In the past, I've posted about scams related to Domain Name Registrations, like the bogus invoices from Domain Registry of America. Well the FTC in the US has won a judegment against one of these companies, Internet Listing Service. (I don't know if they are related to DROA, as there are many aliases used in these scams).
In June 2008, the FTC charged Toronto-based Internet Listing Service with sending domain name owners fake invoices that instructed them to pay an annual Web site listing fee or sign up for a search engine optimization service. Finally, in August 2010, the case is closed. The settlement issued a suspended judgment of $4.3 million, but since the defendants cannot pay up, they will turn over $10,000, the FTC said.
Thousands of Small Businesses and Non-profits Billed for Bogus Renewal Fees
If you fell for the scam, don't feel stupid, you are not alone. Thousands paid these fake invoices. It is interesting to see that it was mostly Small Businesses and Non-Profits, which is a reminder that you should have a specific person or company dealing with all of your online presence.
Too many don't know what a domain is, or where it is registered, or anything related to their website or email. They just know they get their email on their computer.
Please, if you don't know where all of your online assets are, and how to manage them, you should really look into getting a Website Management company to help you. (well, yes, something like Seven Sages Website Management)
From FTC's site:
In June 2008, the FTC charged Toronto-based Internet Listing Service with sending fake invoices to small businesses and others, listing the existing domain name of the consumer’s Web site or a slight variation on the domain name, such as substituting “.org” for “.com.” The invoices appeared to come from the businesses’ existing domain name registrar and instructed them to pay for an annual “WEBSITE ADDRESS LISTING.” The invoices also claimed to include a search engine optimization service. Most consumers who received the “invoices” were led to believe that they had to pay them to maintain their registrations of domain names. Other consumers were induced to pay based on Internet Listing Service’s claims that its “Search Optimization” service would “direct mass traffic” to their sites and that their “proven search engine listing service” would result in “a substantial increase in traffic.”
The FTC’s complaint charged that most consumers who paid the defendants’ invoices did not receive any domain name registration services and that the “search optimization” service did not result in increased traffic to the consumers’ Web sites.
Federal Trade Commission, Plaintiff, v. Data Business Solutions Inc., also d/b/a Internet Listing Service Corp., ILS Corp., ILSCORP.NET, Domain Listing Service Corp., DLS Corp., and DLSCORP.NET, Ari Balabanian, Isaac Benlolo, and Kirk Mulveney, Defendants
(United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division)
Civil Action No.: 08-CV-2783
FTC File No. 072-3038