Domain owners beware: Scammers are on the prowl - Warm Thoughts Communications
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Domain owners beware: Scammers are on the prowl

Posted on August 17, 2017

Recently one of our clients got a bill in the mail requesting payment to renew his domain name – a bill that many business owners with a lot on their plate might simply pay without thinking twice about it.

Fortunately, our client reached out to us to check it out for him – because as it happens, the bill was a scam. We see it all the time: many of our clients pay for domain names or web hosting services on a five- or ten-year plan, and by the time it’s up for renewal they’ve forgotten who their URL is even hosted by.

A scammer preys on that billing amnesia, lurking in the thicket of your monthly paperwork and waiting for an opportunity to pounce on your hard-earned cash. Of course, it’s not news that there are unscrupulous people in the world looking to “earn” a buck at your expense. What is news is that they’re getting better at it.

Some scammers prey not on your busyness, but on your lack of technical expertise. One of the scams that really drives me crazy is the “free analysis” offer – I’m sure you’ve heard something like: “Your website is full of problems. We can fix them!” Or, “Your site does not rank on Page 1 of a Google search – we can get you there!” The problem isn’t that improvements to the performance of your website aren’t possible – we make them for our clients all the time. The problem is the claims these scammers make are either so vague that they’re meaningless (as in the first case above) or so grand that they’re impossible to achieve (as in the second – if anyone guarantees you a page one ranking in a Google search, it’s a scam, because Google, in its Webmaster Guidelines, says “No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google”).

The bottom line here is that as a person doing business in an increasingly virtual space –and at an ever-quickening pace – you have to stay on your toes. From bogus domain registrations to unsubstantiated claims of expertise, today’s scammers are constantly on the prowl. Fortunately, you can protect yourself if you know how they hunt. And of course, if you ever have questions about your website or any third party that contacts you asking for money or offering a free “analysis,” please give us a call first. We’re here to help.

Ben Gutkin
is VP Marketing Services for Warm Thoughts Communications. He has advised dozens of the nation’s leading energy companies and associations on improving their web presence, search capabilities, direct response advertising and return on investment during his 20+ years with Warm Thoughts. You can reach him or 201‑330‑9276 ext. 227

300 Broadacres Dr. Suite 205
Bloomfield, NJ 07003

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