A company called Domain Registry of Canada or DROC sends mass volumes of postal mail directly to domain owners. The letters are designed to appear as though the Domain Registry of Canada is some sort of official government organization or is somehow related to the Canadian Internet Registration Authoritty (CIRA). Beware! The letter from Domain Registry of Canada is nothing more than a scam.
They look legit specially because the letter contains a lot of private information making it look more real. The truth is that all this information is made public through the WHO IS database and they look for domain owners whos domains will expire soon.
The Domain Registry of Canada (DROC) has been running the same scam for over 8 years. They have used various company names such as "Internet Registry of Canada", "Domain Registry of America", "DROC" etc. But in any case they always use the same technique to fool domain owners into transferring their domain away.
If you have a domain, there are a lot of chances you have already receieved one or more of these. The letters are sent in a brown windowed envelope similar to official government type letters. The company uses an official Canada Post branded postage stamp. The letter itself is designed to appear like an invoice and urges the domain owner to renew their domain immediately, as though failure to comply will cause you to loose your domain.
The biggest problem is when people reply to their letters and send their credit card information, DROC will automatically charge $40 - $160 for a year, 2 years or 5 years of service, when the actual cost per year is only $15 CAD at the most. Then your domain is trapped with a company that will overpice the renewal cost of the domain registration and will become a nightmare to try to get it away from them.
How does the Domain Registry of Canada scam work?
The Domain Registry of Canada scrapes the details of your domain name registration record from the publicly available whois database. This is known as ‘whois data mining’, and is a violation of the of the whois service. If your Whois information is set to public they can find the mailing address of the domain name owner. Once they get the information, they simply send the deceptive fake invoice and wait for an unknowing domain owner to fall for the scam. They want to trick anyone who owns a domain into transferring their domain to DROC by sending your payment information and email address in the enclosed envelope. This probably works well with large companies that have hundreds of invoices passing through their mail every day, but the most vulnerable are small companies or individuals who hired a web designer or web devlopment company to manage their domains and know nothing about domain registration.
Remember only the domain regitsrar company like Godaddy or the web devloper that you hired will contact you regarding the renewal of your domain, any other person or comapny trying to reach you for such service is most probably tryong to run a scam.
Will I lose my domain if I don’t reply to the Domain Registry of Canada?
NO, you will onlu loose money if you reply, so throw the fake invoice in the garbage and forget that it ever happened.