Today I received an e-mail that first looked like a request to confirm domain registration ownership details (“Please ensure that your contact information is correct or make the necessary changes above”), but on closer inspection turned out to be a scam:
Attention: Important Notice , DOMAIN SERVICE NOTICE
Domain Name: JOEWEIN.NET
Complete and return by fax to:
ATT: JOE WEIN
[my email address here]
[my postal address here]
Please ensure that your contact information is correct or make the necessary changes above
PART I: REVIEW SOLICITATION
Attn: JOE WEIN
As a courtesy to domain name holders, we are sending you this notification for your business Domain name search engine registration. This letter is to inform you that it’s time to send in your registration and save.
Failure to complete your Domain name search engine registration by the expiration date may result in cancellation of this offer making it difficult for your customers to locate you on the web.
Privatization allows the consumer a choice when registering. Search engine subscription includes domain name search engine submission. You are under no obligation to pay the amounts stated below unless you accept this offer. Do not discard, this notice is not an invoice it is a courtesy reminder to register your domain name search engine listing so your customers can locate you on the web.
This Notice for: WWW.JOEWEIN.NET will expire on SEPTEMBER 15,2014 Act today!
[ ] 1 year 09/15/2014 – 09/15/2015 $75.00
[ ] 2 year 09/15/2014 – 09/15/2016 $119.00
[ ] 5 year 09/15/2014 – 09/15/2019 $199.00
[ ] 10 year -Most Recommended- 09/15/2014 – 09/15/2024 $295.00
[ ] Lifetime (NEW!) Limited time offer – Best value! Lifetime $499.00
Today’s Date: _____________________ Signature: _____________________
Payment by Credit Card
Select the term above, then return by fax: 1-716-650-4793
By accepting this offer, you agree not to hold DS liable for any part. Note that THIS IS NOT A BILL. This is a solicitation. You are under no obligation to pay the amounts stated unless you accept this offer. The information in this letter contains confidential and/or legally privileged information from the notification processing department of the DS 3501 Jack Northrop Ave. Suite #F9238 Hawthorne, CA 90250 USA, This information is intended only for the use of the individual(s) named above. There is no pre-existing relationship between DS and the domain mentioned above. This notice is not in any part associated with a continuation of services for domain registration. Search engine submission is an optional service that you can use as a part of your website optimization and alone may not increase the traffic to your site. If you do not wish to receive further updates from DS reply with Remove to unsubscribe. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that disclosure, copying, distribution or the taking of any action in reliance on the contents for this letter is strictly prohibited.
The disclaimer in the final paragraph reveals that this solicitation has nothing to do with my existing domain registration. It’s an offer for an obscenely overpriced “search engine registration” service, which is basically useless. If there is as much as a single existing link to your website from any other website known to Google or other significant search engines, then you don’t need this. Even if you only just created your website, a link from any other site already known to search engines will do — no need to fork out $295 for that. Once search engines find your site from any other site they’ll spider it and index it.
If you receive any such offer, delete it. It’s a rip-off and you don’t need it.