Being scammed sucks. There’s really no other way to put it. For most people you either know someone who has been scammed or you’ve been scammed yourself. That’s why it is important to learn from your mistakes and also help spread the word so that others might avoid the same fate as you or your friends. Below are two scams that I’ve seen floating around recently that I think are important for people to recognize and avoid.

IDNS Domain Expiration

Quick! Who is your domain provider? For many of my clients, the answer is me. But many aren’t so sure. The answer will vary depending on your situation. For some, the person who designed your website will hold onto your domain for you. Others will go with larger companies such as Godaddy. It’s important to know this information because without a domain you don’t have a website.

Recently I had a client get one of these letters in the mail (see image). It’s from a company called iDNS and they claim that your domain is going to expire soon. As some on Reddit pointed out, this is nothing but a false flag. The company points out to you that your domain is up for renewal soon and they then try to convince you to transfer and renew your domain with their company. Now its important for me to point out that iDNS WILL legitimately renew or register your domain. The scam is that their service can be as high as 4x the market rate for domains.  And because you just transferred your domain to them, you are stuck paying this price unless you transfer away from them again which creates one huge headache. Not to mention that this company might also charge you twice just to transfer your away from them.

So what should you do if you receive this letter? The quick answer is to simply rip it up and throw it away. However you should also check with your domain register and see if your domain really is going to expire. If so you can simply renew with them and pay a fraction of the cost.

Your Computer Is Infected, Call Now

Last week I had a client give me a call. We started talking about different things related to his website. Towards the end of the phone call he then told me about a virus on his computer. He said that his computer got locked up and the only way he could remove the virus was by giving this company a phone call. A huge red flag popped up in my head. Unfortunately the same couldn’t be said for him. He called this company up and they told him they needed access to his computer so they could remove the virus. After the virus was “removed” they then asked for his credit card to pay for their removal fee.

This is an even bigger red flag and one  not to be taken lightly. Even if you would never fall for this scam the same might not be said about your grandparents, parents, or a friend who knows nothing about computers. You should never give your credit card number over the phone and you should never call the phone number listed on a virus. Most of the time the people who are removing the virus, are the ones who created it.

After hearing my client got scammed, I quickly went over to their house and looked at their computer. After a couple virus scans I found a virus and some malware to boot. I explained the situation to my client and told him to call his credit card company right away. These companies know all too well about these types of viruses and can help you dispute the charge get your money back.

Wrapping Up

There are plenty of scams out there and many people are too embarrassed to admit they got had. If you ever run into the above situations its important to reach out to someone for help. Perhaps its your web designer, or maybe a local computer company. They can help you get out of these situations, or at least guide you in the right direction.