Domain Registry of America (DROA) SCAM!

July 7, 2006

We have discovered that a company called “Domain Registry of America” or “DROA” has been emailing domain name owners with deceptive messages about domain transfers. The goal of the emails is to trick people into transferring their domain names away from their existing domain name provider. The emails falsely claim to be a response to a transfer request made by the current owner and should NOT be acted upon. This has been going on for over a year and several of our clients have been duped by this scam. Once DROA takes over ownership it can be somewhat difficult to regain control of the domain. This is in addition to the phenomenally high prices they charge (they make it sound like you get a good deal with them).

This scam seems to be targeting .com domains only and I haven’t seen any cases yet for other domains.

If people wish to express their concern, they can contact The Federal Trade Commission (in the US) at www.ftc.gov or the Ministry of Consumer Affairs’ scam watch (NZ) at www.consumeraffairs.govt.nz/scamwatch/

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24 Responses to “Domain Registry of America (DROA) SCAM!”

  1. R. Alm said

    A font color that doesn’t require night vision goggles would have kept me here. Bye….

  2. D said

    Linked here from DynDNS; good introductory info on Name Registration scams.

    As for the font color, I wouldn’t know since my browser is set to use grey text on black background. Paper printing is fine, but when it comes to images I personally do not enjoy staring at a lightbulb :)

  3. Anony said

    I have now also seen this with a .co.uk domain.

  4. Paul Williamson said

    I recieved a snail mail from them. VERY DECEPTIVE!! it was on a .com domain. The letter is marked “DOMAIN NAME EXPIRATION NOTICE”… If I wasn’t heavily into IT, I would probably have just paid this. They seem to have an office in Melbourne, Australia where I am and have sent me this letter. SCAMMERS!!!

  5. Randall Flag said

    How do you transfer it back?
    Trying to register it once you have expired back at http://www.dyndns.com gives the message “We don’t support transfers and registrations for this domain.”

  6. L Higgins said

    My Client received this email which is worried him and I think its scandalous. DROA has been indited in the US and Canada but its free to send scamming mail in UK: see copy of mail
    Hello alan myatt,
    >
    > The transfer and renewal of your domain name, absealupvc.com, is not possible at this time because your domain name is currently in a “REGISTRAR-LOCK” status with your current registrar DIRECT INFORMATION PVT LTD D/B/A DIRECTI.COM
    >
    > In order to complete the transfer and renewal, the “REGISTRAR-LOCK” status needs to be removed and an EPP Key/Authorization code needs to be obtained. Please see below for instructions on achieving this.
    >
    > Solution:
    > – Log into your account with your current registrar, and change the status of your domain, absealupvc.com, from “locked” to “active”.
    > – Then look for the EPP Key or Authorization Code.
    >
    > – Alternatively you may call your current registrar, DIRECT INFORMATION PVT LTD D/B/A DIRECTI.COM (see phone number below) and ask them to remove the lock status of your domain name, give you your EPP Key and allow the transfer to Domain Registry of America.
    >
    > – Once done please notify us that you have done so, by calling our toll-free number below. We will then re-attempt the transfer and renewal of your domain name.
    >
    > As a convenience, we have supplied your current registrars phone number below.
    >
    > Domain: absealupvc.com
    > Current Registrar: DIRECT INFORMATION PVT LTD D/B/A DIRECTI.COM
    > Registrar Phone Number: Please visit their site to contact them
    >
    > Transfer Department
    > Domain Registry of America
    > Toll free 1-866-434-0212 or for International Callers, dial +1(905)479-2533
    >
    > 10/10/2007 4:03:02 AM

    ——————————————————————————–
    The next generation of MSN Hotmail has arrived – Windows

  7. Lisa said

    My clients and I receive this yearly through regular mail, not email. And I’ve received them for over 3 years so it’s not new. And I think there is another one with a different name that comes in regular mail too, but I haven’t recieved one in a while (cant remember the name).

    I just try to forwarn people that most domain or hosting companies dont write through regular mail and if in doubt, ask.

  8. Tim Jeffries said

    Unfortunately our accounts person was duped by this scam and paid them for our .org domain. I received the emails and wasn’t duped so we haven’t transferred it. Very annoying though!

