Watch Out for this Domain Name Scam

There are lots of scams regarding domain name registrations, but I nearly fell victim to one recently. It may or may not be new, but it's the first time I've encountered it.

There was a name I wanted to register, something.com (not the actual name), but it was taken, so I settled for something.net. That was almost a year ago.

On November 2, I got an email from a company called WebnameSolution, offering to sell me something.com for $199.95. I really want this name, but not that badly, so I ignored it.

Then on November 11, I got another offer for something.com from an outfit called "dcinchq.com" offering to sell it to me for $99.97. I still didn't want it quite that badly, so I ignored this too.

But today it dawned on me: how could two different companies offer me the same domain, for different exorbitant prices?

It turns out the previous owner's registration expired and the name had simply become available. I got it for the standard price you'd pay for any available ".com" domain (usually in the neighborhood of $15/year).

I think their method is to see who has a name under a different TLD (Top Level Domain, which is the last part of the name, like ".com"). When another TLD becomes available, they offer to sell it to you for an insane profit, acting like they have the right! Buyer beware, as they say.

So here's the short version:

If you get an offer to buy a name you want, always check with a registrar you trust before taking up the offer.

Feel free to pass this on to anybody you know who buys domain names.