Domain Name Renewal Scams, a New Trend in Phishing

Domain Name Renewal Scams, a New Trend in Phishing

April 11, 2024


Phishing scams pose a growing threat in Singapore’s digital landscape. While familiar with avoiding bank-related phishing scams and spoofed messages, there’s a persisting danger—the domain name renewal scam.

1. Understanding Domain Name Renewal Scams

The domain name renewal scam preys on businesses neglecting to scrutinize invoices meticulously. Targeting website owners possessing one or more domain names, scammers masquerade as domain name registry or web hosting entities. They notify victims of imminent domain expiration, demanding immediate renewal payments. Unaware of their renewal dates, victims comply, divulging payment details to scammers who exploit them, draining bank accounts.

2. Signs to Watch for in Domain Name Renewal Scams

Avoiding domain name renewal scams demands vigilance. Look out for:

    • Unanticipated Notices: Scam emails arrive unexpectedly, lacking routine. Awareness of your domain’s renewal dates is crucial.
    • Sender Verification: The sender’s name can signal malicious intent, especially if it differs from the domain registrar or hosting company.
    • Email Content: Legitimate companies avoid alarmist language or poorly written emails; scrutinize email bodies for professionalism.
    • Suspicious Links: URLs ending with random strings raise suspicion, but some scammers use link shorteners or hidden hyperlinks. Never click email links; manually enter URLs for safety.

3. Verifying Domain Expiry Date

Knowing your domain’s expiration date filters out sudden scam emails. Maintaining a calendar eliminates doubt, allowing confident dismissal of scam demands.

  • Consult Your Developer: Professional website developers like Verz Design register domains; confirm expiry dates through them.
  • Use a Domain Expiry Checker: Websites like calculate domain expiration, avoiding scam susceptibility.

4. Methods for Domain Name Renewal

When renewal is necessary, consider six methods:

Automatic Renewal

Automatic renewal is a convenient option offered by many domain registrars, allowing you to automate the renewal process for your domain name. With automatic renewal enabled, your domain registrar will automatically charge your payment method and renew your domain name before it expires. This hands-off approach ensures that your domain remains active without requiring manual intervention on your part.

Manual Renewal

Manual renewal involves logging into your domain registrar’s website and manually initiating the renewal process for your domain name. This approach requires proactive action on your part to ensure that your domain is renewed before it expires.

Registrar Renewal

Registrar renewal involves renewing your domain directly through your domain registrar, the company responsible for managing your domain registration. This option allows you to renew your domain with the same registrar that initially registered it.

Third-Party Renewal

Third-party renewal involves renewing your domain through a different registrar or service provider than the one you initially registered with. This option offers flexibility and allows you to explore alternative renewal options and pricing.

Auction Site Renewal

Auction site renewal involves renewing your domain through an online auction platform that facilitates the buying and selling of domain names. This option allows you to bid on expired or expiring domains and secure ownership of desirable domain names.

Drop-Catcher Renewal

Drop-catcher renewal involves renewing expired domain names immediately after they become available for registration. Drop-catchers are specialized services that monitor and capture expired domain names as soon as they become available, allowing you to secure ownership of valuable domains.

5. Advantages of Domain Renewal

Beyond preventing fees and hassle, domain renewal offers:

  • Business Credibility: Active sites reassure customers and signal business continuity.
  • Ownership Security: Maintaining domain ownership prevents competitor hijacking.
  • Cybersecurity: Renewal protects against cyber threats and hacking attempts.

6. Implementing Good Digital Hygiene

Employing sound digital practices safeguards against scams:

  • Avoid Personal Information Requests: Never divulge personal details in response to email requests.
  • Exercise Caution with Attachments: Refrain from opening attachments or links from unfamiliar senders to prevent malware infiltration.
  • Regular Updates: Keep operating systems, firewalls, and antivirus software current to bolster defense against online threats.


By heeding these precautions and staying informed, businesses can fortify their digital defenses against domain name renewal scams, mitigating potential risks to their online presence and financial security.

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