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Domain Registry of America

Mass Postal Mailing

     
9:47 am on Jul 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Not a scam - but worth notifying everyone about. Probably only affects the UK.

Today I received a batch of letters informing me that a number of my domains are about to expire and including a form to transfer to them to the Domain Registry of America - a UK based company.

My domains are in package that will auto renew them (for less) closer to the expiration date - so these letters are unnessecary annoyances.

Anyone else receiving these?

9:51 am on July 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Not seen one in a while, but I've had a whole pile of them in the past from these pests.
10:04 am on July 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

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yes i've been getting them for a couple of years! (UK)

seems that it is a profitable business

10:19 am on July 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

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When I used to build sites for clients I would insist that the client's own name and address should appear as the owner of their domain (as they should). More than one client then received these official looking requests and duly transferred their registration to DRA ... leaving me to deal with re-transferring the domain back to the original registrar. The speed and efficiency of the DRA operation in releasing the domains back (can't remember exact fee, but something like GBP75) would almost make one suspicious that this is how they make their money ...
10:58 am on July 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Ive had 3 this month, they make great coffee coasters and scrap paper.
1:23 pm on July 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

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they have this here in america too ;)

not sure how you can sleep at night sending out misleading mail all day....

1:31 pm on July 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Like quiet_man, I also insist that my clients have their own name and contact information for their domain registration. I've had to help more than one get control of their domains from disappeared or unresponsive webmasters and hosts.

But I've taken to warning them upfront not to respond to anything they get about renewing their domain, listing their site with search engines, link exchanges, or anything else. I tell them that 99% of those are junk, spams and scams. I tell them that if they receive anything that sounds legitimate that they're tempted to respond to, they should check with me before doing anything.

2:38 pm on July 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Yes, got some this morning. I think they may have changed the wording of their letters to make them less blatantly misleading than they used to be. They still irritate me, though, particularly as they ignore the fact that I've registered with the mail preference service so as not to receive postal spam. Is there someone to complain to about this kind of thing?
3:05 pm on July 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I wonder if these are the same guys that are behind Domain Registry of Canada
4:50 pm on July 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I'm just happy they don't change the appearance of their envelopes. Bulk mail? Bulk trashing! ;)
5:14 am on July 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I haven't received anything from those bozos in awhile. From what I recall, they (NYC based operation) were only sending out letters to our .org domains. (Webwork, you must get a ton of trash from them!) Apparently, they think that the administrative contacts at non-profits are less knowledgeable.

For those of you with clients using their own contact information, it is a good idea to tell them to setup auto-renew and lock their domains. By doing so, even if they mistakenly send the transfer form back to the scammer, the domain can't be moved. The only thing that your client will need to do is update their credit card info every 2-3 years.

[edited by: Webwork at 1:08 pm (utc) on Aug. 15, 2005]
[edit reason] Tidying house [/edit]

5:39 am on July 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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The worrying part is they send it almost in the form of a bill. Non savy users may well think it is somethign they need to pay.

Mack.

6:35 am on July 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I think that Nominet (The .uk Registry) took one of these operations to court a few years ago and won. Basically it was the same renewal/transfer <modus operandi> but applied to .uk domains.

I haven't seen as many DROA letters recently. But there has also been a shift away from tradition WHOIS services to authenticated web interface WHOIS services.

Regards...jmcc

[edited by: Webwork at 1:07 pm (utc) on Aug. 15, 2005]
[edit reason] Tidying house [/edit]

8:03 am on July 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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In addition, even if someone mistakenly mailed payment to the scammer, it would have to be refunded when the transfer failed (from registar lock). From what I understand, if they kept the money without transferring the domain, it would be considered mail fraud in the United States, a federal offense. Other countries probably have similar laws to protect consumers.
9:00 am on July 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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> when the transfer failed (from registar lock)

Yes - the best inovation in the domain name field that I can think of.

But I've taken to warning them upfront not to respond to anything they get about renewing their domain, listing their site with search engines, link exchanges, or anything else. I tell them that 99% of those are junk, spams and scams.

I do exactly the same.

Nice to know I'm not the only one getting this junk - in a way.

10:47 am on July 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Got my first one of those in the post this morning for one of my .com domains, which expires Jan 2006.

Rather cheeky of them, does say twice on the letter "This notice is not a bill", but it really does look like a bill.

But they're not getting any money from me.

12:47 pm on July 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I got two DROA letters this morning. Both for search related domains that I'd almost forgotten about. I guess DROA have their uses. :)

Regards...jmcc

[edited by: Webwork at 12:53 pm (utc) on Aug. 15, 2005]
[edit reason] Tidying house [/edit]

11:06 am on Aug 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I have had the pleasure of supplying evidence to the Advertising Standards Authority and the respective Trading Standards Department in regards to this previously.

The ASA passed an adjudication [asa.org.uk] on these guys back in 2002, following complaints about their advertising materials, which proported to be demands for renewal of non-existant services.

Unfortunately, the ASA is now powerless to deal with the latest batch of mailings, as they don't originate within the UK.

R.

[edited by: Webwork at 12:55 pm (utc) on Aug. 15, 2005]
[edit reason] Tidying house [/edit]

1:04 pm on Aug 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Okay, at this point I'm going to lock the thread as its educational purpose - providing some insight for webmasters and others into the history and behavior of DRA - has now evolved sufficiently to serve its purpose.

If you feel you have been a victim of deceptive or other "bad practices" then you should send your complaints about a company to the proper authorities - such as an attorney/solicitor general, consumer affairs commission, consumer protection agency, BBB, etc.