There is no one-size-fits-all solution.
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Melbourne, Australia (PRWEB) May 02, 2012
"Beware of Domain Registrar scammers!" warns online marketing strategist Justin Meadows. This issue is very close to him because his grandmother was sucked in by a Melbourne-based domain registrar that uses very unsavory tactics to get people to pay hundreds of dollars for domains they don’t need.
Justin's grandmother was deceived into paying a whopping $250 dollars per year, over twenty times the normal price, for a domain she didn’t own. "But we can’t blame her," Meadows points out. "The company was very sneaky. They sent out what looked like an invoice for her domain, complete with a Melbourne CBD address in the heading; that would impress anyone. However, not all that glitters is gold. It turned out that the domain she was paying for was actually one that she didn’t own yet; it was the .com version of her .com.au domain."
“It’s not the worst scam out there,” explains Justin, director of online marketing company Evergreen Profit. “They did deliver the goods. We managed to eventually get the domain from them, but using such deceptive marketing techniques and charging such an outrageous amount is just not right.”
Justin Meadows says that this was not the first time he had heard of this scam. “Nearly every one of my clients have approached me about this scam,” he explains. “Luckily I was able to identify the scam before they paid any money.” Justin sought the help of Australian domain expert, Simon Johnson from DomainerIncome.com to spread awareness about these scams. They created a podcast that people can find on the EvergreenProfit.com website, which explains what people can do to avoid these scams as well as offers general advice about domains.
How can people avoid being scammed?
According to Simon Johnson of DomainerIncome.com, education is the key to avoid being scammed. "You must know and check who you are registered with," he maintains. "Do not just blindly click on an email or send payment without researching to make sure that company is reputable. Also, check what time your domains come up for renewal." Simon notes that sometimes overseas postmarks are a giveaway. For scammers, it is a numbers game. The more they sent, the higher the probability that they can victimize a person. "Always be wary of these tell tale signs," he instructs.
On the other hand, those who have already fallen victim to these scams can still do something. It is a good idea for them to contact their webmaster or online marketing manager to help guide them through the domain systems. "You can try contacting the registrar directly to have the domain moved to a different registrar; they are not allowed to prevent you from doing this," Simon asserts. "If that doesn’t work for you, seek legal advice and file a complaint to the FTC (USA) or Scam Watch (in Australia). Remember that there will be different cases for different people and different scams. There is no one-size-fits-all solution."
What are things people must know about .com and .com.au?
"Registering a domain can be quite tricky," states Simon. "Apart from deciding on your own domain name, you also must decide on what extension to use and see if it is still available." According to him, for people who want to trade internationally .com is the way to go. However, .com.au extension is usually preferred by search engines when searching in Australia. The downside is that it is not as easy to acquire a .com.au extension. There are rules that must be followed in order to pass having that extension. "A lot of scams will convince you to buy a different domain extension such as .net.au .org or .co," continues Simon. "While it can be valuable for protecting your brand to buy your domain name in each extension, you need to weigh up how much they are charging. It is best to purchase all of these extensions when you buy your domain initially."