The Domain Registry of Canada scam is still alive. This week I received not one but two fake domain renewal invoices from the bogus Domain Registry of Canada for my WordPress Training site seoservicestoronto.com.
What is the “Domain Registry of Canada scam“?
A company called “Domain Registry of Canada” sends out old school direct marketing letters via Canada Post designed to appear as though the Domain Registry of Canada is some sort of quasi official government organization for domain registration.
CAUTION ! ! The letter from Domain Registry of Canada is nothing more than a scam. The letter is designed to appear as an invoice and urges the domain owner to renew their domain immediately, with the warning, “failure to comply will mean losing your domain”.
It is NOT a real invoice, it is a fake invoice.
Be on the lookout for their deceptive invoices. If you are a domain owner, there is an excellent chance you have been targeted and received one of these phony bills. It’s inevitable, Domain Registry of Canada will send you a fake invoice if you own a domain. I have been getting these for years, generally in the first year after I set up a new domain. Unfortunately, according to Google Insights, searches for fake invoices are climbing, so please be on the lookout for these fake invoices. The bogus letters are sent in a manila window envelope which is very similar to official government type envelopes. The company uses bulk emailing marques from Canada Post.
The Domain Registry of Canada (DROC) has been running this scam for a long time. They have used various company names such as “Internet Registry of Canada”, “Domain Renewal Group” or “DROC”. According to the fine print on the back eNom is also involved in this as DROC clams to be a reseller. In any case they always use the same technique to fool domain owners into transferring their domain away.
How does the Domain Registry of Canada scam work?
The Domain Registry of Canada scrapes the details of your domain name registration record from the publicly available whois database. This is known as ‘whois data mining’, and is a violation of the TOU of the whois service. If your Whois information is set to public they can find the mailing address of the domain name owner. Once they have the information, they simply send the deceptive fake invoice and wait for an unknowing domain owner to fall for the scam. Years ago after I registered my first domain I received one of these and my bookkeeper at the time nearly paid it. It looked very officious and above board, which is how the Domain registry scam works. They want to to trick anyone who owns a domain into transferring their domain to DROC by sending your payment information and email address in the enclosed envelope. this probably works well with large companies that have hundreds of invoices passing through their mail every day.
Will I lose my domain if I don’t reply?
You don’t have to do anything but throw the fake invoice in the garbage. Nothing will happen to your domain if you do not move or transfer your domain to Domain Registry of Canada.
21 thoughts on “Domain Registry of Canada Scam”
Thank you for posting these types of things. My boss has indeed received mail from DRC and I did an internet search of them first and came across your article and other warnings. It is helpful to have these out here so as to not fall victim!
Shauna, you are welcome. I showed your comment to a colleague and told him, “This is why I blog.”
Sadly, the Domain Registry of Canada scam is still operating. I just received a letter for one of my domains this week.
I throw them out monthly. I hate them. I think I might call them to tell them their window needs to be updated because it has a virus!
Que fait la GRC en la matière?
Moi aussi j’ai reçu ce fameux coupon et on pourrait bien se faire arnaquer.
Merci pour l’info.
Just got one today. Thanks!
These guys are despicable… I wish there was a way to legislate against something like this. The government of Canada should step in and sue them for likeness rights. They fool everyone and it’s simply out of control!
I can’t even count the number of clients and friends that have come to me regarding these envelopes. They must send enormous quantities out! I personally operate about 15 websites and have received ~5 of these things to date.
Just received one of these today. I knew it was fake just by reading it. $40 for domain renewal? Yeah, right, nice try.
I received one of the letters today. Looks like they are still trying.
I put a complaint in with email@example.com because I feel they should not be using the maple leaf and calling themselves the Domain Registry of Canada it sounds like a Canadian Agency.
Received one today…Sounded weird to me. That’s why I looked it up and found this page. Thanks for the heads up and info! Muchly Appreciated 🙂
Can’t believe how sneaky those fraudsters can get.
Just started my website 1 year ago and felt that the prices were way higher than what I paid initially. Called my current provider’s support and they clarified this was a spam scam.
Now it makes sense, that in the on-line world, I should only have to renew online instead of Canada Post snail mail.
Once I read over the invoice more carefully, I did notice that it was a transfer request.
Like hell I am going to pay $40 per year for a domain that I can renew at $10
I get one of these stupid letters every few weeks for one of the many domains I own. If people change their whois information to private then they can’t send them to you. It’s easy to do if you have a few domains but when you have a hundred it’s a pain in the A$$.
I hope by people blogging and commenting that people won’t get suckered by these jerks. Clearly they can’t make a living by providing domain registrations so they have to try and scam them instead.
Not sure if anyone has posted this yet, but here is a news article on a lawsuit because CIRA cancelled the companies registration status:
Received letter May 28, 2014. Brown envelope, official looking logo.
Wanted $40 to renew one domain for one year. End of reading the letter. Beginning of file 13 deposit.
Just checked on it for fun. Its BBB rating is F – the lowest.
I fell for it, has no idea until I read this blog. Can I transfer my domain to another registry? Is DROC a legitimate registry but just overpriced?