Sneaky Spam

    June 23, 2005

Spam is everywhere. There is almost never a day that goes by where I don’t find my inbox flooded with dozens, if not hundreds of spam emails.

Most of which are money scam letters, emails selling software, and of course the usual selections of adult related products and dating services. Lately, however, I have seen an increase in spam directed at domain name owners, and these ones are not limited to my email, they’ve been arriving by regular snail mail also.

Some domain registration companies are playing off fears to try to increase conversions. The other day I received a letter via regular mail, it looked like a formal collection notice warning that if I didn’t renew immediately, through them, my site would be taken offline. This was obviously a case of junk mail, but at a first glance appeared official.

Another one I received stated ‘FINAL NOTICE’, and that my domain had become available under the .info extension. If I didn’t act now I could lose my trademark! (Funny thing, I don’t own any trademarks.) It went on to say ‘IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE UNITED STATES LEGAL CODE’ and stated the trademark laws. This was obviously another spam attempt, especially with the order information near the bottom, but I can see how some would feel obligated to purchase this domain.

Most people are now trained to ignore and delete spam, but these ones appear as legitimate documents, mostly because of the extent of the personal information contained in them. Both had included my full name, mailing address, email, phone number, and as such, could easily persuade someone to follow their links, or phone the 1-800 number and renew their domains.

Ultimately you’ll have to renew your domains anyways, so why not just go with these guys? Take a look at their pricing! The ‘Final Notice’ spam I received was for a .info domain and they wanted $50 a year for renewal! With the company I currently use $50 will buy me almost 10 years of registration for a ‘.info’!

Essentially what I am getting at is, beware! Just because it looks official doesn’t mean it is! These spammers are getting more sophisticated and as a result their emails appear legitimate, don’t fall victim to their traps!

Jim Hedger is the SEO Manager of StepForth Search Engine Placement Inc. Based in Victoria, BC, Canada, StepForth is the result of the consolidation of BraveArt Website Management, Promotion Experts, and Phoenix Creative Works, and has provided professional search engine placement and management services since 1997. Tel – 250-385-1190 Toll Free – 877-385-5526 Fax – 250-385-1198