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Domain Renewal Scams and Fake Invoices

Don’t Pay the Wrong Person!

Just like a recent cyber-scam that tricked a local school system into paying a $3.75 M invoice to the WRONG recipient, criminals target businesses in many ways that might not be as lucrative, but can still cause trouble.  If you THINK you’ve renewed your domain name, but really didn’t, you could lose a very valuable cog in the functioning of your business – taking down your website and email!

We see it quite often and it is on the rise – by mail or email – an invoice/bill for renewal of your domain name.  Scam companies, like “Domain Registry of America” or “The Domain Hosting Group” send what appears to be a legitimate invoice to renew your domain, but they are only trying to get your money, not really renewing your domain.  It is rather easy to do – your domain information is public and can be found at https://whois.icann.org, including all kinds of information that is helpful to create a fraudulent bill.

What You Can Do

DOCUMENT all your domain names, from where they were purchased, cost and their expiration dates.  Keeping your domain active and renewed is very important to the functioning of your business, so make this high priority.

You can pay for a PRIVATE REGISTRATION, which eliminates your name and email from being included in this public registry, but your expiration date and who you have it registered with is still there.  This makes it a bit harder to target the right person.

If you use a Managed IT Provider like us, we track and renew your domain and related SSL certificates, along with many other types of renewals, so you would never get a separate invoice from a third party vendor.

KNOWLEDGE and TRAINING should prevent your staff from falling for this scam.  If you’d like more security tips, check out our Weekly Cyber-Security Tips subscription at https://www.integrityky.com/my-security-tips/

As for the $3.75 M invoice and money transfers, build in additional checks to verify invoice requests.  Many of these larger scams come from gaining access to your company email, monitoring to learn processes and who authorizes, then spoofing their accounts.  This is where 2-factor authentication protects email and a phone call to your banker who knows you well pay off.  Learn more in our blog post, Cybersecurity:  What can Businesses expect in 2019?.

Stay Safe!  #CyberSafeKY

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