Attempted Scam, It sure feels like it. Scam alert

Business owners beware!

Recently a client of ours, all details redacted for privacy, handed me what appeared to be a very official looking invoice from Simple Domain Host of Miami, FL. As their network admin, I knew instantly it wasn’t real BUT I’d say it is safe to say that someone somewhere is falling for this scheme. Why else would this company pay to send these so-called solicitations by way of physical mail. I’m not prepared to go into the psychology of why tangible mail may or may not be the de facto fully-official way of invoicing….(because it is not) but folks who may be’s prey, might still feel that way. Looking at you nonconformists……just kidding.

Why would anyone fall for this scheme?

Well I would say first of all because unless you know, without doubt, that it isn’t real you might think you just need to pay your website host.

I know who I host my site with so I’m not worried.

Well, that is a good thing. Some folks know they need to be online to operate in the modern business world but can fall prey to companies, like, for their naivety.

How to tell that this is a scam.

It says it in the body, clearly BUT I think that the overall placement of the “this is marketing” part is quite deceitful. Solicitation, at the least, should be stamped across the document somewhere.

What can I do to avoid these scams?

It turns out, in this case, it can be as simple as reading the entire document. I am guilty myself of glossing over things that have a familiar tempo to them; which is exactly what is attempting to do with this “invoice”. Also, if it smells fishy, there is no harm in calling to ask.

How do they target people?

It is a highly likely scenario the details needed to create this ruse were scraped from the whois database but there is no guarantee that is the source. I think that is the case since the domain is tied to business address. Yet another reason to invest in domain privacy.

What is the whois database?

It is a database that contains the contact info for a domain’s (.com, .org, .net, etc.) registrant. Do you own a domain? Type it into a whois lookup search engine (try and see what you find. When you get a call from “google” this is where they are getting your info. That’s why every domain from netfishes comes with free domain privacy. Instead of finding your personal info, they get ours.

In closing…

Shame on you, Shame! It is a disgrace to web hosting companies that you would stoop to this level of, if you want to call it, “marketing”. This is nothing less than a scam and I urge any current or future customers reading this to steer away faaaaaar from companies that use predatory marketing tactics like this Simple Domain Host “Invoice”.  

The invoice as received.

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