Domain Renewal Scams - Be Aware!

Robyn Norgan
Oct 2, 2012

So you found your perfect domain and registered it in your Dynadot account - congratulations! We know that once you've found that perfect domain, you don't want to lose it. Unfortunately, there are people out there who are also aware that you don't want to lose your domain and because of this you may become their target.

If your domain is registered with Dynadot, we will email you renewal reminders starting 60 days prior to your domain's expiration via our email address. The only way to renew your domain is through your Dynadot account. You can choose to transfer your domain to another registrar, which for most TLDs does add time - typically 1 year - to your domain, but this is not considered the same as "renewing" your domain.

If you do receive any kind of a message from another company asking you to renew your domain - whether it be via email or even snail mail - it is likely a renewal scam. Often these scams have you send them money for your "renewal" (usually at a much higher price) and then give you nothing in return since they have no way to actually renew your domain (and never intended to in the first place).

Another scam we have encountered actually asks for your Dynadot account information, including username and password, so they can supposedly renew your domain from inside your Dynadot account. Giving anyone your Dynadot username and password is a huge security risk. Instead of having your domain renewed, you may find it deleted or stolen, along with any personal information you had in your Dynadot account. It is always best practice to never give anyone your account password and you should know that no Dynadot customer service representative will ever ask for your password.

A third scam we have seen uses the word "renew," but it is actually referring to a "transfer." Again, the transfer is usually at a much higher price than other legitimate domain registrars. Although you may not actually lose your money or your domain, these companies are usually not ICANN accredited. And once you've transferred your domain to this company, you won't be able to transfer it away again for 60 days.

To make sure you do not lose your domain, we offer the ability to set up auto-renewal right in your Dynadot account. With auto-renewal you don't have to worry about losing your domain - just make sure either your account credit will cover the price of the renewal or that your credit card is up-to-date and our system will take care of the rest. Here is more information on auto-renewal payment methods.

If you'd prefer not to use auto-renewal, again, you'll start receiving multiple email reminders from us 60 days before your domain is set to expire. And even if you miss the chance to renew before the expiration date, most TLDs give you a 40 day grace period to renew your domain and then give you an extra redemption period of another 30 days where you can restore your domain for a higher fee. See our post on the lifecycle of your domain for more information. You can also see the grace period of each TLD on our TLD page and you can see the price to restore on our prices page.

If you do receive something about renewing your domain and you are unsure if it is legitimate, feel free to contact us. We're always happy to help you - and the information you provide can help us keep customers like you better informed. If you'd like to see some examples of what other customers have received, you can see some here and here.

Want to avoid receiving a renewal scam in the first place? We suggest using our domain privacy service to hide your contact information. Scammers and spammers often use the whois database to get people's contact information. See our post on protecting yourself from spam with domain privacy for more information.

Post by Robyn Norgan