b'SMART OPERATIONSDont Get Caught by the U.S. Domain Authority The fine print was buried at the bottom or on a second page of the letter, had nothing to do with protecting your rights, and hadPetereverything to do with protecting the interests of the perpetrators. PellandIt has been nearly a decade since Ithis was not an invoice, that it was a so- border in Markham, Ontario. The scamtomers through our directory. We are wrote about a scam that was circulatinglicitation for goods or services, and thatwas so successful that there were inter- not a domain registrar and we do not by a company that called itself Domainby paying the fee you were authorizingnationalvariationssuchasDomainRegisterorRenewDomainNames. RegistryofAmerica.Theirmodusyour domain name registration to beRegistry of Australia, Domain RegistryItcontinues, THISISNOTABILL. operandi was to send out bulk mailingstransferredtoDomainRegistryofof Canada, Domain Registry of Europe,THIS IS A SOLICITATION. YOU ARE to domain name registrants like youAmerica. You paid the nonrefundableDomain Renewal Group and LibertyUNDER NO OBLIGATION TO PAY THE and me, after harvesting our names,fee, whether or not the company wasNames of America (where the lettersAMOUNTSTATEDABOVEUNLESS addressesanddomainnamesfromsuccessful at transferring your domainwould exploit the Statue of Liberty in- YOU ACCEPT THIS OFFER. The com-publicregistryrecords.Thelettersname registration away from its currentstead of the American flag.) In Decem- pany is covering the legal requirements, looked official, exploiting the Americanregistrar. If you have wisely locked yourberof2003,aUnitedStatesDistrictthough ethics, decency and honesty flag and warning that you were ready todomain, which would prevent its trans- Court order on behalf of the Federaland tossed aside. Fortunately for them, loseyourdomainnameunlessyoufer, you would have nonetheless lost theTrade Commission prohibited Domainmany people do not take the time to took immediate action by paying themfee that you had paid. Should you real- Registry of America from engaging inread. a renewal fee. Many people failed toize your error after the fact and demandthese practices, but that failed to stopThis mailing from United States Do-read the fine print, panicked and paidarefundoraskyourcreditcardthem. Today, the NameJuice.com web- main Authority encourages payments the fees. In other instances, companyprovider to charge back the fee, Do- site is still live, hosted on the companysby return mail or credit card online, accountantshandledaccountsmainRegistryofAmericawouldbeown servers, and the DROA.com web- asking that checks be made payable to payable, failed to recognize the scam,willing to sell your domain name backsite of Domain Registry of America nowDomain Authority. It lists a Web ad-andpaidthefeesalwayswithoutto you for an added fee of $200. Addi- opens a suspiciously similar site that isdress of usdomainauthority.com, a do-reading the fine print. If 1% or 2% of thetional fine print stipulated that, if youoperating under the Domain Registrymain name that was registered with people who received solicitations theseattempted to sue them, you would beServices name.GoDaddy on March 12, 2021. In other panicked and made payments, theseresponsible for payment of all of theirVery similar scams (often involvingwords, this outfit is selling $289 direc-thieves made an absolute fortune.legal expenses.email rather than more expensive bulktory listings on a website that has barely The fine print was buried at the bot- The parent company was Brandonmail) include one where the recipient isbeen in existence long enough to be tom or on a second page of the letter,GrayInternetServices(dbaName- warned as some sort of courtesy thatrecognized itself. had nothing to do with protecting yourJuice.com). Though the letters from Do- somebody has inquired into registeringWhy do you get these letters, emails rights, and had everything to do withmain Registry of America had a returnthe .CN, .HK or .TW (the country codesand junk faxes? Simply put, because protecting the interests of the perpetra- address in Buffalo, N.Y., the companysforthePeoplesRepublicofChina,there are thieves in this world. When tors. Basically, the fine print said thatoffices were actually located over theHong Kong and Taiwan, respectively)you register a domain name, your con-versionofyourdomainnameandtact information is publicly accessible thereby jeopardizing your online pres- unless you pay for a so-called private ence. They then offer to sell you theseregistrationan additional $5 or $10 versions of your domain name, alongannual fee with most registrars. If you with a laundry list of other worthlessare capable of detecting scams, save variationsfor an annual fee. First ofthat annual fee and let these people all, unless your business has an inter- waste their money on postage; other-nationally recognized brand name wise, you may want to pay for a private such as Microsoftnobody is inter- registration, where your contact infor-ested in wasting money registering al- mation cannot be readily harvested. It ternate versions of your .COM domainis also important to always keep your name,nobodyhasinquiredaboutdomain name registration in locked doing so, nobody would legitimatelystatusuntilsuchtimeasyoumight warn you, and these thieves are lookingwant to voluntarily transfer to another out for nothing but your money andregistrar. Most importantly, if you re-your credit card number.ceive one of these solicitations, rather Another similar scam is yet anotherthan just throwing it away, try to do that looks like a domain name registra- your part to help put these people out tion renewal invoice, also preying uponof business by forwarding a copy of the the common fear of losing ones do- correspondencetotheU.S.Federal main name. It is actually a warningTrade Commission and the office of thatsomesortofnon-existentSEOyour state attorney general. There have (search engine optimization) servicesbeen instances in the past where sev-are ready to expire, which will result ineralstateattorneysgeneralhave Google dropping your website from itsbanded together and have gone after search engine listings. One that is cur- people like this. rently making the rounds comes in theNow if we could only stop the TV mail and says it is from a companycommercials with Joe Namath selling called United States Domain Authority,Medicare supplements, Pat Boone sell-operating out of a post office box ining walk-in bathtubs and Marie Os-North Carolina. The letters look bothmond selling weight-loss products official and urgent, and they once again exploit the American flag to add to theirPeterPellandistheCEOof credibility among the nave. The no- Pelland Advertising, a company that tice says that it is for an Annual Web- he founded in 1980 that has been site Domain Listing at an annual priceserving the family camping industry of $289. Basically, you would be payingfor nearly 40 years. His company spe-this fee for an essentially worthless list- cializes in building fully responsive ing on its own usdomainauthority.comwebsites, along with producing a full website. The fine print reads that Thisrangeoffour-colorprocessprint website listing offer is provided to lead- advertising, for clients from coast to ingwebsitesthroughouttheUnitedcoast.LearnmoreaboutPelland States to enhance their Website expo- Advertising at https://pelland.com/ sureandexposethemtonewcus- or see their ad in this issue. WCM8 November 2021Woodalls Campground Magazine'