  9. Damien said

    Just got one for a .net (Not same as above), looks like these guys are starting up big time now.

  10. Any suggestions about how to proceed when you have been duped?

    Many Thanks.

  11. They just got me — to the tune of $30.00. Despite tw0 e-mails instructing them to return my check, they cashed it. They had also tried to obtain my password from Domain Discover. On the phone, they just promised to refund my money in 4 to 6 weeks. Whoop-de-friggin-do! These creeps belong in jail.

  12. Question: is the “toll free” number provided REALLY toll free? If so, then why not phone them so that they’re charged for the call? The number I’ve been given on my latest domain renewal expiration notice is 1-905-479-2533. bob

  13. I can tell that this is not the first time you mention this topic. Why have you decided to write about it again?
    p.s. Year One is already on the Internet and you can watch it for free.

  14. Not Duped said

    The scam is still alive and circulating. ‘Tis almost convincing. Thanks for keeping this thread alive!

    Contents of scam e-mail:

    Hello John Doe,

    The transfer and renewal of your domain name, johndoe.com is not yet complete at this time.

    Reason:
    ——-
    1) The Domain name is currently in a “REGISTRAR-LOCK” status with your current registrar 1&1 INTERNET AG
    2) We require that you provide us with an EPP Key/Authorization Code from your current registrar

    In order to complete the transfer and renewal, the “REGISTRAR-LOCK” status needs to be removed and an EPP Key/Authorization code needs to be obtained. Please see below for instructions on achieving this.

    Solution ….

  15. Steve B said

    I have a client that registered their domain name with this group and is using them as their hosting company. If you think their registration is a scam. Try using their support group.

    These people are completely and utterly incompetent and absolutely the most rude and insulting people that I have ever talked to on the phone. They absolutely REFUSE to troubleshoot their own problems and literally call you names and insult you when your asking for support.

    There are a million registration and hosting companies in the world, stay clear of this group of scam artists and bufoons at all cost.

  16. Paul said

    Just read the fine print on the back of one of these notices from DROA and it says “We”, “us”, “our” refer to eNom, Inc, Wild West Domains, Inc, Brandon Gray Internet Services, (dba “NameJuice.com) and DROA.

    I have dealt with all of these guys from past clients. Stay away.

    • Thanks for sharing that Paul…I’ve always just trashed their JUNK Mail & Never read the back.
      I was fortunate Long Ago to have Learned that GoDaddy is one of the Only places to register a domain. I Now use Domaindo [a GoDaddy reseller] Because they’re just a ‘tad’ cheaper with All of the Same Features, Same Customer Service…It’s my understanding that WildWestDomains is also a GoDaddy reseller. Sounds like the DROA is trying to make a Bundle from those who don’t know a Domain can be had for Less Than $10 US. So far as the Rest of their services go…they get a little Pricey. Everyone is using WordPress Now. [or HostGator]

  17. Kim said

    Thank goodness for common sense and a great IT person. I had left this scam e-mail in my in-box for a week not knowing what to do with it. I forwarded it to my IT friend who told me about the scam. Can you SCUMBAGS!

  18. Kim said

    Woops….I meant,can you spell SCUMBAGS. Shouldn’t type when mad!

  19. playfish said

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  20. Tom said

    They are now targeting a .org site that I have with written letters to the office address on the website. Asking $50 for the domain name for TWO WHOLE YEARS!!! Great Deal!! NOT!

  21. Chris gray said

    My client is bombarded with these emails this week! I am glad that someone onsite did some looking online before they decided to anything. The domain is a .com but they have reasons now why the transfer and renewal of the domain name is not yet complete at this time.
    1The domain name is currently in a “Regsitrar-LOCK” status and they (DROA) require an EPP key /authorization code to complete the transfer.

  22. Conned said

    Just been conned by these people – can’t believe that I fell for it. Paid the money and now caught without a website and can’t get them to release the hold they have on me – the cash is bad enough but the fact that they literally have my domain is frightening!

    Any suggestions?

  23. What’s up, its good paragraph regarding media print,
    we all know media is a fantastic source of information.

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