A while back I posted about ListingCorp and how they were tricking people by sending out fake bills asking for money. In reality, it was a solicitation and no action was necessary, however the solicitation was made to look like a bill and it was made to convince the user that they had to pay.
Liberty Names claims that my domain is set to expire and that I need to transfer it to their company in order to save it. The bottom of the letter even comes with a payment stub just like you’d find on most bills you receive.
Are these types of solicitations illegal? No, probably not. They are more un-ethical than anything else. Liberty Names at least makes it a bit more clear that this is not a bill. However, any legit company would not try to trick or scare unsuspecting people into paying for their service.
So how did they get your information? That’s easy. Anyone who registers a domain name has to put in owner information. This information is then made available to the public. To avoid this, register domains that offer protection. Some domains will give WHOIS protection for a cost or even for free. This blocks those shady companies from getting your information and sending you fake bills.
You can protect yourself by always double checking any suspicious mail before sending in money. Read the entire letter and, if you don’t feel comfortable, do a little research. Companies like Liberty Names of America, Corp.com and Listing Corp should not be kept in business by tricking people into giving them money.