Domain Renewal Group – Scam warning

A couple of our clients have recently received official looking letters from an organisation calling itself Domain Renewal Group.  The letters purport to be a Domain Name Expiration Notice and relate to a domain that the client really does own.  They offer the client the opportunity to transfer the registration to themselves and renew their domain registration at an inflated price.

Domain Renewal Group - Domain Expiration Notice

Domain Renewal Group - Domain Expiration Notice

Domain Renewal Group have been around for a little while now, a quick search finds their name mentioned quite frequently, usually in conjunction with the keyword scam.  There is a good little site which lists known domain name scams operating in the UK and Domain Renewal Group feature there.

It appears from various reports that Domain Renewal Group don’t actually transfer your domain name or renew it, they just take your money and do nothing.  I’m not sure if this is better or worse than actually transferring your registration to a bunch of pirates.

We always register domains in the client’s name so that they actually own their domain names and can transfer them away from us if they want to.  With personal registrations you can hide the owner’s details on the Whois database but with businesses this isn’t allowed.

Domain Renewal Group must get their information from Whois, then they send a letter to the owner asking them to pay for renewal of their domain.  This is quite cunning as proper registrars normally communicate via email rather than letter, by sending a letter Domain Renewal Group can avoid the person who normally deals with domain renewals (and who would recognise the notice as a scam) and go directly to the business which owns the domain name.  The owner will recognise the domain name and just pay the invoice, the amounts involved are small enough not to raise suspicion.

If you receive a letter like this from Domain Renewal Group or from anyone else contact your own registrar or the person who maintains your website before parting with any money.

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7 Responses to “Domain Renewal Group – Scam warning”

  1. Graham says:

    Yes I have just recived one of the renewal scam letters from Domain Renewal Group and forwarded the content details to my Registra.
    They have a website as official looking as their renewal notices, HOW CAN YOU GET THESE SCAMMERS CLOSED DOWN and stop them stealing money from the unsuspecting public.

  2. cotsweb says:

    I think someone who had actually paid them money would need to complain to the Office of Fair Trading when they didn’t get what they paid for. But you wouldn’t actually want them to do what they promise because that would mean hiring a bunch of crooks as your domain registrar.
    Publicity is probably the best answer; people who own domain names need to be aware of this scam, if you know a friendly journalist pass the details on to them.

  3. cotsweb says:

    I just received a scam renewal notice for this domain,, from Domain Renewal Group so it seems that they are still going strong. This dodgy business model must work.

  4. I am so glad that my boss brought through this letter. He said it looks real enough with terms and conditions on the back and it says renewal. But, and I must make it quite clear, it is not real. This is a total scam.
    Domain Renewal Group = Scam
    Do not send any money – eveyone I have searched who did simply lost their money.

    A short excerpt of the letter: “As a courtesy to domain name holders, we are sending you this notification of the domain name registration that is due to expire in the next few months.”
    -If you receive this letter, take it to the police. This will aid them in shutting down such scams as these.

  5. I also received an email from this “organization’. It is strange that a serious looking email coes from an hotmail address.

    So they send also emails, not only letters.

    As earlier never reply on this scam.

  6. We have even received one of these ‘offers’ in Crete, Greece…no thanks !

  7. […] which I thought at first was just another dodgy domain renewal notice a bit like the one from Domain Renewal Group that I reported about 2 years ago.  This one arrived by email rather than through the post and I […]

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