Ever heard of Web Listings, Inc.? I hadn’t either until I received an “invoice” from them stating that one of my domain names was up for renewal.
The letter stated that for $85, Web Listings, Inc. would renew my domain name and submit it to 20 different search engines and include monthly reporting for that domain name. This letter is very official looking and gives the impression that it is an invoice. However, I noticed this letter had included the statement “THIS IS NOT A BILL. THIS IS A SOLICITATION. YOU ARE UNDER NO OBLIGATION TO PAY THE AMOUNT STATED UNLESS YOU ACCEPT THIS OFFER.”
I decided to Google search for “Web Listings, Inc.” and found hundreds of results listing this as a scam. The first result is from the BBB in Buffalo and warns the business is not BBB accredited and has an F rating. Many of the articles date back to 2011, yet Web Listings, Inc. continues to mail them out to (un)suspecting domain owners.
Don’t fall for the scam
This is a very official looking letter and one of the few I have received with the “fine print” in capitalized, bold lettering in the center of the page. Is this legal? Yes, they are offering a service for a price. Is it ethical? Hardly. This type of letter motivates customers to purchase through fear of losing the domain name or search engine rankings and preys on unsuspecting business owners. Ignore this letter if you receive one and contact your domain name registrar to verify your ownership.
Domain Name Lookup
You can look up your domain name registrar at Who.is. Type in your domain name URL and your domain name registrar will be listed under Registrar Info.