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Domain Renewal Scams

Caution, if you receive a renewal notice by mail, be careful! It is very possibly not a valid invoice!

We have discovered that a number of companies have been emailing and mailing letters to our customers with deceptive messages about domain transfers. The goal of these emails and letters is to trick customers into transferring their domain names away from your domains current registrar to them.

How this trickery works

  1. You receive a domain expiry notice via postal mail. This bogus invoice lists your domain name(s) with an amount to be paid and a reply by date.
  2. You or someone in your organization respond to the notice and send a payment by check or credit card.
  3. No confirmation request email is sent to you to authorize the transfer.
  4. A transfer request is submitted to the registry and the transfer process begins.

What This Trickery Could Mean To You

If you renew your domain(s) by responding to one of these false renewal notices, the following can happen:

  1. Cost you more money (renewal and transfer fees).
  2. Make it difficult to modify domain registration information.
  3. Could cause loss of domain name rights and/or activity of web site hosting.
  4. In some cases the domain renewal trick is an illegitimate company that will take your money, with no domain renewal service performed. Your domain name may then expire, and in the worst-case scenario, and once expired it could be purchased by someone else.

What You Should Do…

If you’ve already sent a payment, we suggest you contact your bank or credit card company regarding your options of having payment stopped or reversed.

Stop the transfer.

Contact your registration service provider and find out what the status of the domain is. Your registrar should be able to reject the transfer if it has not already been done. Please note: Once you’ve cancelled the current transfer, it will likely be submitted again. You will need to take further steps to ensure the transfer does not succeed.

Lock the domain.

If your domain has not been transferred, ask your registry to lock the domain. This will prevent further requests to transfer from working. You can lock your domain via our online Customer Control Panel.

Get your money refunded.

If you have paid by check, write to the company that you sent payment to and demand a refund. If you paid by credit card and are unable to get a response regarding a refund, you can contact the issuing bank for your credit card to dispute the charge.

When you choose to transfer your domain name from one registrar to another, it is the responsibility of the gaining registrar, the company you are transferring to, to get the authorization of the domain owner before processing the transfer.

Normally, this confirmation is done by sending an email to the administrative contact listed in the current “Whois” record for the domain.

Mr.Host’s domain renewal procedure

Mr.Host does not send domain name renewal notices by mail. You will receive a domain name renewal notice by email from Mr.Host starting 90 days before your domain name is set to expire. Email notices are sent 90 days prior, then 60 days, 30 days, and 5 days prior to expiry. The message is sent to the administrative contact as indicated on your domain name registry. The message is as follows:

From: Mr.Host Domains

Return email address:

Subject: Domain name expires in 30 days : 2003-01-01 (example only)

Please email to request that your domain registrar be transferred.


Filing a complaint online

File a complaint with the Internic
The InterNIC will accept complaints filed online. Please see visit to file a complaint online with the Internic. While they will not respond directly, they do monitor complaints filed online for patterns

File a Complaint with the Competition Bureau of Canada
To file a complain with the Competition Bureau of Canada, you may do so by fax at (819) 997-0324, or use their online form at If you’d like to do this by mail, send this to:

Competition Bureau of Canada
Information Centre
50 Victoria Street
Gatineau, Quebec
K1A 0C9
Hours of Operation:
Mon.- Fri. 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. EST
Phone: (819) 997-4282
Toll free: 1-800-348-5358
TDD (hearing impaired) 1-800-642-3844
Facsimile: (819) 997-0324

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