TNW Creations, LLC. Multimedia Publishing

Web Design & Development

Austin, Texas

Scam Alert! US Domain Authority

Check out this invoice from US Domain Authority

One of our long time clients forwarded this to us, they were totally confused. The US Flag, the words, "Domain Authority" - it all left them worried they were about to screw up their website by not paying this hefty bill.

Did you receive an email or printed invoice like this?

"UNITED STATES
DOMAIN AUTHORITY
Date of Notice: July 2021
Website: REDACTED
Number: REDACTED
Deadline: Upon Receipt
WEBSITE SERVICES
DOMAIN INFO: REDACTED
Registrar: Register.com, Inc.
NSl: AMS-NSl.GREENGEEKS.COM
NS2: CHI-NSl.GREENGEEKS.COM
DESCRIPTION OF SERVICES: ANNUAL WEBSITE DOMAIN LISTING: $289
From August 30, 2021 THRU August 30, 2022
TOTAL FOR ANNUAL TERM: $289
SUBSCRIPTION INCLUDES: Annual Website Domain Listing on Domain Authority.
Complete details at www.usdomainauthority.com
This website listing offer is provided to leading websites throughout the United States to enhance their Website
exposure and expose them to new customers through our directory. We are not a domain registrar and we do not
Register or Renew Domain Names. The listing period is for 12 consecutive months and must be renewed annually if
you wish to maintain your Domain listing and keep it active on our online website directory.
THIS IS NOT A BILL. THIS IS A SOLICITATION. YOU ARE UNDER NO OBLIGATION TO PAY THE AMOUNT STATED ABOVE UNLESS YOU ACCEPT THIS OFFER.
UNITED STATES
WE APPRECIATE YOUR BUSINESS!
INQUIRIES: US Domain Authority LLC I Website: usdomainauthority.com
Customer Service Email: [email protected] I Phone: (360) 842-0196
Do Not Contact: usdomainauthority.com/dnc"

 

Let's examine the invoice

The first thing to note is the deadline: "Upon Receipt" - this is to make you act quickly and pay.

Next look at, "Website Services" - this indicates you have services with them related to your website. Types of Website Services might include, "web development, website management, website maintenance, search engine optimization, etc."

The next thing to note is in the description. "This website listing offer is provided to leading websites throughout the United States to enhance their Website exposure and expose them to new customers through our directory."


In other words, it's a directory. Much like direct mailed postal marketing where people pay for ad space in what typically becomes the lining of a bird cage. Except these guys aren't getting any real activity because search engines often hide websites like these. So paying for directory listings with them is probably going to be like handing money to that Prince in Nigeria. I mean you could but...

"We are not a domain registrar."  That is the most key wording in this invoice. They are not a domain registrar, therefore you do NOT owe them any money.

 

But let's pretend for a minute that you receive another invoice / statement that says it is for domain registration. What will you do?

 

If you aren't sure who / where your domain registrar is or how you are charged then you're going to repeatedly fall for these deceptions. And you will probably lose your domain as well because not keeping eyes on where your domain is registered and the annual renewals is a good way to lose control of it. We've gained several clients because they didn't pay attention and lost control of their website.

Finally, look at the ending. These guys come right out and state, "THIS IS NOT A BILL. THIS IS A SOLICITATION. YOU ARE UNDER NO OBLIGATION TO PAY THE AMOUNT STATED ABOVE UNLESS YOU ACCEPT THIS OFFER."

 

Most scammers, con-artists, fraudsters who use this domain listing tactic are not this transparent. But the message is clearly printed in this invoice so IF you pay them and then confront them and accuse them of conning you, they will more than likely point out the very obvious statement that absolves them of any crimes.

So here's the deal. Don't panic. Don't pay them thinking you will lose your domain or website if you don't. And don't pay them in the hopes you will receive higher visibility online. The simple fact is search engine optimization is all you need to gain traction, ranking and visibility. And that can be pretty affordable and sometimes involve really simple changes to your site.


There are a hundred domain listing cons (or shall we call them deceptions, lures, slightly false truths?) like this one. Preying on the unsuspecting non-technical website owners and the sad fact is, they make a lot of bank with these scams because people pay them and are none the wiser. Thankfully for my clients, they can just forward an email or scanned postal invoice and ask me if something is a scam or if they actually need to pay a bill. Since I manage their websites for them, it's typically a scam.


If you're not sure if something is legit, drop us a comment on any of our Facebook posts. We can help. We hate scammers, spammers and cyber criminals.

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TNW Creations is a Web Development & Media Publishing Agency in Austin, Texas. Web Development, cyber security, web design, clean energy web host, Advanced SEO, Digital Marketing and more since 1995.

I've been programming, designing, writing and publishing professionally online since 1995. I've worn many hats throughout my life, but the common core of my career has always been media. Besides the portfolio you see on TNW Creations, my internet presence has been substantial for over 2 decades. In 1995, while still in college, I founded TNW Creations and became part of the grassroots development for teaching the Lakhota language online. By 2004, my bilingual work was listed on many sites, including National Geographic , Encarta and Touchstone Pictures Hidalgo. When I'm not designing, developing and writing, you'll find me managing MagicStoryLand.Com, creating kid-friendly game & video content, posting salty articles about cyber threats, leading Girl Scouts, moderating UnifyLife.Org and enjoying my  community, church & family.