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Domain Name Owners Receive Strange Invoices

If you own a domain name, you may receive communications from people you don't know who nevertheless seem to know all your details.

Every domain name exists in a public database than can be queried by anybody, a bit like the electoral role or telephone directory. The difference is that the domain databases are electronic so it is a very simple process for someone to extract your details from your domain name record, mock up an official-looking invoice and email it to you. They may know your name, business name, address, email and domain name.

If you want to check the details that are associated with your domain name, use the WHOIS function at http://whois.ausregistry.net.au/.

The bottom line is these communications are scams, or, at best, deliberately confusing, and should be ignored.

If you own a domain name there are generally two main services you need to pay for:

  • The domain name registration which is every two years (in the case of .com.au); and

  • The website hosting which is typically every year.

You may receive invoices from different providers, or they may be bundled onto the same invoice if your web hosting provider is also managing your domain name.

There are only a small number of official domain registrars in Australia, which are listed here: http://www.auda.org.au/registrars/accredited-registrars/.

When you receive invoices, check your records to verify who you last paid for these services and when. If the invoices are not from companies you recognise, or not on the right schedule, be very suspicious.

If in doubt, please send any internet or domain correspondence to us and we will examine it for you.

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