Every so often here at Graphique’s office we receive a letter in the mail that contains a statement from Domain Registry of America (DROA). The letter gives the impression that some of our domain registrations are expiring soon and need to be renewed. Though they may appear legitimate, stating correct dates of expiration for domains it is a direct mail scam! This marketing scam targets consumers in the hope that you do not realize that your domain is not actually registered with DROA. By returning the invoice along with a payment, you are authorizing the domain to be transferred from your current domain registrar to DROA.
After doing a little research on Google we discovered several phishy things about this company. First, they don't have a web site, although they state on in in the letter! Second, DROA has their address listed as: 2316 Delaware Avenue #266 Buffalo, New York. When searched on Google maps, the address comes up as a UPS Store, which means it’s just a PO box.
So you might be wondering how is DROA getting your domain information? They do it by accessing the WHOIS database and pulling out the billing information for every domain. This is why it’s important to keep your listings private so your address information is not listed. Fortunately, if you are a Graphique client, you can be worry free. When we receive this type of scam letter listing a client’s domain, we shred it since we are able to identify that it is not legitimate.
Unfortunately, despite our efforts to protect our clients and their privacy, phishing scam companies like this one will continue to thrive as long as people fall for their methods. What can you as a consumers do to stop them? File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov. You can file an online complaint or send a written complaint with a copy of your scam letter to: Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Response Center, 600 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, DC 20580.
If you received one of these direct mail scam letters in the past and have filed a complaint, share your experience or progress with us in our comments section below. We are interested in hearing about your own experiences.